communitynext.com

the next generation of online social networks

communitynext.com header image 3

Next Generation Speakers

Click on a speakers name below to be taken to their bio.

Veronica Belmont

Mahalo Daily
Host/Producer

Veronica is the host and producer of the web show Mahalo Daily for Mahalo.com. In the past, she worked for CNET.com, where she produced and co-hosted the flagship CNET podcast Buzz Out Loud, as well as MP3 Insider and the Crave video podcast. Veronica also created and hosted video content for CNET TV.Veronica spends her days now shooting, writing and editing for the show, as well as maintaining her blog at veronicabelmont.com. She frequently guest hosts other technology-related podcasts, and also speaks about technology, gaming, and social networking.
top ^


Josh Berman

Slingshot Labs
Co-President

Slingshot Labs, a division of News Corporation, is a web incubator dedicated to building new Internet companies. Slingshot Labs will employ a portfolio approach to the development and launch of businesses, and plans to nurture four to five ventures per year. Josh Berman is a co-founder and was the chief operating officer of MySpace.com, the leading online lifestyle portal. MySpace has created a new platform for a generation to communicate and discover culture based around the self expression and connectivity of the site’s 120 million active users.

Berman formerly co-founded and managed successful Internet companies, ResponseBase Marketing, and Xdrive Technologies. Prior to his start up life, Berman was a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an international marketing manager and a senior financial analyst at Twentieth Century Fox. Berman received his MBA from the University of Southern California, his BA from UC- Santa Barbara, and is a CPA in the State of California.
top ^


Rami Bitar

YouTube
Product Manager

Rami Bitar is a Product Manager at Google and leads YouTube’s video discovery and search team. Prior to joining Google/YouTube, Rami was a graduate student at Stanford University where he completed his Masters degree in Management Science & Engineering. At Stanford, Rami pursued courses in Entrepreneurship and Venture Captial and was awarded an ATI Fellowship. He also holds an M.S. in Computer Engineering from U.C. Santa Barbara, where he was a UC MICRO Fellow, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.
top ^

David Worthen Brooks

Fox Atomic Online
SVP

Brooks is a US/Brit who studied theoretic mathematics at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology but then became a film editor. He cut commercials, films and videos for amongst others Tony Kaye, Ridley Scott, Spike Jonze, Paul Hunter, Leslie Dektor and Baz Luhrman.

Since his first gold Clio in ¹93 for the editing of Tony Kaye’s music video Runnaway Train his work as an editor and flame artist has been recognized and awarded by numerous US and international bodies, including D&AD, Sundance Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, One Show, and the Clios. The 2001 short film Member starring an as yet unknown Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, Black Dahlia) marked Brooks’ directorial debut. He has subsequently gone on to direct numerous music videos and commercials.
top ^


Pete Cashmore

Mashable
Founder/CEO

Working as a web technology consultant in mid 2005, Pete Cashmore founded Mashable from an unlikely location: a small town in the north of Scotland. Focusing on up-to-the-minute news on social networks and new websites, it rapidly grew to be one of the top 10 blogs in the world according to the blog ranking service Technorati. The site’s writers have been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post and hundreds of technology publications. Pete was selected as a Top 25 Forbes Web Celeb in 2007, while Mashable was chosen as a must-read site by both Fast Company and PC Magazine. In mid 2007, BusinessWeek featured Mashable as one of the world’s most profitable blogs.

Pete divides his time between San Francisco, the UK and technology events around the US, including Mashable meetups in Los Angeles and New York.
top ^

Otis Chandler

Goodreads
Founder

Goodreads is a privately run website started in 2006 by software engineer and entrepreneur Otis Chandler. Otis built Goodreads because he was bored one weekend and “wanted to see what his friends were reading”. A year later Goodreads has grown to be one of largest communities of readers on the internet, with over 700,000 members.Before founding Goodreads, Otis was Product Manager of LoveHappens.com, a subsidiary of Tickle.com. Monster Worldwide, the leading purveyor of online jobs, purchased the company in 2004. Otis graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Along with a passion for building websites, he’s also a voracious reader.
top ^

Paul Cloutier

8020 Publishing
Founder/CEO

Paul Cloutier is the founder and CEO of 8020 Publishing, the revolutionary new magazine publishing company that produces the reader created magazines JPG and Everywhere. Formerly, Paul was Managing Director of Deepend, an award-winning web consultancy. He later founded Theorem, a design firm specializing in interactive product development and social software. He also worked as the Lead Designer and Architect for Current TV, and brought Surface and Thrasher magazines online.
top ^

Tom Conrad

Pandora
CTO

Tom Conrad leads the Pandora product organization, which includes product management, user interface design, software development, and network operations. Over the years, Tom has led numerous engineering and product design teams across a wide range of applications – from operating systems and enterprise software to video games and consumer web sites. Before joining Pandora, Tom was the Vice President of Engineering at Kenamea, Inc. where he led the teams responsible for the design and development of an award-winning Internet-scale messaging system. Tom previously was the Technical Director for the successful video game series “You Don’t Know Jack.” Past experience also includes engineering management positions at Berkeley Systems, Relevance Technologies, Documentum, Pets.com, and Kenamea. Tom began his career at Apple Computer developing user interface elements for the Mac OS. Tom holds three U.S. patents and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.
top ^


Mark Deetjen

Viva Vision
VP of Content

Mark Deetjen, Vice President, Content for Viva Vision, brings over 10 years of strategic media and entertainment production experience to the company where he is responsible for the development, production and licensing of all of Viva Vision’s video and slide show products. Deetjen also manages deployment of content across a variety of distribution channels for the company.

Prior to Viva Vision, Deetjen served as Executive Producer of Entertainment for Amp’d Mobile where he focused on the delivery of mobile entertainment from TV, film, viral video, comedy and animation brands including MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., Break.com, Comedy Central and Adult Swim. Deetjen was responsible for spearheading the 2005 launch of the Amp’d entertainment deck, the largest in the mobile industry. He continued to forge the company’s leadership in the mobile content space with the first live comedy show broadcast to mobile phones, the first graphic novel ever published on mobile in the United States as well as the launch of the largest Latin deck in the industry, Viva Amp’d.
top ^


Mike Ghaffary

Stitcher
Founder

Mike Ghaffary was most recently a Vice President at Summit Partners, a venture capital and private equity fund. Previously, Mike worked at the Boston Consulting Group and MSC Software, and also co-founded a startup while in college. He received a JD/MBA from Harvard University, and a BS in Computer Science from USC. In his free time Mike plays Nintendo Wii, snowboards, bikes to Sam’s in Tiburon and travels the world.
top ^


Martin Green

Meebo
VP Business Development

Martin Green is Meebo’s business vice president, responsible for community engagement, revenue strategy and corporate partnerships. He started his career at Morgan Stanley and in 1996, joined an emerging client of Morgan Stanley, CNET. Martin spent 10 years at CNET Networks in a variety of strategic, financial and operations roles, most recently serving on the executive committee and serving as senior vice president of lifestyle and community. Martin grew up in England and Canada and lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.
top ^


Chris Gunn

Endemol USA
Head of Digital Media Partnerships

Chris Gunn is the Head of Digital Media Partnerships at Endemol USA, an independent television and digital entertainment production company. He is responsible for monetizing content across all digital platforms. He is also in charge of developing and packaging original video programming (branded entertainment) and securing brand sponsorship funding and distribution partners. Gunn began his career by founding a web design company in 1994. Since then, he has led business development, sales, and production teams at both startup and established media companies like Oxygen Media, Upoc Networks, and HBO. He grew up in St. Louis and has enjoyed living in Chicago, New York, and finally LA.top ^


Patricia Handschiegel

StyleDiary
Founder/West Coast Bureau Chief

Patricia Handschiegel is the founder and now West Coast Bureau Chief of the social media company Stylediary.net, which she sold to Stylehive.com in November 2007. She has a background in internet infrastructure and technology business, women’s social networking/social media, and was an advisor to Kaboodle.com (sold to Hearst in 2007). She’s also been an early visionary of professional internet television content since 2005, is currently an advisor to several entertainment/internet projects, and a contributing digital entertainment/media writer for Venturebeat.com. An aspiring serial entrepreneur, she plans to continue to build internet, entertainment and media companies, with the goal to benefit social change and charities. She is currently involved in the development of technology to help find missing and abused children, and has contributed financially to TheJoyfulChild.org and other organizations. She is the founder of Look|Shop|List.com (in development).
top ^


Charles Hudson

Gaia Interactive
Director of Business Development

Charles Hudson is currently the Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, the fastest growing online hangout for teens. Prior to Gaia, he worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early-stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e-commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, Charles was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti-spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007. Charles holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University. He is also on the Advisory Board for BizWorld, a nonprofit that educates students about business, and the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab, a nonprofit connecting entrepreneurs, ideas, and capital.
top ^


Jason Ling

Mysapce
Head of Mobile Products and Technology

Jason Ling is Head of Mobile Products and Technology at MySpace and is responsible for the product vision and mobile strategy for next-gen mobile/new media applications. Ling is responsible for driving all strategic creations of MySpace mobile social network products that include an integrated SMS platform responsible for the distribution of millions of messages per month, a J2ME Application that holds an industry record for the best selling application in the history of AT&T and m.myspace.com, the flagship product of the MySpace Mobile suite – a mobile site that receives hundreds of thousands of visitors and tens of millions of page views daily.

Prior to MySpace, Ling was the International Program Manager for Infospace, a leading mobile content aggregator where he was responsible for the creation and management of Tier 1 EMEA Carrier Content Catalogues such as Virgin Mobile UK, H3, O2 and Vodafone. During his Tenure at InfoSpace, Ling was instrumental in generating 17% growth in international mobile content revenues worldwide and helped build the management of three premiere external Mobile Game Development houses.
top ^

Smith Forte

Current TV
Vice President of Online

Smith Forté is vice president of online at Current TV, a global media company led by former Vice President Al Gore and entrepreneur Joel Hyatt. Forté has led the online team through five releases of the Current website, from launch in 2005 through internationalization. Most recently, he developed the On TV synchronized online/television 2-screen experience and Viewpoints, Current’s online video debate system. The Current website won the 2007 Webby award for Best Television Website and the 2007 Emmy Award for Interactive Television.

Forté’s career began as a product manager at GeoCities where he built and bought online community interaction tools. When GeoCities was bought by Yahoo!, he was selected to lead the transition team that ported GeoCities’ interactive community properties to Yahoo!. Forté has since worked at ReacTV, which captured local news broadcasts from around the country and assembled them online for users to personalize and create their own streaming newscasts, as well as Blend MediaWorks, where he led the development of the world’s first Flash/streaming video synchronization and authoring platform. Before Current TV, Forté was director of product management at Sawyer Media Systems, a marketing communications software and professional services company.
top ^


Heather Luttrell

IndieClick
President

Heather Luttrell is President of IndieClick Advertising Network division of 3jane. She is Chief Revenue Officer of 3jane Digital Holdings, Inc., which designs, develops, hosts, launches, markets and provides ROI services for web properties, through their Interactive, Critical Infrastructure and IndieClick divisions. IndieClick works with thousands of advertising clients and agencies to help them effectively target and communicate with the elusive and profitable 13-34 year old tastemaker audience. IndieClick’s network of media properties currently includes more than 170 community, blog, music and pop culture sites, representing 40 million unique users and 5 billion monthly impressions.
top ^


Kareem Mayan

Reemer.com

Kareem is more interested in what you *like* to do, rather than *what* you do. in case you’re wondering, he likes travel, reading, democratic companies, and building delightful customer experiences on the web. He has developed products, written code, and built communities for espn.com and fox interactive media. Most recently he started edufire.com, where you can get language tutoring from the comfort of your own couch. he also advises worldblu.com, a business design firm that builds democratic organizations.

Kareem blogs at reemer.com and can be found tossing a frisbee, hitting fuzzy green balls over a net, or taking long walks on the beach when not sitting in front of a computer or on an airplane.
top ^


Alexis Ohanian

Reddit
Co-Founder

After graduating from the University of Virginia in June 2005, Alexis Ohanian started reddit.com with Steve Huffman. In October of 2006, their company was acquired by Condé Nast, where he is now a product manager. Along with managing product, he also doodles the reddit mascot. A “social” news website, reddit lets readers – not editors – decide what goes on the front page by simply voting content up or down. The model has proved popular thus far, as over four million people visit reddit a month.
top ^


Scott Rafer

Lookery
CEO

Scott Rafer has been helping Internet publishers and users jump on What’s Right Now! since 1995. Today, that means delivering services for social publishing and discovery. Scott is CEO of Lookery, as well as co-founder of Mashery, and chairman of Winksite. Most recently, he was CEO of MyBlogLog until Yahoo! acquired the company in January 2007. Lookery is building targeted advertising and other services for publishers of social applications, starting with Facebook apps. Mashery manages API and developer programs on behalf of web services providers including Facebook app providers. Winksite helps publishers large and small assemble active mobile communities around their brands based on the content they already syndicate.

From 2003 to 2005, Scott was CEO of Feedster, the blog search engine and advertising network. Before Web2, Scott co-founded WiFinder, the Wi-Fi hotspot directory; Fresher Information, a real-time search engine which was using RSS way back in 1999; and FotoNation, a creator of connected photography solutions. Before the first dotcom boom, Rafer led the Internet products group at Kodak Hollywood, worked in investment banking at Needham & Company, and graduated from the Management of Technology program at UPenn. Please check out http://blog.lookery.com for the latest.
top ^


Aza Raskin

Songza
Founder

Songza is the brainchild of 23-year-old Aza Raskin – the president of Chicago-based software company Humanized, Inc., and the son of Apple Macintosh founder Jef Raskin. Like all good ideas, both the concept and design came to Aza while he was in the shower.Aza gave his first talk on user interface at age 10 at the local San Francisco chapter of SIGCHI and got hooked. At 17, he was talking and consulting internationally; at 19, he coauthored a physics textbook because he was too young to buy alcohol; at 21, he started drinking alcohol and co-founded Humanized. Aza enjoys playing the French Horn and puttering around in his lab when time permits.
top ^

Amy Raymond

Disney-ABC Family
Sr. Product Manager

Hailing from Texas, Amy has worked in wide array of media in web, film, tv and mobile. She is a Product Manager currently pushing the social media boundaries for Disney helping create their first social network, Virtualrush.com and the first social media products for Abcfamily.com.In the past she has developed online shows and live concert community at Control Room, creators of Live Earth & Live8; founded the popular website Cheapskatin.com, for cool and free things; been the Casting Director for reality shows such as ‘The Bachelor’; produced some of the first US mobile content; and produced an award-winning feature film, ‘Radio Free Steve’.
top ^


Ted Rheingold

Dogster, Inc.
Top Dog

Ted Rheingold founded Dogster & Catster, thriving and financially profitable online social networks with over half a million members. At Dogster, Inc., Ted sets the company’s strategic direction and growth, though he’s still a designer and coder at heart.Now an authority in boot-strapping sustainable start-ups and building “passion-centric” online communities, Ted has spoken at numerous technology conferences and companies including Google, The Future of Web Apps, South by Southwest, Reboot, Web2.0 Expo, as well as the original CommunityNext event.
top ^


Keith Richman

Break
CEO

Keith Richman, a recognized industry leader and successful entrepreneur, is chief executive officer of Break Media. Keith is responsible for providing the company’s overall strategic direction and leading the company in the areas of business development and marketing. Break Media is the Internet’s premier entertainment community for men. It’s five wholly owned branded properties (Break.com, Cage Potato, Chickipedia, Holy Taco and Wall Street Fighter) and the 12-site Break Men’s Ad Network reach 35 million men aged 18-34 each month.

Founded in 2004, Break Media offers advertisers unrivaled opportunities to market directly to a young, male demographic.A sought-after panelist at top industry conferences, Keith is considered an leading expert in marketing to the coveted young male demographic; he was recently included in The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen 2007 New Media list of the most talented executives in film, television, representation, legal and new media, all age 35 and under, recognized in the prestigious annual “40 Under 40” by Multichannel News and was named one of the “10 to Watch” by Television Week in 2006.
top ^


Chip Ross

Playboy U
Director

Chip Ross runs Playboy U, a college based site mixing journalism, entertainment and community. His daily tasks include editorial, marketing and product decisions to espouse the “good life” created by Hugh Hefner. Particularly rewarding has been the experience of bringing an iconic brand into a new space speaking to a new audience. There may have been a few parties that ruled too, but it’s all part of the job.Chip started out as an ad man, which he found neither sexy like that agency on Melrose Place nor as slick and well coiffed as Mad Men. But it wasn’t all bad. Work on Toyota, P&G, HP and other brands mixed with liberal happy hours made for great training.
top ^


David Sacks

Geni
Founder, CEO

David Sacks is the Founder and CEO of Geni, Inc., a family-tree social network. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer of PayPal, where he founded PayPal’s product group and helped lead the company to a $1.5 billion acquisition by eBay. In addition, Sacks is the founder and CEO of Room 9 Entertainment LLC, an independent production company in Los Angeles, which produced and financed the Golden Globe-nominated film “Thank You For Smoking.” Sacks also wrote the Techcrunch article, “The New Portals: It’s the Bread, Not the Peanut Butter“. Prior to PayPal, Sacks was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He has a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.
top ^


Robert Scoble

Scobleizer.com/Fast Company

Robert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. Scoble is best known for his popular blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technical evangelist at Microsoft. He is married to Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble. He has two sons, Patrick, from a previous marriage, and Milian. He and his wife currently work at PodTech.net, a video-podcast startup. He is also the co-author of Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers with Shel Israel.
top ^


Brian Sugar

Sugar Inc.
CEO/Publisher

As CEO & Publisher, Brian Sugar sets the overall direction for Sugar Inc. Prior to founding Sugar Inc., Brian served first as Vice President of Marketing then as Vice President & General Manager of 2Wire, Inc.’s media business unit. Before joining 2Wire, Brian was founder and CEO of Sugar Media, a digital media software company, which was acquired by 2Wire in October 2003. Brian was Chief Web Officer at Kmart’s BlueLight.com, Vice President of eCommerce at J.Crew, and a founder of Neptune Interactive, a Washington, DC-based ISP.
top ^


Anthony Volodkin

The Hype Machine
Founder

Anthony Volodkin created The Hype Machine in April 2005 in his dorm room at Hunter College and has been unable to stop thinking about how people discover music ever since. Today, more than 1 million people turn to Hype Machine to find out about new acts every month. Prior to this he spent six years doing IT consulting and crisis management at Brainlink International, Inc while constantly carving out evenings to see live music. Anthony was born in Moscow, Russia and has been living in Brooklyn, New York since he was 12.
top ^


Jeremy Welt

Warner Bros Records
SVP, New Media

Jeremy Welt has more than a decade of experience in new media, music and entertainment. In his role at Warner Bros, Jeremy uses new media to market and develop Warner Bros roster of artists, including, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Michael Buble, Linkin Park, Mike Jones, and many more. Warner Bros was the number one label in sales for 2005, and the number one digital label in 2004 through 2006. Prior to Warner Bros, Jeremy was head of New Media for Maverick Records, and launched dozens of groundbreaking new media campaigns, including the first sale of digital music for the Warner Music Group with Alanis Morissette, and early wireless innovation with the first WMG voice ringer and premium SMS ringtones for several Maverick artists. Early in his career, Jeremy worked at Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, one of the first labels to use new media, and streaming audio technology. Before committing to new media, Jeremy worked behind the scenes in the studio as an asst engineer at the village recorder, working with artists ranging from Dr Dre, to Eric Clapton.
top ^


May Woo

SayNow
User Experience Designer

May Woo is the user experience designer at SayNow, a service that lets anyone broadcast voice messages from their phone to their fans’ phones. SayNow is used by celebrities like Soulja Boy, the Jonas Brothers, Omarion, and many others to speak directly to thousands of fans and to hear from them too. May first became interested in mobile communities in 2002 when she helped her friend Mike with Hiptop Nation (the first public and communal “moblog” in the U.S.). She’s also worked as a designer at Be Inc. and as a building architect in the bay area. May has a BA in English from Stanford and an M.Arch in Architecture from UCLA.
top ^