Zuckerberg who? Forget the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft head honcho Bill Gates. We’ve found our favourite geeks who, far-reaching influence aside, are dashing, intellectual and remain blessedly in the realm of bachelorhood. Indeed, with their electronic or online content being consumed regularly by millions of people worldwide, these successful singles possess immense power to affect change. Which they have. From implementing radical transformations to the social media scene to making effective use of the Internet to campaign for causes, they have done it all. And it certainly helps that they look absolutely charming too.
1 David Karp
Co-founder and CEO of Tumblr
Power Point: David Karp can be credited with revolutionising blogging with his launch of Tumblr in 2007, an artsy short-form blogging and photography platform.
“10 out of 10 Hollywood studios are buying advertising space on Tumblr,” the 27-year-old once claimed. While we can’t exactly ascertain this statement, its statistics are sufficient proof. With 127.7 million blogs and 56.7 billion posts as of July this year, Tumblr possesses an extensive reach. Karp himself earned a spot on BusinessWeek’s list of Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs of 2009. Although the popular site has recently been sold to Yahoo! for a staggering US$1.1 billion, Karp — now worth $200 million from the acquisition — still holds its reins.
Now influencing: #blogging #photography #art
2 Ben Rattray
Founder and CEO of Change.org
Power Point: Ben Rattray is the brains behind Change.org, an online platform dedicated to bringing about social change.
Dedicated to empowering people and campaigning for social change, Rattray, 33, launched online petition website Change.org in 2007, in a concerted effort to correct societal ills through small but significant methods. Along with his team, he has successfully campaigned for issues on various fronts, with the most significant one being the conviction of George Zimmerman in 2012. Over 2.2 million signatures were collected in favour of prosecuting the neighbourhood watch coordinator, who had initially walked free on grounds of insufficient evidence. True to the organisation’s values, it “turned a local tragedy into an international movement of justice”, as explained on its web page. With 40 million users and counting, spanning 196 countries, Rattray has been named one of 2012’s 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time.
Now influencing: #community #society
3 Trip Adler
Co-founder and CEO of Scribd
Power Point: Trip Adler co-founded Scribd in 2007, a digital library boasting illustrious users including trade book publisher Random House and US President Obama.
Lamenting the lack of a proper document-sharing website, the surfing enthusiast and then-Harvard student decided to solve the problem by producing his own. Launched in 2007, Scribd features 30 million books and documents available in 90 languages in over 200 countries, with 100 million people reading monthly — a one-stop service for publishing and accessing books and documents. It has also made the Best Start-Ups lists in prestigious publications such as Forbes and Time, and won a Technology Pioneer Award at the World Economic Forum. The 29-year-old also earned a position on BusinessWeek’s Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs list in 2010. But all these are secondary — as long as it’s good enough for the pres, it should be good enough for us.
Now influencing: #literature #academia
4 Peter Cashmore
Founder and CEO of Mashable
Power Point: Pete Cashmore is responsible for keeping techies around the world satiated with the latest, up-to-date tech and social media news on his blog, Mashable.
This handsome hunk launched the news blog Mashable from his family home in Scotland at the tender age of 19. Today, he welcomes an amazing 200 million unique visitors in a month, with an average of 60 Mashable articles being sent out into the Twitter-sphere every minute. The 28-year-old is also a highly-regarded writer, having contributed several articles to CNN. World rankings include places on Forbes’ Top 25 Web Celebs (2009), The Telegraph’s Briton of the Year (2010) and Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World (2012). As if he couldn’t get any more perfect, Cashmore also features a special Mashable Social Good page, sharing the latest on social issues in a bid to raise awareness.
Now influencing: #news #tech #socialmedia #society
5 Alexis Ohanian
Co-founder of Reddit and Breadpig
Power Point: Alexis Ohanian is not only the co-founder of successful start-ups Reddit and Breadpig — he also is a valiant Internet activist.
We all know how successful Ohanian’s social news website Reddit is, with its 70-million-visitors-a-month traffic stat. Some might also be aware of Breadpig, another of the 30-year-old’s initiatives, a charitable site that sells and manufactures geeky merchandise and donates most of its profits. However, did you know that this two-time Forbes 30 under 30 list-maker (2010 and 2012) is also a fervent Internet activist once referred to by the same publication as “Mayor of the Internet”? In fact, he has recently stood up against Congress, helping to lead the protests that overturned the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) Act.
Now influencing: #news #community #society #politics
6 Chester See
Co-founder of the YOMYOMF network, YouTuber
Power Point: Popular online entertainer Chester See also actively advocates new media, especially as a voice for Asian-Americans, with the launch of the YOMYOMF network.
He melts the hearts of his 1.2 million subscribers (as of July) on YouTube with his dulcet tones, crooning a mix of romantic originals and acoustic covers. He also makes them laugh with his inappropriately hilarious comedy sketches. What else can we ask for? A lot more, apparently. An active member of the Asian-American community, he is co-founder of the YOMYOMF (YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily) network, an Asian-American pop culture channel founded on and funded by YouTube. Featuring Hollywood personalities such as Fast and Furious Director Justin Lin and actress Jessica Alba, it aims to improve the quality of entertainment programmes found online. The half-Filipino alum of the prestigious University of California Los Angeles Theatre Arts programme recently spoke on a panel at his alma mater along with Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (of M Butterfly fame), on the impact of new media.
Now influencing: #music #film #community #socialmedia
7 Jack Dorsey
Founder of Twitter and CEO of Square
Power Point: Jack Dorsey is the reason we can succinctly express ourselves in a mere 140 characters.
With a nest of 500 million “tweeters” as of 2012, it’s probably more than what this mother hen — or papa hen in this case — would have imagined since Twitter took flight in 2006. At 36, this dapper web developer already has awards such as Innovator of the Year Award by The Wall Street Journal under his wing, and also made it to the list of the top 35 innovators in the world under 35 by MIT Technology Review. With a net-worth soaring at about US$1.1 billion as of March this year, he has also nipped CEO position at Square, Inc, a tool allowing smartphones and tablets to accept debit and credit cards. His chirping good looks are definitely an added plus.
Now influencing: #socialmedia #hashtagging #community
8 Scott Schuman
Founder of The Sartorialist
Power Point: Online fashion doyen Scott Schuman is arguably the pioneer of and leader in fashion blogging and photography, with his 14-million-page-views-a-month blog, The Sartorialist.
Providing candid commentaries along with beautifully shot images of street fashion on his blog, Schuman is a force to be reckoned with in the world of fashion. Some of his works have been featured in magazines such as GQ and Vogue — and, impressively, also form part of the permanent collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. The blog has made lists such as Time’s 2007 First Annual Blog Index and Best Blogs of 2010, while the charming 45-year-old himself made the same magazine’s Style & Design 100 in 2007. His talents have also caught the eye of Burberry, who enlisted his help on the Art of the Trench online project, where customers could share photos of themselves wearing the iconic trench. Schuman acted as a social media intermediary, also helping to shoot and post the photos. Can’t get enough of him? He has two books out — The Sartorialist and The Sartorialist Closer, both anthologies of his best works.
Now influencing: #fashion #photography #blogging
9 Ryan Higa
Co-founder of the YOMYOMF network, YouTuber
Power Point: Ryan Higa is synonymous with YouTube — and also aims to develop new media as a significant source of quality entertainment.
He is 23, fresh-faced and known by at least 9.5 million (as of July) people in the world. An actor, comedian, director and writer on YouTube, he is the third most subscribed user this year and constantly finds himself among the top spots annually. He produces witty content that includes satires of current issues and song parodies, showcasing a sharp, intelligent sense of humour — although, really, the stats speak for themselves. Riga, who risked a college degree (he studied nuclear medicine!) to pursue a film career online, is also a co-founder of the YOMYOMF network.
Now influencing: #film #community #socialmedia
10 Kevin Systrom
Co-founder of Instagram
Power Point: Kevin Systrom has, with the launch of Instagram, paved the way for a whole new era in photography with filters that make any photo look instantly better.
Mobile photo-sharing app Instagram hit 10 million registered users within the first year of its launch and has reached over a 100 million active monthly users today, a mere three years later. It is no wonder that co-founder Systrom attained a coveted spot on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2011, while the app itself was named Apple’s App of the Year. The youthful-looking 29-year-old is now worth a whopping US$400 million following the sale of his app to Facebook last year — it went at $1 billion, the mega social media enterprise’s largest acquisition ever.
Now influencing: #socialmedia #photography #mobileapps
ADDITIONAL REPORTING / RACHEL THE