The following is an initial list I put together of the top 70 most influential people involved in shaping how Virtual Worlds will impact the future business Internet landscape. I developed it by taking a look at who is writing about the industry, who is in the news, who is speaking at conferences, who is leading important industry initiatives, and CEOs of the leading companies.
Why the number 70? No real reason...I was working with a list of over 200 and this is as far as I could pare it down right now.
The list is sorted alphabetically as I have not attempted to come up with a sort by how influential these people are.
Have any updates for me? Please post a comment. I'd like to continue refining the list.
1. Bridget C. Agabra, Project Manager, Metaverse Roadmap Project
2. Janna Anderson, Dir. Imagining the Internet & Asst. Prof. of Commun., Pew Internet / Elon University
3. Dr Richard Bartle, Visiting Professor in Computer Game Design, University of Essex, U.K
4. John Bates, Evangelist, Entropia Universe
5. Betsy Book, Director of Product Management, Makena Technologies
6. Justin Bovington, CEO, Rivers Run Red
7. Johann Brenner, Partner, Benchmark Capital
8. Corey Bridges, Co-founder, Executive Producer, & Marketing Director, The Multiverse Network
9. Nic Brisbourne, VC blogger (www.theequitykicker.com) & Partner, Esprit Capital
10. Mike Butcher, Journalist/new media expert, www.MediaBites.com
11. Jamais Cascio, Founder, Open The Future
12. Edward Castronova, Author-Synthetic Worlds; Dir. of Grad Studies, Indiana University & Arden Institute
13. Daniel Schiappa, GM, Strategy Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft
14. Beth Coleman, Professor of New Media. MIT
15. Giff Constable, GM. The Electric Sheep Company
16. Aaron Delwiche, Co-founder, Metaversatility, Inc.
17. Cory Doctorow, Novelist, Blogger, Technology Activist. www.craphound.com
18. John Donham, VP Production, Areae Inc.
19. Jeska Dzwigalski, Product and Community Wrangler. Linden Lab
20. Peter Edward, Director for Home Platform Group, Sony Computer Entertainment
21. Sasha Frieze, Executive Conference Director, Virtual Worlds Forum Europe 2007
22. Robert Gehorsam, President, Forterra Systems
23. Guntram Graef, Co-Founder, Anshe Chung Studios, Ltd., China
24. Joel Greenberg, VP, Marketing Innovation, The Electric Sheep Company
25. Bill Gurley, Partner. Benchmark Capital
26. Adrienne Haik, Co-Founder, Metaversatility, Inc.
27. John Hanke, General Manager, Google Earth
28. Will Harvey, Founder and CEO. IMVU
29. Paul Hemp, Senior Editor, Harvard Business Review
30. Ben Holmes, Principal, Index ventures
31. Ian Hughes, Metaverse Evangelist, IBM
32. Jochen Hummel, CEO, Metaversum
33. Joi Ito , Blogger; CEO and Founder Neoteny (also Board Member at ICANN)
34. Toshitaka Jiku, EVP and CTO, 3Di Inc.
35. Mitch Kapor, CEO, Kapor Enterprises
36. Sandy Kearney, Global Director, 3D Internet and Virtual Business, IBM
37. Christopher Klaus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kaneva
38. Raph Koster, President, Areae, Inc.
39. Aleks Krotoski, Technology Columnist, The Guardian
40. Christian Lassonde, President, Millions of Us Inc.
41. Stephen Lawler, General Manager of Virtual Earth, Microsoft
42. Paul Ledak, VP of Development, Digital Convergence, IBM
43. Mike Liebhold, Senior Researcher, Institute for the Future
44. Richard Marks, Dir. of Special Projects, Creator -EyeToy camera interface, Sony CEA R&D
45. Randal Moss, Manager of Futuring and Innovation Based Strategies, American Cancer Society
46. Beth Noveck, Founder-State of Play Conf. & Assoc. Professor of Law, New York Law School
47. Jerry Paffendorf, Research Director, Futurist in Residence, ASF, Electric Sheep Company
48. Colin J. Parris, Ph.D., VP, Digital Convergence, IBM Research
49. Adam Pasick, Second Life Bureau Chief, Reuters
50. Guy Piekarz, CEO, President and Co Founder, Unisfair
51. Steve Prentice, Group Vice President & Chief of Research, Gartner
52. Scott Raney, Venture Capitalist, Redpoint Ventures
53. Christian Renaud, Chief Architect, Networked Virtual Environments, Cisco Technology Center
54. Ren Reynolds, Consultant, philosopher and writer & Founder, Virtual Policy Network
55. Ben Richardson, VP Business Development, Makena Technologies
56. Philip Rosedale, Founder and CEO, Linden Lab
57. Robert Scoble, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
58. Christopher V. Sherman, Executive Director, Virtual Worlds Management
59. Jed Smith, Mgng Partner, Catamount Ventures
60. Timo Soininen, Chief Executive Officer, Habbo
61. Reuben Steiger, CEO, Millions of Us
62. Alice Taylor, Vice President, Digital Content, BBC Worldwide Americas
63. Sibley Verbeck, CEO, The Electric Sheep Company
64. Mark Wallace, Journalist, Blogger, Co-Author - Only a Game, 2006, 3pointD.com
65. Michael Wilson, CEO, Makena Technologies
66. Susan Wu, Principal, Charles River Ventures
67. Hui Xu, Founder & CEO, HiPiHi Co., Ltd
68. Jeffrey B. Yapp, Executive VP, MTV Networks
69. Nick Yee, Founder, Daedalus Project; Dept. of Communication, Stanford University
70. Ethan Zuckerman, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University