The Digerati, The Drum’s inaugural platform for celebrating influential digital individuals, recognises the 100 key players setting the agenda across the digital marketing industries. After consulting the industry and our readers, we hit upon a long-list of some 200 or so of the most important people working in the UK digital industry before opening this up to public voting to determine the 100 most worthy individuals and the order they should appear in.
Why? Two reasons mainly. First I didn’t think I’d done anything recently to deserve being on such a list. That’s not me being modest or thinking I suffer from impostor syndrome. No. I just haven’t done anything exceptional that I felt would warrant a place on a list like this. Second, I’m acutely aware of how this kind of recognition can attract negative, personally hurtful criticism from certain quarters and I didn’t want to give those cynics a stick to hit me with.
Five minutes after receiving the email from The Drum in September, I was on the phone to its editor asking to removed from the list.
A few days later I talked about what had happened to everyone, including my wife, at S&N. They asked me to reconsider.
They told me that I hadn’t nominated myself and shouldn’t feel guilty that someone somewhere did that for me. They asked me to think about being on the list in the context of me working on the web for sixteen-plus years, having written two-plus books, given fifty-plus conference talks and taught at almost as many workshops. They said that being recognised in any way is not about how you feel about yourself but how other people, the people who voted for me, felt about me. That, in all honesty, it may be a good thing for our business and that’s no bad thing, and nothing to be ashamed of during tough times like these.
So there I am. At number 41. There because the people who matter most wanted me to be there and that makes me prouder still.