Jonah Peretti

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti - 20050820.jpg
Peretti in August 2005
Born(1974-01-01) January 1, 1974 (age 40)
NationalityAmerican
Known forBuzzFeed, Huffington Post
Notable work(s)Nike Sweatshop Emails, Black People Love Us
Spouse(s)Andrea Harner
RelativesChelsea Peretti (sister)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti - 20050820.jpg
Peretti in August 2005
Born(1974-01-01) January 1, 1974 (age 40)
NationalityAmerican
Known forBuzzFeed, Huffington Post
Notable work(s)Nike Sweatshop Emails, Black People Love Us
Spouse(s)Andrea Harner
RelativesChelsea Peretti (sister)

Jonah Peretti (born January 1, 1974)[1] is an American Internet entrepreneur, a founder of BuzzFeed and Huffington Post, and creator of the "share" button, Reblog.[2][3][4]

Life and career[edit]

Peretti's father is Italian-American and his mother is Jewish (Peretti's stepmother was African-American), though he himself is an atheist.[5][6] A graduate of the MIT Media Lab, Peretti is best known for his experiments with "contagious" or "viral" media, including the parody website BlackPeopleLoveUs.com, which enthusiastically documents a couple's rapport among the African-American community, and a widely forwarded email thread known as the Nike Sweatshop Emails in which Peretti exchanges politesse with an anonymous Nike representative over why "sweatshop" was not allowed to be printed on his custom Nike iD sneakers.

Peretti is member of the New York based artist group Free Art and Technology Lab (a.k.a. FAT Lab).

Peretti is married to Andrea Harner and lives in New York City. He is the brother of comedian and writer Chelsea Peretti.

Contagious Media[edit]

In 2005, Peretti hosted the Contagious Media Showdown at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, where he worked as Director of the R&D Lab from 2001 - 2006. Showdown participants competed for hits for three weeks starting on May 19, 2005, with the winners receiving cash prizes. Showdown projects—including top performers Forget Me Not Panties, Crying While Eating, and Blogebrity -- collectively amassed over 2 million unique visitors during the competition, and over 50 million during the entire period when stats were being collected (exact dates unknown).[7]

During the process Peretti developed the concept of the "Bored-at-Work Network", which he supposes to be larger than some major television network audiences.[8] Peretti claims this relatively untapped market segment is behind the bulk of the e-mail forwarding and link sharing that drive the spread of Internet memes.

Recent work[edit]

Peretti is the founder of "Internet popularity contest" site BuzzFeed, launched in November 2006.[9] He is also the co-founder of the popular news website The Huffington Post.

Controversy[edit]

In 2003, Peretti pretended to be economist John Lott, both setting up a website using Lott's name and sending off emails as John Lott, in order to lobby on behalf of gun control measures.[10][11] Peretti's website was entitled "AskJohnLott.org" and sent out emails fraudulently claiming the gun scholar had changed his mind and come to the conclusion that lawsuits against gun companies played an important role in society. When people who had received Peretti's emails questioned whether they were really sent by Lott, Peretti wrote back insisting that he really was Lott.[12] At the time the site was established and the emails were being sent out, Congress was fiercely debating an immunity bill banning reckless or "junk" lawsuits against gun companies. As part of the terms of settlement, Peretti issued a signed apology letter saying that he deeply regretted what was done and apologized.

References[edit]

External links[edit]