The men and women who run the world’s most popular websites in 2012 are in many ways a pretty drab bunch, publicly at least. They all speak the same bland corporate patois and avoid personal publicity whenever possible.
For instance, turning Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire co-founder of Facebook, into a big enough character for cinema in The Social Network must have tested the screenwriting skill, not to say potent imagination, of even Aaron Sorkin.
The web industry used to be different. The salad days of the millennial technology boom and bust brought plenty of genuinely colourful figures to the fore. For a while anyone could become a millionaire or a pauper overnight, it seemed, and brilliant eccentrics, likeable chancers and downright con artists prospered.
That was more than a decade ago though, and today’s digital tycoons are more likely to be found schmoozing with other rich and powerful people at Davos than partying on the fringes of legality.
Enter Kim Dotcom, formerly Kim Schmitz, alias Kim Tim Jim Vestor, and "Kimble" to his friends online, a web entrepreneur who poses for photographs with glamour models and guns, races supercars and operates from a secure island base.