So, first it was Richie Hecker self-marketing his way up to the top spot in Nate's Silicon Alley 100 People's Choice "Most Influential" Award Powered by BricaBox.
Now we can add Hilary Rowland, fashion model and owner of Hilary.com, the current leader with 40+ votes.
It really bothers me when people try to co-opt what could otherwise be a really interesting exercise and conversation for their own purposes.
To counter, I'm actively marketing for who I really think really deserves it, Fred Wilson and Scott Heiferman. Please do me a favor and vote for them so we knock the self-marketers off the top of the list.
You want to talk influence? I gotta believe that running the New York Tech Meetup, and actually Meetup.com itself, should count for a lot more than half the votes that Hilary got. Sure, Scott's no Ford fashion model, but this ain't no beauty contest. (And if it's just about pure traffic, MY BLOG has more traffic according to Alexa than Hilary.com, and a ton more inbound links according to Technorati... but don't vote for me, b/c others have accomplished a lot more than me.) You want to talk influential women in the NYC Tech Scene? How about Ester Dyson or Nancy Peretsman? Laurel Touby anyone? Are $23 million exits now chump change?
And Fred Wilson? This is an influence contest, right? And he's 11th?? In NYC?? Are we serious? Ok, anyone who has ever tried to get Fred to link to their blog, use their widget, or invest in their startup, go over there, sign up for BricaBox, and vote for Fred.
I know it doesn't mean anything who wins, but there are just too many self interested people trying to grab the community spotlight lately. We need to recognize the achievements of people who have long track records of real impact. One thing that I think the younger folks in NYC need to realize is that there was a New York tech community way before Web 2.0, nextNY, Founder's Club, or any of this other stuff. Part of me feels like campaigning to run yourself up past the likes of Fred, Scott, Ester, Nancy, David Rose, Kevin Ryan, etc. is a real disrespect to the groundwork that lots of other people laid while we were still in junior high school.
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