Michael Arrington, a former corporate attorney who, via his TechCrunch blog, has become one of the most influential figures on the Web, is the quintessential blogger: intense, passionate, consumed with his subject, opinionated, sleep-deprived, forward-thinking, easy to irritate and apt to air his grudges in public. Arrington's vast network of Silicon Valley sourcesmany gained through his legendary partiesallows him to be ahead of the tech-biz curve and often play Web 2.0 kingmaker.
The road to online glory for Arrington, 38, has had many detours. A self-described "exceptionally average attorney," he left law to become a Web entrepreneurjust in time to have the Internet bubble burst in his face. He took a year off and, after returning to the work world, started blogging as a way to understand the new Web start-ups that had arisen in his absence. TechCrunch took off, and he soon found himself an accidental power broker. He's not leaving the next step to chance: Crunch has expanded to sites covering everything from gadgets to portable computing to jobs, with more on the drawing board.
Dubbed the Walter Winchell of Silicon Valley and compared by Wired magazine to "a Hollywood agent at a cast party" and to "Tony Sopranoa large man always on the verge of losing his cool," Arrington is ready to add another rep: cybermogul.
Huffington is editor in chief of the Huffington Post. Her new book is Right Is Wrong