Friday, May 15, 2009

Social Networking and Business Value

Just a quick note that I'll be moderating a Technology Council Event:

Social Networking as a Business Strategy

May 19, 2009 - Culver City

Social networking media are used on a daily basis to grow businesses and expand career opportunities. Individuals use social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo as career-advancing tools, even more useful in a down economy. Corporations increasingly see social media as a key PR, communications and marketing medium. Social networking sites and microblogs are used not only to build company brands, but to foster productivity; social media tools help build communities around the question, "What are you working on?" Companies also use social networking sites in the hiring process, and increasingly, to do innovative advertising (such as the recent Jack in the Box campaign). This Panel will explore issues such as: How can companies best utilize social networking media? What are the risks and rewards? Can social networking be a money-maker for companies? Does advertising work in the social networking world? Top officers of some of the leading social media websites and tools (including Facebook, MySpace and Yammer) will be on the Panel, and there will be panelists from the worlds of media sharing platforms (Pringo), online advertising (Stun Media) and law (Greenberg Glusker), the latter to highlight risks relating to such issues as corporate blogging and privacy.


* Jason Oberfest, Senior Vice President, Business Development of MySpace
* Paul Ollinger, West Coast Vice President of Sales of Facebook
* Sam Cimino, Sales Manager SW, YouTube
* Majid Abai, CEO of Pringo
* Michael Goldstein, CEO of Stun Media
* Richard Neff, Head of IP & Tech Group of Greenberg Glusker
* David Schwartz, Vice President, Corporate Development of Yammer


* Dr. Tony Karrer, CEO/CTO of TechEmpower, a Software Development Company in Southern California

Speaker Bios:

Jason Oberfest, Senior Vice President, Business Development of MySpace

Jason Oberfest is Senior Vice President, Business Development at MySpace, as well as SVP and GM, MySpace Open Platform. Formerly, he was Managing Director of both Product Management and of Business Development at Los Angeles Times Interactive. Before that, he was VP, Client Strategy at Blast Radius. He has also sailed a boat across the Atlantic.

Paul Ollinger, West Coast Vice President of Sales of Facebook

Paul Ollinger is the West Coast Vice President of Sales for Facebook. He has also been a Regional Sales Director and National Account Director for Facebook. A 12 - year veteran of the online world, he has worked in sales, business development and content partnership functions for Yahoo!,, and The Improv Comedy Clubs. He graduated from Rhodes College and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (MBA).

Sam Cimino, Sales Manager SW of YouTube/Google

As YouTube’s Southwest Regional Manager, Sam is responsible for generating revenue across YouTube and the Google Content Network which comprises a media network that reaches nearly 80% of all internet users worldwide.

Focusing on the entertainment, automotive, technology, retail and financial sectors, Sam oversees all aspects of the groups advertising relationships in conjunction with Google Team managers and sales leads across the region.

Prior to joining Google, Sam worked at CNET, The Wall Street Journal Interactive and Ziff Davis and has over 15 years of experience selling media. Sam earned a BA in Communications Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University.

Majid Abai, CEO of Pringo

Majid Abai is the Chief Executive of Pringo, Inc. an enterprise social networking platform provider located in Los Angeles, CA. For the past 26 years, Majid has founded, led, turned-around and merged several companies in various industries, as well as providing consulting services to corporate executives in the areas of technology, governance, turn-around and strategy. In 2005, Majid coauthored "Data Strategy" a book designed to help streamline information management within organizations. He has been an instructor in UCLA Extension for 9 years, and is a frequent contributor to various online publications.

Michael Goldstein, CEO of Stun Media

Michael Goldstein is the Chief Executive Officer & Strategic Creative at Stun Media in Los Angeles. A creator and producer of social media, Michael’s responsibilities include leadership for the design team, concept creation and strategic consulting for highly engaging interactive experiences. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer & Strategic Creative at USA GROUP, INC., and before that, Co-founder and Senior Vice-President at Clearview Networks, Inc. and SVP, Branded Content & Audience Creation at He is known for being able to monetize the social web. He was raised and educated in London.

Richard Neff, Head IP & Tech Group of Greenberg Glusker

Richard Neff is a partner at the law firm of Greenberg Glusker in Los Angeles and Chair of the Firm's Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. He has a practice focused on complex software and internet transactions for an international base of technology and other clients, as well as on government relations and international policy and enforcement issues affecting the copyright industries. Many clients turn to him for advice on and negotiation of international transactions, often in Latin America. He is a former chairman of the Business Software Alliance, and currently is Chair of the LA Chapter of the Technology Council of Southern California. He has written several books on intellectual property law. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Yale Law School.

David Schwartz, Vice President, Corporate Development of Yammer

David Schwartz is the Vice President, Corporate Development, at Yammer Inc., a communications tool for enterprises. He has performed this role since the company’s inception after Yammer was spun-out of Geni Inc. (a social networking site for families), where the Yammer technology was developed. Yammer was launched on stage at TechCrunch 50 on September 8, 2008 and won Best in Show. He handles strategic partnerships and enterprise agreements with large corporate customers, as well as serving as the company's in-house general counsel. Prior to his roles at Geni and Yammer, David was the National Manager, Business Development & Business Affairs at LoopNet, Inc. He graduated from Stanford University and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Dr. Tony Karrer, CEO/CTO of TechEmpower

Dr. Tony Karrer is the CEO/CTO of TechEmpower, a software, web, and eLearning development firm. He has 20 years’ experience as CTO. Dr. Karrer taught Computer Science for eleven years. He has been the CTO for several start-ups, most notably eHarmony. Dr. Karrer graduated from Loyola Marymount University (Valedictorian), then attended USC as a Tau Beta Pi fellow, one of the top 30 engineers in the nation, and received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science. He is author of the award-winning eLearning Technology blog and a frequent speaker at industry events.

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