The Alley Insider is starting a tradition which died in the rubble of "dot-crash 1.0": they're compiling a an "annual list of the 100 most influential and important people in the New York digital community."
This tradition was started, of course, by Jason Calacanis and the The Silicon Alley Reporter; and in 1999, the year which Calacanis said "was the year the Alley truly arrived," they published the list with the cover on the right:
Well, now the Alley is back in full swing and the Insider is taking full advantage of that, hoping to help New York's tech scene, and perhaps help themselves while they're at it. Putting it in perspective is this part of an article in Vault:
Publishing the list has also imbued Calacanis and co. with a strange kind of power. Early on, Calacanis's efforts to publicize the Alley as a legitimate entity were reminiscent of a bass player passing out flyers for his garage band. Now, however, top executives work him like '70s disco divas trying to get into Studio 54. "People recognize me on the street, I get invited to amazing parties, and there is a high schmooze factor because of the list and its power," boasts Calacanis.
If what this article describes is accurate, I think the Insider has already done a little better than being just a "bass player" with fliers -- helped of course by new distribution methods, such as RSS and lively Alley blogging community -- nonetheless, something like this will certainly help solidify SAI as the Alley Paper of Record (wouldn't it be great if we could publish our LLCs in the Insider?!)
Now, all that's left to our imagination is WHO the SAI 100 will be. Will it be all Fortune 500 CEO with the big VCs and Angels thrown in there? Or, will Blodget an co. cater to their more grassrooty following (surely a great deal of their page views come employees of small-time companies) and pick small-time, but well-publicized CEOs (Etsy's Rob Kalin?) and local academics/bloggers, such as Clay Shirkey and Jeff Jarvis?
Of course, with a list 100 long they sure have a chance to make that list diverse, and the team is even asking for input; and, what I especially appreciated about the call for input was the variety of it they're asking for (which includes a category yours truly has been accused of existing in, if only tongue-in-cheek). From the announcement:
Please help us improve the list by forwarding this post around and sending any of the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Nominees (please include detailed reasoning).
- Quiet but important community contributions by individuals that we might have missed.
- Overblown, undeserved hype about individuals that we might have been fooled by.
- Your vote for the single most important and influential member of the NY digital community.
Anyway, as has been my mantra in the past: anything like this that gets the community excited about its assets (human, in this case) is a good thing for the rest of us, as we go out in the world as say, "I'm from the Alley." Let's see how this all plays out.