My goal in life…
My main goal in life is to build excellent online products while working hard, managing teams, and providing product input and vision.
About me: I am…
… EVP of Technology & Engineering at Chaotic Moon.
At Chaotic Moon, I am building the best software development team on the planet. We’re the best.
… Co-founder and the former EVP of Enterprise, then EVP of Product at Ceros.com.
As EVP of Enterprise for Ceros, C.K. managed the enterprise division of Ceros—including developers, systems administrators, and client services staff—who supported and built solutions for our high-traffic, at-scale enterprise level CMS clients, which included TMZ.com and The Daily, among others. Before Crowd Fusion acquired Ceros and rebranded as Ceros, focused on releasing the next generation of the Ceros product rebuilt on top of Crowd Fusion’s top of the line technology, the Enterprise division of Crowd Fusion was the entirety of Crowd Fusion’s very successful and profitable business.
When C.K. originally started working for Crowd Fusion in September of 2008, he was hired in a social media marketing role during a time when the company was focused on being a publisher. When the online ad market collapsed, Crowd Fusion retooled their business to focus on providing a cutting edge platform and CMS hosted in and integrated tightly with Amazon’s cloud, so that they could service large at-scale online publishers. Throughout this transition, C.K. played a key role, being promoted to Director and then eventually VP of Product Development, and becoming a member of the management team determining the future path of the company.
This blog is my personal blog. All the opinions, thoughts, and ideas expressed herein are mine and mine alone and not in any way indicative of the opinions of Ceros.com or any of the Ceros properties.
…the former Editorial Director of Mahalo.
Immediately before coming to work for Crowd Fusion, C.K. was Editorial Director for Mahalo.com from early 2007 through August of 2008. In that role, C.K. oversaw a staff of roughly 50 full time editorial “Mahalo Guides” in Mahalo’s Santa Monica offices and close to 2000 editorial freelancers working as part of Mahalo’s “Greenhouse” freelance initiative. As a member of Mahalo’s management team, he worked closely with the CEO, the CTO, the COO, and the board of directors to determine the direction of the company. All the opinions, thoughts, and ideas expressed herein are mine and mine alone and not in any way indicative of the opinions of Mahalo.com, Inc. After 18 great months with the company, I eventually had to leave in order to return home to New York. LA just wasn’t a good fit for my wife and myself. However, after leaving, I did purchase my stock options, and I am now officially an investor in Mahalo, a fan of the site, and one of Mahalo’s biggest cheerleaders. Go, team Mahalo!
…the former Managing Editor become Director and General Manager of Netscape.com
In 2006, I helped plan and launch the new Netscape.com while working for my pal, Jason Calacanis. I continued to manage the site after Jason left AOL, but in January 2007 decided that the site was well enough along to exist without me, that AOL didn’t know what the hell it was doing, and that there were other opportunities out there more in line with my interests in writing, blogging, editing, and building new things. So I left. It was definitely an interesting experience running a large internet property with such a rich history and owned by such a large cumbersome company. I learned a lot from my time at AOL. What I learned mostly involved a long list of “what not to do” and how to avoid falling into the trap of thinking in the ways that large companies with too many middle managers tend to think.
I’ve been blogging since some time in 1999. I’ve had several different blogs (some semi-popular, most not), including the now-retired 3650 and a 12-inch and the group-blogged my iPod blog. The majority of my current blogging is on the site you are currently reading, Sample the Web, which I’ve been posting to since May 2002. You can also read some of my blogging over at Obsessable. Many know me as the former Lead Blogger of The Unofficial Apple Weblog, where I was paid to blog about all things Apple from 2005 until mid-2006, and was responsible for leading that site from less than half a million monthly uniques when I started to close to two million monthly uniques within the span of about six months. During my time working at Weblogs, Inc. as a freelancer, I also occasionally blogged for TV Squad, Cinematical, and Download Squad. I have guest posted on both Engadget and Joystiq in the past. I attribute all my success in internet businesses like Netscape, Mahalo, and Crowd Fusion to my blogging and consider myself, at my core, a professional blogger—even though the site you are currently reading has never put any real money directly in my pocket ;-).
I have used numerous different blogging tools: Radio Userland, Manila, LiveJournal, Blogger, GreyMatter, and I even hand-rolled an early version of this site on my .mac space for a while by coding each new day into a template in pico (that’s why the archives of this site are so horrible from the early days; sorry about that). This blog is currently run on WordPress. I am interested in both the technologies involved with blogging and the weblog format as an emergent space for communication, discussion, and interpretation.
My mother is a painter, and, as a result, I have been doodling, sketching, painting, and sculpting my entire life. I took private art lessons growing up and one of my majors in college was fine art, where my studies were focused on drawing and sculpture. You can find some of my art for sale here:
…a published writer.
I recently authored my first book: PSP Hacks. One of my critical articles, “Life and Text as Spectacle: Sacrificial Repetitions in Duras’s The North China Lover,” was published in Literature Film Quarterly, I have contributed to several O’Reilly books, both as a freelance writer and as tech editor for iPod & iTunes Hacks, and from August 2004 until the summer of 2005, I was writing articles for AppleMatters.
My poem, “oldblackman,” was published in the 1996 edition of Sigma Tau Delta’s International Literary publication, The Rectangle and in Illinois State University’s 1997 edition of Druid’s Cave. In college, “Unspoken”, a short story and “life,” a poem were both published in the 1994 edition of The Arrowhead, Mississippi College’s literary magazine, and “The Argument,” another short story, appeared in the 1995 edition of The Arrowhead.
I’ve been entrenched in Academia for all of my adult life. I recently abandoned working on my dissertation in English at Fordham University, deciding to take the Masters of Philosophy degree rather than prolonging my studies for a degree that it looks like will never be used in my current career path. My areas of concentration are twentieth century prose, critical theory, film studies, and biblical studies. I received my Masters in English from Illinois State University in 1998, after passing my Comprehensive Exams with Distinction and writing a thesis on E.E. Cummings’ currently out-of-print travelogue of Russia, EIMI. I double-majored in English and Art at Mississippi College, where I received a full academic scholarship, graduating in 1995.
I have taught a total of 18 college-level English courses, the most recent at Iona College in New Rochelle, where I was an Adjunct Professor of English during the 2004-05 school year. In the past, I have taught at both Fordham University and Illinois State University. I also worked full-time for Fordham University in the Department of Instructional Technology and Academic Computing as the Instructional Technologist in charge of the Faculty Technology Centers up until January 2006. In this capacity, I worked with professors to help facilitate the use of technology in an educational setting.
If you want to play, here’s where you’ll find me:
Wii: 2438 5916 1244 0414
Xbox Live: cksthree
Chess with Friends: cksample
Free Internet Chess Server: cksthree
…proud to be an American by birth.
…proud to be a Southerner by the grace of God.
…proud to be a New Yorker by choice.
A note on reviews: any actual physical products that I review on this blog have either been purchased by myself or were lent to me for the purposes of the review. In the rare instances where an actual product was sent to me for review without the manufacturer requesting the items’ return, I have given the product away to a reader. The one notable exception to this rule is with software reviewed, as the license or code used for the software often cannot be given away to another person. Unless I explicitly mention that I purchased the software reviewed in the review (which is often the case), please assume that all software reviews, especially iPhone / iPod touch apps reviewed on this blog, were of products that were sent to me to review or for which I received a free copy of the app to review. Yes, this includes the numerous app reviews where I pan the product. I normally delete these applications after the review or I buy my own copy if I like the application. The one exception is iPhone and iPod touch apps, which keep purchases on file, count the free codes as purchases on my account, and won’t allow me to purchase the application after the fact.