A few months ago, my wife went on a kick where we watched the first few seasons of the TV show Dallas, rented on DVD from Blockbuster Online. If you watch 2-3 episodes a day of anything, you can’t but help become a little obsessed. So when we heard there was going to be a movie remake of Dallas, we immediately critiqued all of their casting decisions and came up with out own more accurate cast for the movie. We spent weeks debating the pros and cons of each potential casting choice, scoured IMDB like Nike at a Brooklyn playground, and came up with the perfect cast. (note to self: If you ever spend that much time on anything, WRITE IT DOWN!).
Now I don’t actually care about a single mainstream celebrity, not one bit. I’m pretty up to speed on their lives due to the gossip magazines my wife leaves around the house (any reading material is acceptable in the restroom) but unless there was a complete debacle like at the end of Miss Congeniality, I would never actually seek out celebrity news.
I don’t care about celebrities, but I had a roaring good time casting Dallas, so I decided to try the same exercise with media I do care about: nerdy programming blogs! I have my own set of celebrities that are huge in their own sphere but who are COMPLETELY INVISIBLE to normal people. A normal person, like my wife, would have no idea who any of these people are. So as my gift to everyone who needs any easy way to explain the personality and influence of a programming blogger, I present this mapping of real world celebrities to programming blogosphere celebrities:
- The ages are hard to match up, because the blogosphere is less than a decade old, while movies have been around forever. For instance, Joel Spolsky is about the oldest on the list in Blog Years, but he’s not that old in real years. So for reference, 2000-2008 in Internet years is roughly equivalent to 1940-2007 in Hollywood years. The view of celebrities is my personal 2008 view of them, not their contemporary impressions.
- I know you are going to say “WHAT?!?!? How can you compare X’s writing to Y’s movies?” Well, if I told you that there was a new movie coming out starring Y, what would be your reaction? Would you run out and pre-order tickets? Would you IMDB it? Would you be interested but wait for DVD? Would you just shrug and wait to see if it gets popular? Now imagine you see a link to a new post by X on Reddit. Do you click through? Do you bookmark it for later? Does it not matter because you already subscribe to their feed? Do you skip it? That’s the main criterion I used to compare.
So without further ado, here’s the tentative list – I welcome suggestion, debate, and comments.
Scott Hanselman: Jeremy Piven – not a leading man but extremely capable and will make anything he touches better. Funny, versatile, confident in his role at the edge of the spotlight, lives in a city outside the focus of the industry (Portland/Chicago).
Alternates: Seth Green
Alternates: Jack Lemon
Alternates: Sean Penn
Carl Franklin: Jerry Bruckheimer – Makes big hits, big productions, strong emphasis on production values and making quality enhance experience, looked down on by “snooty types” (non-Windows people, art-house movie fans) but quite sophisticated when you take a closer look, undisputed leader in their niche.
Alternates: Robert Redford
Alternates: Mel Gibson
Alternates: Jude Law
Alternates: Vince Vaughn
Alternate: Morgan Freeman
(note: If you think I picked these two actors because they’re black, you’re welcome to name two actors who consistently perform at such a high level. They’re my two favorite actors on this whole list and I hate the fact that it’s 2008 and I still have to give disclaimers like this).
Alternate: Jim Carrey
Non-Programmers worth including:
Who did I miss? Do you disagree? Leave your comments below. If this turns out to be popular, I might move it to it’s own page.