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NRI Om Malik among world's top 25 Web celebrities

December 27, 2007 17:10 IST

Blogging might be a leisure activity for many famous personalities but it has brought fame to people like India-born Om Malik who has been named as one of the global web celebrities by American magazine Forbes.

Ranked at the 12th position for technology blogging on the list of 'Web Celeb 25,' he shares the limelight not just with fellow bloggers but also with video hosts and gadget gurus.

A chemistry graduate from St. Stephen's College in India's capital New Delhi, Malik is the brain behind the Web site http://gigaom.com/ and has also served as a technology journalist for various publications.

"Om Malik has a long history as a tech journalist, writing for outlets including Business 2.0, Red Herring and The Wall Street Journal (he was also one of the founding staffers of Forbes.com). But true Web celebrity status didn't come for the Indian-born writer until 2001, when he started his own technology blog, GigaOm," Forbes noted.

On the other hand, twenty nine-year-old Perez Hilton alias Mario Lavandeira, who runs the Web site http://perezhilton.com/, is at the top of the heap.

"Hollywood stars fear the wrath of Perez Hilton, a controversial gossip blogger with a poison pen. His blog is hugely popular, despite recent missteps, including erroneously reporting the death of Fidel Castro," the magazine said.

Pointing out that Malik frequently appears in the media on television as a technology expert, Forbes added that his popular website has received funding from sources including San Francisco-based venture firm True Ventures.

Meanwhile, according to forty one-year-old Malik's Web site, he has also been a venture capitalist for a brief period.

". . . few months in the VC (venture capitalism) business made me realise how much I missed the world of writing and reportage, and I went to work for Red Herring where (at least I thought) I could apply my extensive knowledge and insight into the world of venture capitalism and cutting-edge technologies," Malik's Web site said.

Interestingly, one of the Web celebrities is Dan Lyons -- none other than the editor of Forbes itself. However, he is ranked at the 17th position in the name Fake Steve Jobs (http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/).

Dan Lyons started a pseudonymous blog, posing as the alter ego of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "For a year, the satirical site attracted fans, growing in popularity -- and the tech and media worlds boiled over trying to figure out who was behind it."

In August 2007, The New York Times outed Lyons as the author; in October, he released a book, Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody, under the pseudonym 'Fake Steve Jobs,' the report said about its own editor.

Other names on the Forbes list include Michael Arrington (2nd rank), Mark Frauenfelder (3rd), Seth Godin (4th), Cory Doctorow (5th), Matt Drudge (6th), Gina Trapani (7th), Mark Zuckerberg (8th), Harry Knowles (9th), Robert Scoble (10th), Frank Warren (11th), Will Leitch (13th), Jeff Jarvis (14th), Kevin Rose (15th), Kathy Sierra (16th), Markos Moulitsas (18th), Xeni Jardin (19th), Ryan Block (20th), Glenn Reynolds (21st), Pete Cashmore (22nd), Steve Rubel (23rd), Heather Armstrong (24th) and Darren Rowse (25th).

The magazine collected data on 200 Internet personalities and ranked their popularity. "The final list of 25 names shows how the Web has levelled the playing field -- so that now, even the unlikeliest character can become a star," Forbes said in an accompanying report.

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