SBJ/20081117/SBJ In-Depth

Five people to know in social media

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder, CEO and president
Just 24 years old and a self-made billionaire, Zuckerberg created a seminal moment in Internet history by opening his once Harvard-based network to the public in terms of users, and then to third-party application developers, moves that soon resulted in a user base of more than 120 million people worldwide. Still, Zuckerberg is something of an enigma, not surprising given his age. But he remains one of the most-watched executives in any industry.
Mike Levy
Open Sports chairman and chief executive
The founder of SportsLine, now, Levy is making his next big move with Open Sports, looking to combine social networking, sports news and fantasy in one destination. Whether Open Sports can gain traction against the established sites from which it seeks to differentiate itself remains to be seen. But during the heady dot-com boom days of the late 1990s, few people generated as much noise in the space as Levy, and his $10 million in venture capital funding for Open Sports suggests the need for repeat watching.
Chris DeWolfe
MySpace co-founder and chief executive
While Facebook continues its course as the current rage in social media, it’s actually the News Corp.-owned MySpace that maintains the lead in American users. More specifically focused on music than its chief rival, MySpace under DeWolfe enjoys broad demographic reach and recently launched its own advertising platform, MyAds.
Kevin Chou
Watercooler chief executive
Watercooler is one of the most prominent companies among a growing list of outfits building applications and content designed to exploit the massive user reach of social networks, with sports standing as a primary focus. A one-time venture capital executive, Chou has landed $4 million from his prior employer, Canaan Partners, to help grow the company.
Alex Blum
KickApps chief executive
This New York-based company actually creates the guts of social-networking applications and functions used by thousands of sites around the world. Blum, a former AOL and JumpTV executive, is leading a new focus in developing sports communities, with recent clients MSG and the San Francisco 49ers joining existing work with the Phoenix Suns, Seattle Seahawks and others.
— Compiled by Eric Fisher
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