Jonathan Coulton is an American singer-songwriter, known for his songs about geek culture and his use of the Internet to draw fans. Among his most popular songs are “Code Monkey”, “Re: Your Brains” and “Still Alive”. A former computer programmer employed at Cluen, a New York City software company, and self-described geek, Coulton tends to write quirky, witty lyrics about science fiction and technology: a man who thinks in simian terms, a mad scientist who falls in love with one of his captives, and the dangers of bacteria. Rare topical songs include 2005’s “W’s Duty”, which sampled President George W. Bush, and 2006’s “Tom Cruise Crazy”. Most of Coulton’s recordings feature his singing over guitar, bass, and drums; some also feature the various other instruments Coulton plays, including accordion, harmonica, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and glockenspiel. Coulton graduated in 1993 from Yale, where he was a member of the Yale Whiffenpoofs and the Yale Spizzwinks. He is now the Contributing Troubadour at Popular Science magazine, whose September 2005 issue was accompanied by a five-song set by him called Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms. He was also the Musical Director for The Little Gray Book Lectures.
Leo Gordon Laporte is an American technology broadcaster, author, and entrepreneur. Laporte studied Chinese history at Yale University before dropping out in his junior year to pursue his career in radio broadcasting, where his early radio names were Dave Allen and Dan Hayes. He began his association with computers with his first home PC, an Atari 400. Laporte said he purchased his first Macintosh in 1984. He operated one of the first Macintosh-only bulletin board systems, MacQueue, from 1985 to 1988. Laporte owns and operates a podcast network, TWiT.tv. It is available on iTunes and other podcast subscription services. Before the expansion to new facilities in 2011, Laporte said TWiT earns $1.5 million annually on a production cost of only $350,000. In a 2012 Reddit posting, he commented that revenue is approaching $4 million. Laporte calls his audio and video shows “netcasts,” saying “I’ve never liked the word podcast. It causes confusion … people have told me that they can’t listen to my shows because they ‘don’t own an iPod’ … I propose the word ‘netcast.’ It’s a little clearer that these are broadcasts over the Internet. It’s catchy and even kind of a pun.”
Jason McCabe Calacanis is an American Internet entrepreneur and blogger. His first company was part of the dot-com era in New York, and his second venture, Weblogs, Inc., a publishing company that he co-founded together with Brian Alvey, capitalized on the growth of blogs before being sold to AOL. As well as being an angel investor in various technology startups, Calacanis also keynotes industry conferences worldwide. Calacanis’s biggest success to date is Weblogs, Inc. which got sold to AOL in 2005. Before forming Weblogs, Inc., Calacanis was founder,CEO of Rising Tide Studios, a media company that published print and online publications. Amongst them was the Silicon Alley Reporter, a monthly paper that featured New York’s Internet, Web and new media industries. During the dot-com boom, Calacanis was active in New York’s Silicon Alley community and in 1996 began producing a publication known as the Silicon Alley Reporter. Originally a 16-page photocopied newsletter, as its popularity grew it expanded into a 300-page magazine, with a sister publication called the Digital Coast Reporter for the West Coast. Calacanis’s tireless socializing earned him a nickname as the “yearbook editor” of the Silicon Alley community. The company organized as well conferences in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on the same focus on the Internet/web/New Media. With the end of the Dot-com bubble, Silicon Alley Reporter failed. The company’s flagship publication was folded and the company was sold out of bankruptcy to a private equity firm.
Merlin Dean Mann III is a writer and blogger best known as the founder of and writer behind 43 Folders, a blog about “ﬁnding the time and attention to do your best creative work.” On August 18, 2009, Mann announced that he was writing a book titled Inbox Zero, which will be “about how to reclaim your email, your attention, and your life.” As of November 2011, the book has an Amazon.com launch date of February 21, 2012. He has since spoken about the book on MacBreak Weekly 154 and launched the Inbox Zero Tumblr, where he documents the book’s progress. April 22, 2011 Mr. Mann announced that he had quit his book project. Mann also writes for his personal blog, Kung Fu Grippe. In the past, Mann has written articles for the magazines Macworld, Make, and Popular Science.
Christopher Ryan “Chris” Hardwick is an American stand-up comedian, emcee, actor, writer, musician, podcaster, television personality, and voice artist. He is known for performing with Mike Phirman in Hard ‘n Phirm, hosting Singled Out, Wired Science, Web Soup, and The Nerdist Podcast, and as the voice of Otis in Back at the Barnyard, replacing Kevin James. In 2011 he began hosting Ministry of Laughs, a BBC America Britcom block, and Talking Dead, a live hour talk show on AMC. In August 2013, he began hosting Talking Bad, a live half-hour talk show on AMC. He currently voices Craig in Sanjay and Craig. Hardwick was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of former professional bowler Billy Hardwick and Sharon Hills, a real estate agent in Pasadena, California. He was named after American sportscaster Chris Schenkel. Hardwick was raised Roman Catholic, and has stated that he is not religious. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee attending St. Benedict at Auburndale K-12 School, then attended Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado, and then Loyola High School for his senior year. Hardwick studied philosophy at UCLA, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity during his freshman year. Hardwick was roommates with Wil Wheaton for some time. They met at a showing of Arachnophobia in Burbank, California.
Randal L. Schwartz, also known as merlyn, is an American author, system administrator and programming consultant. Schwartz is the co-author of several widely used books about Perl, a programming language, and has written regular columns about Perl for several computer magazines, including UNIX Review, Web Techniques, and the Perl Journal. He popularized the Just another Perl hacker signature programs. He is a founding board member of the Perl Mongers, the worldwide Perl grassroots advocacy organization. He is currently a member of the Squeak Oversight Board, which oversees the Squeak programming language. He has owned and operated Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. since 1985. After joining as co-host of FLOSS Weekly, a free software/open source (FLOSS) themed podcast in 2007, he assumed the role of host in 2010. He has done voice work for StarShipSofa, a science-fiction podcast.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a video blogger, co-owner and director of operations of a wine retail store, and an author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce. Vaynerchuk immigrated to the U.S. in 1978, and after graduating from Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, transformed his father’s Springfield, NJ liquor store into a large scale retail wine store named Wine Library, and in 2006 started the video blog Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine, which launched his career of internet celebrity. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, GQ, and Time, appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Ellen. Vaynerchuk has been described as “the first wine guru of the YouTube era”, “the wine world’s new superstar”, and by Rob Newsom, a Washington State wine maker, “outside of Robert Parker, probably the most influential wine critic in the United States”. In the July 2009 Decanter publication of “The Power List” ranking of the wine industry’s individuals of influence, Vaynerchuk placed at number 40, citing that he “represents the power of blogging”.