The Advertising Age Interactive Hall of Fame debuts with a salute to 12 industry visionaries

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When it comes to recognizing the pioneers of the interactive era, the credit usually falls to the technology Wunderkinder who created the Internet and its connections. The techno-elite who established the protocols and the standards, the servers and the routers get the glory, with passing nods to the few non-techs who saw the mass potential of this new technology.

Welcome to the new Advertising Age Interactive Hall of Fame.

We established our Hall of Fame to honor the people who saw the possibilities of interactive technology for commerce and communications, for marketing and media, and as a way to reach other people as no medium had been able to before.

The 12 people we selected as our first inductees are some of the very big names in general interactive history, and the Internet in particular, but we also looked deeper to the people who created advertising, marketing and media models for this fledgling arena. As a group, they share a sense of vision, excitement and risk-taking, the traits of pioneers in any area. These 12 jumped headfirst into the Internet before others had noticed it existed, and sounded the alert to their industry of the great changes about to take place.

To select our honorees, the editors of Advertising Age considered dozens of candidates, judging some too new for this first class and others too technology-focused. After several rounds, we chose these 12, who will become the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a formal ceremony this fall.

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