Silicon Alley 100: People's Choice / by Nate Westheimer

The Silicon Alley Insider is bringing back the Silicon Alley 100 list... and while you're eagerly awaiting who they pick and why, you can go participate by voting in the People's Choice. Of everything the Silicon Alley Insider is doing, I think bringing back the Silicon Alley 100 is one of the coolest. As I've said for a long time... it's this kind of hyping which is good for the New York tech scene (as long as the hype is backed-up with something). There are tons of people worth talking about and honoring. NY's tech companies are more successful than ever. Computer science enrollment at local universities is growing, finally. The City is listening up. Now, it's time to honor these people.

Now, if you think SAI making a list of the top 100 folks has no practical purpose whatsoever, consider this quote from a March 2000 article in Salon.com, back when Jason Calacanis' Silicon Alley Reporter was publishing the list:

The Alley 100 issue is a chance to both kiss the collective behinds of Alley digerati -- Calacanis' list this year prominently features friends and colleagues such as author Douglas Rushkoff and indiewire.com editor Eugene Hernandez (who shares the same publisher as the Silicon Alley Reporter) -- but also to tweak the notion of CEO self-importance. Alongside such Fortune fare as Jay Walker of Priceline and Geraldine Laybourne of Oxygen are listed more edgy names like Emmanuel Goldstein, editor of the hacker zine 2600; Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field of erotica site Nerve; and the omnipresent founders of Feed magazine. (Those dropped from last year's list are also mentioned, and admonished for being "boring.")

So here we are, 2007, and instead of the Reporter we have the Insider publishing the list... hopefully mixing together a healthy combination of "ass kissing" and "CEO ego tweaking." But, there's still a little missing... YOUR VOICE IN ALL OF THIS:

Enter the "Silicon Alley 100: People's Choice."

Picture 6-1 Background: The People's Choice list started when Caroline McCarthy, CNet writer and author of The Social, and I wanted a way to privately speculate as to who would make the Insider's list. However, we also saw it as a way for everyone to get their voice in this process... and so we opened it up. Right now, if you head to alley100.bricabox.com, you can nominate and vote for the people YOU THINK should be recognized in NY tech. So far the list is at 68 and growing!

When it's all said and done (which will be when SAI publishes its list) the folks at the top of our list will win nothing but the honor of being nominated by their peers (or themselves). However, we're currently talking to people who want to provide a prize to the top people who do not end up in the Silicon Alley Insider's list, and if you want to offer some sort of unofficial prize you should let me know.

So, head on over to Alley100.BricaBox.com and start voting!

Disclosure: The Alley 100 - People's Choice list is powered by BricaBox, the company I founded and am CEO of. I am well aware that this looks like a publicity stunt for our platform, and I wouldn't deny that there's some stunt wrapped up in this. Also, people should know that this is not officially affiliated with SAI's list, which will be the List of Record.