Web Superstars | March 5, 2004

Every creative field has it's superstars, from Music to Movies, Architecture to Interior Design. Who are the people in the web industry that really ring your bell? Would you walk a million miles for one of Zeldman's smiles or climb every mountain to hang out with Jakob Nielsen?

If you were stuck on a desert island with just a Laptop, a WiFi connection and a lifetimes supply of beer and junk food, which web superstars would you want to be marooned with and why?

Posted at March 5, 2004 8:03 PM


Gilbert Lee said on March 5, 2004 8:21 PM

You, silly. Dunstan Orchard and Greg Storey make me laugh. And, of course, the holy ones…Zeldman and Jason Fried.

Please don’t forget my wife, too. Don’t want to be stuck somewhere without her.

Mark Hurd said on March 5, 2004 8:29 PM

Dunstan Orchard, Dan Cedarholm, and Jason Kottke for sure.

I’m gonna have to say Dave Shea too because he could probably fashion some sort of CSS/coconut radio.

Simon Willison said on March 5, 2004 9:00 PM

I want to meet Hixie - mainly because it’s completely ludicrous that I haven’t met him yet. He went to the same Uni as me, plenty of my real-life friends have met him, I’ve been reading his blog for over a year and I we share a whole bunch of interests - but somehow we never managed to collide in meat-space. And now he works for Opera in Norway and I’m in Kansas.

Marcus said on March 5, 2004 9:13 PM

Well. As much as I hate to say it because it’s pretty cliché… Eric Jordan from 2advanced. I spend all day doing flash and designing business-related content and that guy is, IMO, the master.

Carole Guevin said on March 5, 2004 9:34 PM

Step 1. If the ether (laptop - WIFI) and survival (yay no more dieting) are taken care of… the only person I can think of is… my best friend, soulmate, life partner, associate in ventures, entertainment director, musician, professional amateur of nowhere adventures. In fact, the only reason we work is to achieve this somehow. Crazy enough (and in luv) to want a together 24/7 life.

ok guess you get ‘my’ picture ROFL.

Step 2. We would find a way to invite over a bunch of unsuspecting people who would get stuck and estranged with us for a long-long-long time. We would threaten them to go either without connection or food, and if they are really naughty, both! We would enroll them to while away revising and devising a new world… without M$ and browser bugs.

Word would spill out of our little affair and a whole bunch of wanna-be-strand-island-stop-the world-I-wanna-get-off maniacs would connive with power may be and soon to the relief of everyone, they would be scooped back to reality.

Step 3. JF and I remain behind getting fat and jolly while maintening the website of our island folly and reviewing the next list of ‘who’ would invite.

sil said on March 5, 2004 10:37 PM

You, Jeremy, Richard, Dunstan, and Jon Hicks?
Oh, no, wait, already done that one. :)
Simon Willison. And, like he says, Hixie. Dave Shea, as well. I wouldn’t mind a quiet pint with Zeldman either. I have met Jakob Nielsen, and I don’t think I want to be stranded on a desert island with him.

Chris Vincent said on March 5, 2004 10:48 PM

Zeldman, Shea, Orchard (he can bring you other UK guys, too, as well as torches and a camera). Simon, I’m in Kansas as well. :)

Simon Willison said on March 5, 2004 11:17 PM

Chris: you should come to one of our Lawrence web developer meetups then! There are quite a few interesting web people in Lawrence and KC.

huphtur said on March 6, 2004 12:10 AM

Sure, it could be fun hanging out with Zeld or Shea and all, but after the beer is gone and the hangover kicks in, yur still stuck on that damn island! I’m more thinking along the lines of “Blue Lagoon” here. Therefore my pick would be Brooke of http://www.brookelyn.org

Nick Finck said on March 6, 2004 12:14 AM

Well, seeing as how I have worked with Zeldman on A List Apart, worked with Molly on Digital Web Mag, hammered down several drinks with the K10k guys, interviewed Joshua Davis, BSed with Dave Shea, and IMed Doug Bowman every week …hmmm.. let’s take a step back… who haven’t I been able to get to know over the past few years.

Well, that is simple: Andy Budd

(P.S. Andy, you owe me $20 now.)

Keith said on March 6, 2004 12:35 AM

Nick! I’m offended! What about me bro!?! I was gonna have you on my list! ;0)

I’m still a bit confused by the idea that the Web industry has superstars (!?!) I don’t know…sounds fishy to me.

No, wait, I do remember something about how to go about becoming soopa famous on the Web.

Anyway, Nick’s too cool for me so here are a few others I’d not mind meeting. Not sure if they all count as “Web Superstars” but…

I think Josh Davis comes to mind as an interesting and fun person to get stuck with. Seems to have a bit of a wild side, or did at one point.

Maybe Heather Champ and Derek Powazek for photo documentation and storytelling purposes.

Maybe Scrivs as he seems to know how to have a good time. He claims to know quite a few ladies also…Although I’m not sure if I believe that. Heh.

I’d need to have Andrei along for someone to argue with.

I’d love to have the “torchlight brothers” and everyone from Lawrence also. Just bring beer. Lots of it.

Alanna said on March 6, 2004 4:59 AM

Okay, I might be fishing a little bit outside the “web superstar” pond, but…

Lance Arthur, Josh Cagan, and Heather Armstrong for the insane laughs.

Uhm, for the nerd factor, I guess I’d go with Paul Scrivens, Dustan, and Keith. :)

Nick Punter said on March 6, 2004 8:14 AM

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who started it all.

Shaun Inman said on March 6, 2004 1:14 PM

Dunno about the marooned bit (Lord of the Files anyone?) but the few I see as superstars based on technical and aesthetic merit, generosity of their time and have been just too cool to talk with would be the boys from K10k, Joshua Davis (don’t forget the food coloring), the Jakes from YayHoory! and Threadless, Eric Natzke, Eric Jordan, the Mikes from We/You Work For Them, Zeldman, Dave Shea and Jon Hicks. Hopefully Jon will be able to reconstruct his daughter’s miracle of aviation from memory and get us off the island in style. But only after we develop the island’s hottest pixel portal and online coconut retailer—using tightly integrated Flash and Standards of course. Sucks to your asthmar!

David House said on March 6, 2004 2:00 PM

Big bloggers: Dunstan, Paul Scrivens (whitespace guy), Dave Shea (*still* have trouble rembering to pronounce it SHAY), Zeldman, Bowman, Cederholme, Jon Hicks.

Jeff Croft said on March 6, 2004 2:41 PM

For me, the folowing are at the top of the list: Shaun Inman, Jon Hicks, Doug Bowman, Dave Shea, and Todd Dominey.

Parasme said on March 6, 2004 3:28 PM

I wouldn’t choose beer or junk food. I’d go for sushi and mineral water.

I’d take the landscape designer Sue James (http://www.sjld.co.uk) She could build pretty stuff to look at and leave me to hog the laptop. Imagine trying to get some laptop time if you take a web geek!

Egor Kloos said on March 6, 2004 4:35 PM

Andy Budd, Jon Hicks, Doug Bowman, Dave Shea, D. Keith Robinson, Joshua Davis, Erik Natzke, Robert Lindstrom, Han Hoogerbrugge and the amazing Todd Dominey.

Not sure if I’d like to be marooned with any of them, we’d be talking shop all day. But work aside I feel I could get along with most of them and they do seem to have something to say. Besides being interesting in their own right. Although blogs do tell us something about someone they don’t tell us what they’re really like. Only Joshua Davis and Erik Natzke have I ever met in person during my days as a ‘flash only’ geek. Funny how things work out, I hardly use flash anymore, I kind of miss it.

Manlio said on March 6, 2004 5:56 PM

Did anybody mention His Majesty Eric Meyer? ;-)

Gambit said on March 6, 2004 9:29 PM

Hmmm, there are no woman on the list, I guess I’d have to round up 20 of the finest internet savey chicks I could find and hand them some native islanda clothing (yip thats the stuff).

Egor Kloos said on March 6, 2004 9:44 PM

Did someone mention Heather Armstrong (Dooce)? What’s she then? Chopped liver?

She has made a great design for her website and her postings extremely funny to boot! Okay she’s not a hardcore professional webgeek, but having such a great weblog does kind of count. Doesn’t it?

Chris Vincent said on March 6, 2004 9:47 PM

Lawrence is definitely an interesting town. The downtown area is very cool. However, I’ll have to see if my friends (K-State fans) won’t kill me first. ;)

Mark Hurd said on March 6, 2004 10:21 PM

In response to Egor Kloos:

I would have added Heather, but she would have had to bring Leta and John with her. Diapers weren’t included in the list of things we got on the island. :)

Andrei Herasimchuk said on March 7, 2004 3:58 AM

Argue with me, Keith? You know… I only “argue” with people who are smart enough to argue with, of which there are few. So right back at ya! 8^)

I’m actually impressed by what seems to be the British contigent in the design field in the blogsphere. I’ve always felt envious of designers across the Atlantic, seeing how creative their work is year after year. Is it the water or beer you drink?

One of these days, if the entire Brit contingent visits Silicon Valley… call me at Adobe. I’ll buy drinks.

Chris Vincent said on March 7, 2004 5:50 AM

Andrei: smart enough? Then don’t you mean “of whom there are few”? ;) I jest.

I agree that our European friends seem to be doing rather well in the field… Perhaps it’s a lack of smog; we’ve all seen pictures of Dunstan’s place (and some of you have been there). Or maybe the extent of a mind’s freedom is directly proportional to the mind’s distance from George W. Bush. Perhaps our creativity has melted in the melting pot. Who knows?

Aside: I see you’ve finally been accepted for AdSense, Andy. Or did I miss that earlier?

Scrivs said on March 7, 2004 4:03 PM

Keith knows what he is talking about. Trust me. Sorry fellows, none of you would be on my island. Ladies only. Sure the conversation would be good for the first day, but ummmm…yeah…you get the idea. Alanna, Brooke, and the Adaptive Path women for me I suppose, but hell when you are stuck on an island…hehe…nevermind.

Andrei Herasimchuk said on March 7, 2004 8:05 PM

“Then don’t you mean “of whom there are few”

Ahhh… fine… Correction warranted, but we have to correct the whole sentence then.

You know, Keith… I only “argue” with people who are smart enough, of whom there are few.

We good now? 8^)

Chris Vincent said on March 7, 2004 9:05 PM

Yep! ;) Poor Keith. Hehe…

Jeff Croft said on March 7, 2004 9:38 PM

Let me know when the Lawrence GTG goes down — I’m in Topeka. :)

John said on March 8, 2004 9:13 AM

Dean Allen for his skill and sense of humour

and Russ Weakly for his selfless generosity to the design community..


Alan said on March 8, 2004 12:43 PM

Lance Arthur. Glassdog (com/net) inspired this impressionable youngster.

Ryan Brill said on March 8, 2004 8:00 PM

Dave Shea would have to top my list. What a great guy. To add others, I’d say Dan Cederholm, Douglas Bowman, and Paul Scrivens. All very respected.