Twitter, TechCrunch, Digg execs make Forbes' Web Celebs list

It's not like we've had enough of celebrities with the likes of Brangelina and the OctoMom on every other cover of the magazines at the grocery check-out.

Now, we've got Web celebs to deal with.

Forbes magazine last night released its Web Celeb 25 list of top Internet celebrities. And while the Forbes list shines a spotlight on real-world celebrities like gossip monger Perez Hilton and reality-TV star Tila Tequila, it also points to the growing online popularity of some real techies.

"For the Forbes Web Celeb 25, we track the biggest and brightest stars on the Internet, the people who have turned their passions into new media empires," wrote David Ewalt in the Forbes story about the list. "From stay-at home-moms to geek entrepreneurs, these are the people capturing eyes, influencing opinion and creating the new digital world."

Forbes rated its top Web celebs based on how famous a person is for creating or appearing in Internet-based content - someone who is highly recognizable to a Web-based audience. Folks, like Ashton Kutcher , who were mega stars before hitting the Web, were excluded from the Forbes list.

From the techie side of the world, Michael Arrington , editor of the high-profile blog TechCrunch, came in at the lofty number two spot - right behind Hilton, who was voted top of the Web celeb heap. And at number three is Pete Cashmore, who founded the Web site Mashable and boasts almost 2 million Twitter followers.

Twitter Inc. co-founders and social networking giants Evan Williams and Biz Stone together made this year's number four spot. "In 2009, Twitter went from tech-industry obsession to national phenomenon; Oprah even dedicated an entire show to the service," wrote Ewalt. "In turn, Williams and Stone have become celebrities in their own right, frequently interviewed in print and broadcast media. And with more than 2.8 million Twitter followers between them, the two are closely watched by legions of geeky fans."

Kevin Rose, the founder of, is at number five, and Cory Doctorow, an editor of popular tech blog Boing Boing is ranked at number 10.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld . Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , send e-mail to or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed .

Read more about internet business in Computerworld's Internet Business Knowledge Center.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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