The 10 Most Fascinating People In The Blogosphere For 2005

Barbara Walters’ list of the most fascinating people for 2005 came out and it was well, execrable. Camilla Parker Bowles? Tom Cruise? Kayne West? What a list!

But, if Barbara Walters could do a list that lame, why couldn’t I do my own lame list — of bloggers? So, without further ado, here’s my off the top of my head list in no particular order:

* Tammy Bruce: Feisty and foxy syndicated talk show host Tammy Bruce now has her own, regularly updated blog. Over the next year or so, can she duplicate the crossover appeal of people like Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt? It seems entirely possible.

* Jason Calacanis: Calacanis reportedly managed to sell Weblogs Inc, which consisted of roughly 85 blogs, to AOL for somewhere around $25 million dollars which gave hope to bloggers all across the world that one day, some clueless corporation would pay grossly inflated prices for their blogs as well. Grossly inflated, paid way too much, got taken for a ride, however you want to phrase it, Calacanis will be laughing all the way to the bank.

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* Henry Copeland: The man singlehandedly responsible for making blogging profitable, Henry Copeland, saw his Blogads empire expand beyond politics this year. Because of Copeland’s efforts, blogging is slowly but surely turning from a hobby to a profession, at least for some of the bigger bloggers.

* Dr. Helen: Everyone is familiar with Glenn Reynolds, but did ya know the Instawife is blogging now — and surprisingly, she’s really good and has a unique writing style? There are no details on the blog so far about whether the Instahubby leaves the toilet seat up or whether she has to pester him to clean the garage, but give her time =D.

* Arianna Huffington: Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the Huffington Post or Arianna Huffington, but she deserves credit for doing something revolutionary. Get investors to put up money for a blog? Celebrity blogging? Getting bloggers together on a massive scale to draw advertisers? Arianna set a benchmark with her blog that has, and will continue to, inspire imitators.

* Charles Johnson and Roger Simon: When they created Pajamas Media, they drew supporters and detractors out of the woodwork and set off a firestorm of chatter, criticism, and speculation about the future of the blogosphere. Whatever ultimately happens with Pajamas Media, it has certainly made a big splash.

* Michelle Malkin: Malkin’s star has ascended like few others in the history of the blogosphere this year. Not only has the traffic at her blog exploded, her columns are gaining more attention and she’s regularly filling in at Fox. If Glenn Reynolds is the king of the right side of the blogosphere, then he now has a proper queen, one who even has the potential to surpass him in popularity in the coming years.

* Patrick Ruffini: Ruffini was the webmaster for the Bush-Cheney ’04 presidential campaign and after a stint of post-campaign blogging, Ruffini is handling blogger outreach for the Republican National Committee. Because of Ruffini’s influence, the RNC has done a better job of communicating and has set up a number of blogger conference calls. Even if you’re seeing a warming of relations between the RNC and bloggers, Ruffini is responsible.

* Andrew Sullivan: In the history of the right side of the blogosphere, no one has ever gone from being so admired to so disliked as, “Excitable Andy.” As Andrew Sullivan has become progressively more flighty and hysterical, mocking him has become sport in many corners of the blogosphere which is part of what makes him so fascinating — fascinating, like a train wreck — but fascinating nonetheless.

* Michael Yon: The superb on-the-spot reporting Michael Yon did in Iraq this year was not only far superior to anything done by the mainstream media, it inspired Bruce Willis to make a movie about the Deuce Four, the unit Yon covered in Iraq. That’s impressive.

*** Update #1 ***: Here are 5 honorable mentions, in no particular order, with mini-write-ups.

* Hugh Hewitt: Big blogger, radio talk show host and author of Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World.

* Xiaxue: Not only does she look good, she’s actually sponsoring products?

* Dennis the Peasant: The man who turned a grudge match with Pajamas Media into massive traffic.

* Edward Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters: The American blogger who shook the Canadian political system.

* Debbie Schlussel: Another crossover blogger who could, like Tammy Bruce, be the next big thing.

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