Blake Gernstetter

Expert System CEO Brooke Aker: Semantic Web Will Make Social Media 'Stickier'

How might semantic Web technology change social media? Writer Katie Bunker asked Brooke Aker, chief executive officer of Expert System, a leading semantic technology firm, and speaker at’s upcoming Semantic Web Summit.

“The semantic Web will make social media ‘stickier’ between people. Current systems that look for ways to connect people rely on keyword indexes. These systems are brittle and often not very deep in the ways people connect.”

“Keyword systems can’t understand my profile with keywords like skiing & racing. I end up getting matched to groups that ski, but also other kinds of racing (car, sailing, etc.). A social media site like eHarmony matches people one on one but only after you take a 29 question survey. Facebook, Twitter and the rest don’t even ask for keywords. Semantic Web technology can read and understand what you write just like we read and contextualize. So when I write ‘I love skiing and racing Giant Slalom on East Coast hard pack,’ the semantic Web can understand me as a Giant Slalom ski racer and not a skier and racer of various types.”

Brooke Aker discusses the future of semantic advertising at the upcoming Semantic Web Summit East Nov. 16-17 in Boston.

Ben Huh: 'Users Have Far More Control Over the Business than What We Were Used To'

As founder and CEO of the Cheezburger Network, Ben Huh knows the value of community.

“We exist because our users create our content… They’re involved in every aspect of our process,” says Huh in part two of our Media Beat interview. “We understand that users have far more control over the business than what we were used to before.” That’s part of the reason he sent a public letter to Condé Nast offering to buy Reddit back in August and take their “pesky, troublesome users” off their hands. “Usually big media companies view user revolts as something really difficult to handle,” he says. “Companies need to get better at communicating with their community.”

Huh also addresses the Cheezburger Network’s mobile fail (“We’re very far behind the game right now”), the possibility of selling the company, and why being an entrepreneur isn’t an occupation — it’s a way of life.

Part 1: Ben Huh on Growing the Cheezburger Network: ‘We’re Looking for that Nugget of Passion’

Part 3: Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh’s Career Advice for Entrepreneurs (MediaJobsDaily)

Ben Huh on Growing the Cheezburger Network: 'We're Looking for that Nugget of Passion'

Making a business out of memes like silly cat captions and unfortunately juxtaposed images is nothing to LOL about. It takes a sharp sense of what will work with the audience to get an idea off the ground.

Fresh off the release of the latest book in the I Can Has Cheezburger canon, we caught up with Ben Huh, founder and CEO of the Cheezburger Network, to talk about how he vets new ideas and introduces them to the Cheezburger community, like the recently launched If Shoes Could Kill. “Without a passionate audience, you can’t really make user-generated content work,” he says in part one of our Media Beat interview. “We’re looking for that nugget of passion. We’re looking for people who really want to engage with it… [We] see if that community exists. And if it does, [we] find a way to broaden that experience.”

Huh also reveals how you know when it’s time to kill an idea that’s just not working: “You try to push it and you prod it, and you try to give it a little bit more time, and you start to understand that there’s a feeling of… This is as big as it’s gonna get.”

Watch the video to find out the worst pitch he’s ever heard.

Part 2: Ben Huh: ‘Users Have Far More Control Over the Business than What We Were Used To’

Part 3: Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh’s Career Advice for Entrepreneurs (MediaJobsDaily)'s John Carney Fêtes NetNet Site Launch celebrated the launch of NetNet , the site’s latest vertical promising the “low-down and the high-jinx of Wall Street” and helmed by senior editor John Carney, on Wednesday night at Trinity Place in New York City’s financial district. WebNewser was there as attendees sipped on NetNet cocktails (aka Manhattans), indulged in a twee “Match the former financial exec” game, and took home tiny safes engraved with “” in their swag bags.

CNBC president Mark Hoffman and VP and executive producer Meredith Stark were among those who convened to toast the site, which Hoffman called “the latest great addition to a phenomenal success story.” WebNewser caught up with Carney to talk about his role there and his vision for the site.

“I’ve always worked at really small places,” said Carney, who came aboard as senior editor in May after his position was eliminated at The Business Insider. “CNBC is giving me the freedom to do what I want to do,” he continued, adding and then later repeating that he felt “very welcome” at his new job. “I have the resources of CNBC behind me. I get to play in multiple mediums.”

WebNewser: What was the hardest part about getting the site up and running?

John Carney: “It’s difficult to find the right people to work with. You need somebody who understands the way blogs, news, and gossip all intersect, and they get that.”

W: What’s the most important quality you look for in a new hire?

JC: “Being a good writer and having a passion for financial news.”

W: What sets NetNet apart from its competitors?

Read more

SheFinds Founder on Starting an Online Company: 'I Wish I'd Known How Vital SEO Was'


mmadhokwn.jpg Michelle Madhok, founder and CEO of SheFinds Media, started the online media company with the launch of a single site in 2004, big on ideas and low on outside funding (read: none). Thanks to her scalable business model, SheFinds added a second property, MomFinds, and continues to grow. Ahead of her talk on starting a new media business at the Mediabistro Career Circus August 4, she tells writer Jennifer Pullinger the No. 1 thing she wished she knew when she started her own media business.

“I wish I’d known how vital SEO was to getting traffic to the site. Targeted SEO to pages where we promote products is how we make a great deal of our income. There are so many tools out there to optimize the pages, I wish I’d known about them when I started the business and built the initial site.”

Michelle Madhok shares tips on starting your own media business in her upcoming panel discussion at Mediabistro Career Circus on August 4 in New York.


Yahoo! Shine EIC: Women Want More 1:1 Conversation Online



When it comes to the Web, Brandon Holley knows what women want. As editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Shine, she focuses on building community into content and keeping her audience engaged. Ahead of Holley’s Mediabistro Circus presentation on online communities and content, writer Jennifer Pullinger asked her, “What is the future of blogging?”

“As women increasingly become more prolific bloggers, we are watching the ascendance of the power of peer-to-peer content. Blogging fundamentally offers the funneling of mass communication into a 1:1 conversation, which is what women actively want more of. The traditional hierarchy of experts dictating to readers what to wear, buy, read, see has been challenged by the ability of women to reach out to one another and to give and get advice on a mass, local, and niche level — all at the same time.”

Brandon Holley explores “Online Communities and the Content Experience ” in her upcoming presentation at Mediabistro Circus on May 20 in New York.