Jessica Amason

Viral Media Editor
Twitter: @jessamason

Jessica Amason is the Viral Media Editor for BuzzFeed.com. Bridging the gap between the editorial and ad space, Jessica helps brands learn the "science" of contagious media and how to leverage BuzzFeed’s social content model in a marketing context. She is also co-creator of "viral sensation," This is Why You’re Fat, the website and upcoming book (HarperStudio 10/27). Jessica blogs on viral culture for The Huffington Post and previously worked at AOL's web culture blog, Urlesque.com. She has appeared as a guest on CNN and Headline News and her work has been covered by the Today Show, Time Magazine, New York Times and Wired.


With over 10 years of experience in managing complex software projects, for brands such as PlayStation through to Channel 4 Television, David's interest is in how entertainment and communication utilities work together to enable audiences to co-produce bespoke experiences. As such, the combination of technology, media law and art to produce invention which is commercial and socially beneficial, remains at the core of David's service design work.

In 2007 David created an unique entertainment format for Ford Motor Company, titled, Where are the Joneses? - a social media sitcom where the audience influenced the daily production of a road trip to seek out 27 sperm donor siblings. Produced with the UK leading comedy production company, Baby Cow, Where are the Joneses? enabled a world leading brand to engage audiences with authenticity and generosity. It was the first and largest branded media production to be Licenced under the Creative Commons commercial license.

Comedian and writer

Sara Benincasa is a comedian, writer and radio talk show host. She was a citizen journalist for the 2008 MTV Choose or Lose Street Team, part of MTV’s 2008 Emmy Award-winning Think campaign. Her political blog and video news reports can be found on MTV’s social justice and activism website, ThinkMTV. Sara’s cheerfully quirky, politically outspoken, sexually charged comedy has won praise from leading news outlets including the Chicago Tribune, CNN, the New York Times, ABCNews.com, Wired.com and Time.com.


Ken Davenport, recently hailed as the “P.T. Barnum of Off-Broadway” by the New York Times for his unique 21st century marketing strategies, is widely recognized as one of the most innovative theatre producers today. Ken’s visionary tech-savvy was recently featured on a national commercial for Apple’s iPhone and he was named one of Crain's “Forty Under 40” in 2008 as a result of his fresh ideas and unprecedented success. Ken’s impressive Broadway and Off-Broadway production slate includes Speed the Plow, You’re Welcome America, Blithe Spirit, Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom and My First Time.  Ken is the creator of TheProducersPerspective.com, a popular blog where he gives his opinion on everything relating to Broadway and beyond.

Co-founder, blip.tv

As blip.tv’s CTO, Justin Day manages software development and oversees the design and implementation of the company’s private label software licensing partnerships. Before blip.tv, Justin was the lead ASP.NET 2.0 developer at Capital Printing, Inc., building Web applications to take the company paperless.
Tom Himpe

Twitter: @tomhimpe

Tom has worked as a brand strategist in independent, innovative and creative-led agency environments, covering a wide range of brands across multiple categories. After crossing the Channel from Belgium, he worked as Senior Strategist at Naked Communications on clients such as Nokia, Unilever, Gap and Western Union.

His approach to communications planning is fuelled by a hybrid of media, strategic and creative thinking, and is underpinned by a strong belief in the importance of Research & Development and product innovation. Having done four years of film studies, Tom is equally enthused by the untapped potential of storytelling in a marketing context.

Tom is author of two internationally published books featuring and discussing the most innovative marketing cases worldwide, Advertising Is Dead, Long Live Advertising and Advertising Next.

Contributing Editor, Wired
Author, Crowdsourcing
Twitter: @crowdsourcing

Jeff is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he covers the entertainment industry, among other subjects. In a June 2006 article for Wired, Jeff coined the term "crowdsourcing" to describe mass collaboration used to accomplish tasks formerly performed by employees. His book Crowdsourcing:  Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business was released by Crown Business in August 2008.

CEO, I Can Has Cheezburger?
Twitter: @benhuh

Ben is the CEO of Pet Holdings, Inc., the company behind the hugely popular blogs I Can Has Cheezburger?, FAIL Blog and others. The success of his sites can be attributed to his knowledge of memes, viral content and crowd-sourcing.
Co-founder, Sacramento Press

New media pioneer Ben Ilfeld co-founded Castle Press, LLC, the company behind the Sacramento Press. Ben focuses on operations. He is responsible for overseeing every department and department head. Ben sets the vision and process for the online media outlet and runs customer service. With direct input from his team, Ben defines the business and technology road map for the organization and works to continually refine the “hyper-local” model to reclaim community. Ben also develops and implements processes to recruit new writers as "recruitment manager."

Prior to his current position, Ben founded No Snakes Agency and managed Brooklyn-based rapper/producer P.Casso.  He previously interned with California State Assembly Member Darrel Steinberg, who is now Senate President pro tem.  Ben also grew up in Sacramento and graduated from The University of Rochester with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. 

CEO, Outside.in
Twitter: @markjosephson

Mark Josephson joined as outside.in as CEO in April 2008 and has been building new media businesses since 1995. Most recently, Mark was President and CMO of Seevast Corp, which builds and operates proprietary and publisher ad networks. Before that, he worked at About.com as General Manager in charge of the creation and growth of the About.com consumer service and later as Executive Vice President of Marketing & Business Development with responsibility for customer acquisition, marketing and distribution for About, Inc.'s three operating divisions: About.com, Sprinks, and About Web Services. Mark was a founding member of Cone Interactive's new media practice in the late '90s, where he managed marketing and communications for some of the earliest internet media businesses, including About.com and iVillage.com.

Co-founder and CEO, Publish2
Twitter: @scottkarp

Scott Karp is the co-founder and CEO of Publish2, a platform for journalists to collaborate on curating the real-time web and social media. He is also the editor of Publishing 2.0, a widely-read and respected blog that takes an incisive look at how technology is transforming media. Folio: magazine named Scott one of the 40 most influential people in publishing for 2007. Scott was previously the Director of Digital Strategy for Atlantic Media, publisher of The Atlantic.

Dan LaCivita

SVP/Executive Director, Firstborn Multimedia

As the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Firstborn, Dan is involved in every aspect of the company. He not only oversees the creative and technical production of every project that leaves the NY office, but he also plays a major role in prospective and current client relations, business development, creative strategy and the day to day operations of the firm. Dan joined Firstborn in 2003 as a Flash developer, but he quickly evolved into an Executive Producer.
Dan has supervised the successful production of many high-profile projects and now dedicates much of his time to working closely with Firstborn’s Creative Director, developing strategies and creative solutions for current and prospective clients. Throughout the past six years, he has helped triple Firstborn’s revenue and led the team to receive many awards including The One Show, Clio Awards, Cannes Lions, London International Awards and over 30 FWA awards. In 2008 he helped lead the firm to be named OMMA magazine’s Creative Agency of the Year. Dan frequently represents Firstborn at top industry events. He has served on the judges’ panel for several major interactive award shows and is often asked to be the keynote speaker at leading industry conferences around the country.

CTO, Clarity Digital Group

Michael E. Meyers is an entrepreneur who has been involved in numerous successful (and some not so successful) technology startups across a wide range of industries. Most recently, Michael was the co-founder and CTO of NowPublic.com, the first venture backed start-up based on Drupal, that pioneered the concept of Citizen Journalism. In September of 2009 NowPublic.com was acquired by The Clarity Digital Group which owns and operates Examiner.com, a top 100 web site that provides local news and information for over 150 cities in North America. Michael is an adviser to the board of the Drupal Association, the non for profit organization that provides support and guidance for the Drupal project.

Director of Content Development,
Twitter: @ericmortensen

Building on prior experience in art, technology and digital media, Eric Mortensen joined blip.tv in 2006 as the Director of Content Development, where he oversees discovery of and interaction with new media content creators. As a founder of the pioneering social bookmarking site, linkfilter.net, a prolific blogger and the co-founder of Digital Dissonance — a digital music collaboration created in 1994 and pre-dating the commercial Internet — Mortensen has spent more than fourteen years as a social media innovator and expert.

After studying Music Synthesis at Berklee College of Music, Mortensen held various positions in both old and new media as musician, web designer, data analyst and technology consultant. He is married and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Cheezburger Technology Officer,
The Cheezburger Network
Twitter: @scottporad

Scott Porad is the Cheezburger Technology Officer of the company behind I Can Has Cheezburger? and Failblog.org. The Cheezburger Network is a collection of web sites where everyday millions of people share moments of joy through the humor and wonder of LOL.

Previously, Scott focused on online retailing at drugstore.com, and content management systems for ESPN.com at Paul Allen's Starwave. He writes about his experiences working with the Internet at http://scottporad.com.

Senior Analyst, Forrester Research

Emily serves Interactive Marketing professionals and specializes in advertiser, consumer, and publisher trends and technologies, which includes social marketing, online brand and direct response marketing, targeting, measurement, and response. Prior to joining Forrester, Emily worked at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she helped relaunch its Web site as an advertising-based content site. Before that, she was at Advertising.com for five years as a delivery analyst. There she was responsible for the delivery and analysis of advertising campaigns across their network of more than 2,500 sites.

Vivian Schiller
2009 NPR, by Stephen Voss
President and CEO, NPR

A media executive and journalist with more than 20 years experience in the industry, Vivian Schiller joined NPR as President and CEO on January 5, 2009. She comes to NPR from The New York Times Company where she served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com.
As President and CEO, Schiller oversees all NPR operations and initiatives, including the organization's critical partnerships with our 800+ member stations, and their service to the more than 26 million people who listen to NPR programming every week. Schiller is charged with assuring the fiscal and operational integrity of NPR, offering a clear and strong commitment to continuous strategic growth, and building the organization and its philanthropic base in ways that support the mission of NPR and stations. During her tenure at The New York Times, she led the day-to-day operations of NYTimes.com, the largest newspaper website on the Internet, overseeing product, technology, marketing, classifieds, strategic planning, and business development.

Entrepreneur, an Adventurist, and the CEO of The Geek Factory / founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Twitter: @skydiver

PR Week Magazine has described Peter as “redefining the art of networking,” and Investor’s Business Daily has called him “crazy, but effective.” Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you harness the power of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and make it work to your advantage.

An entrepreneur, author, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, marketing, advertising, creativity, and customer service.

Peter is perhaps best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) which in under a year has become the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources on deadline, offering them more than 100,000 sources around the world looking to be quoted in the media. HARO is currently the largest free source repository in the world, sending out over 1,200 queries from worldwide media each week. HARO’s tagline, “Everyone is an Expert at Something,” proves over and over again to be true, as thousands of new members join at helpareporter.com each week.

In addition to HARO, Peter is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide. His blog, which he launched as a website in 1995, (www.shankman.com) both comments on and generates news and conversation.

CEO, GroundReport
Twitter: @rachelsterne

Rachel Sterne is the founder and CEO of GroundReport.com, a global citizen journalism platform. Inspired to launch GroundReport by her work reporting on the Security Council at the United Nations, Rachel was named one of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek in 2009.

Founder & CEO, Real Girls Media
Twitter: @KateThorp

Kate Thorp is the founder and CEO of Real Girls Media Network. She launched RGM in 2006 with funding from former investors of her prior founding companies including WaldenVC and 3i. In 2007, RGM launched two products: a vibrant community for women called DivineCaroline.com, and the RGM Ad Network. In only two years, DivineCaroline.com became one of the top 200 websites in the world, as ranked by Quantcast.

Prior to founding RGM, Kate Thorp was a Venture Partner with Walden VC.  Where she advised many of Walden’s portfolio companies including Pandora & MeeVee.  She currently serves as an advisor to MeeVee and Danoo Media a Kliener Perkins Caufiled Byers backed company.

In addition, Kate is the former President, Digital Worldwide at AKQA. She oversaw all advertising operations across AKQA’s offices in San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., London and Singapore. She was also responsible for greatly expanding AKQA’s operations with new clients like ESPN, The Gap, MSN, and Coca-Cola’s global account.

CEO, Topix
Twitter: @tolles

Chris came to Topix from Spoke Software, a business social networking company, where he was a co-founder and VP of marketing. Before Spoke, Chris was a Director of Marketing at AOL/Netscape for AOL Music, Netscape Search and Directory Products. Chris was a co-founder and VP of Marketing at NewHoo, and led the sale of the company to Netscape. After the acquisition, NewHoo was relaunched as the Open Directory Project at Netscape and became the world's largest human edited directory of the web, and is still used by companies like Google, Alexa and AOL. Previous to NewHoo, Chris held a variety of sales, marketing and management positions at Sun Microsystems. Chris graduated from the University of California at San Diego with degrees in Computer Science and Economics, where he was awarded the Michael J. Addison award for his senior thesis about the online information industry.

Director of Marketing, Yelp
Twitter: @miriamwarren

Miriam Warren is a director of marketing for Yelp.com, a website that connects people to great local businesses. Previously she was the community manager for Yelp in Washington, D.C. and prior to joining Yelp, Miriam was an avid user of the site and one of the first members of the Yelp Elite Squad. Named a GirlGeek of the Week, Miriam cut her teeth during the first dot com boom in San Francisco at a UK-based digital business consultancy. After the dot bomb she traveled the world solo for a year before landing at McKesson, a health care company.

Miriam evangelizes Yelp and leads a team of community managers in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Toronto and London. She nests in New York City and regularly reviews at miriam.yelp.com


Director of Education, Events, and Multimedia Content, mediabistro.com
Twitter: @scheidel

Carmen leads mediabistro's educational offerings, events, and video-on-demand content -- all in the name of helping media people learn new tricks. She began her career as an editor at a monthly arts and culture magazine and spent seven years freelancing as an editor and writer. At mediabistro, she has helped thousands of media pros revamp their careers with the help of mediabistro's courses, events, and video content.

Executive Producer
BBC World News America

Rome Hartman is executive producer of BBC World News America, the BBC's first US facing nightly newscast. He is also responsible for advising and coordinating production for other US based and US facing newscasts for BBC America and BBC World News. Hartman joined the BBC from CBS News where, from November 2005 through March 2007, he was executive producer of The CBS Evening News and oversaw the launch of The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Prior to joining that programme, Hartman was an award-winning and prolific producer on 60 Minutes where he produced more than 100 reports. Hartman also served as the senior producer responsible for 60 Minutes II from January to early September 2005.

Before his 60 Minutes tenure, Hartman was the senior producer for the CBS Evening News in Washington, D.C. (1989-91) and CBS News' White House producer (1986-89). He first joined CBS News in 1983 as a field producer in the Atlanta bureau.

Reporter, anchor, and host
Reuters Television

Manoush Zomorodi reports on business and technology for Reuters Television and Reuters.com which puts her in the same position as the audience - a media professional in today's transitional economy. As our host, she knows what you want to hear and isn't afraid to ask the hard questions from the audience perspective to get you the answers you need.