TidBITS Publisher Adam Engst #4 in MDJ Power 25 -- The results of the annual MDJ Power 25 survey are out, and TidBITS publisher Adam Engst has maintained a spot in the top five for the fourth consecutive year - fourth place this time around. The MDJ Power 25 attempts to determine who truly wields power and influence in the Macintosh community by asking for the opinions of long-time industry insiders. For the second year in a row, Adam was the only member of the top five who is not an Apple employee. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was once again voted the most powerful person in the Mac industry (surprising no one), followed in second place by Apple's Chief Software Technology Officer Avie Tevanian and Apple Vice President of Software Engineering Bertrand Serlet in third place, with Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive in fifth. The reason for Adam's continued high ranking? The industry insiders consider TidBITS required reading, and they acknowledge Adam's continual efforts behind the scenes to make the Macintosh community a better place.
There's a trend in the voting toward assigning more power and influence to Apple employees (and primarily high ranking executives at that). In 2000 and 2001, 10 Apple employees made the list, 14 in 2002, and 16 in 2003. The spots they've taken have come at the expense of independent Macintosh developers (seven in 2000 and eight in 2001, but only three this year, if you count Dr. John E. Kelly of IBM, who makes the list only because he's in charge of the group that builds the PowerPC G5 chip). The numbers of writers, journalists, and publishers has dropped only slightly each year, starting at eight in 2000, dropping to seven in both 2001 and 2002, and six in 2003. One question is whether the trend reflects a concentration of power in Cupertino, which could impact the overall health of the Macintosh world, or if MDJ's choice of industry insiders (at least those who take the time to vote) has become skewed in some way toward Apple. There's also some potential confusion between power and influence: Apple employees wield great amounts of power (since almost anything they do affects Apple customers), but people like Adam, David Pogue of the New York Times (6th place), Ric Ford of MacInTouch (12th place), and Rick LePage of Mac Publishing (14th place) influence what we know, what we talk about, and the way we think. [GD]