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Digital Hollywood Events at CES
Tuesday, January 8th
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Session C – DH7
Personalized Media Platforms – Widgets, User Generated Media, Personalized News, Blogs & PodCasts
Within the world of the Broadband, Social Networks, TV, the Set-Top, Mobile and PVR experience, searching for content, making accessible the content and at the same time, offering an advertising and marketing experience is our challenge. Everything from blogging and Podcasting to Interactive TV is altering the user experience completely. The industry is finding a ready audience with an ever growing demand for better content and a better and a completely personalized experience. With the massive amount of content and technology being thrown at the consumer, navigating through that experience is not only difficult, it can be off-putting. We have entered the world of integrated user experience – the post-TiVo generation of consumers and viewers who are watching and listening to new forms of content on new platforms of technology.
Rhonda Lowry, Vice President - Emerging Technologies, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Chris Fralic, Partner, First Round Capital
Michael Jones, CEO, Userplane and VP, AOL
Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix
Warren Tomlin, Chief Creative Officer, Fuel Industries
Steve Rosenbaum, CEO,
Ian C. Ballon, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Moderator

Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix: Chris came to Topix from Spoke Software, a business social networking company, where he was a co-founder and VP of marketing. Before Spoke, Chris was a Director of Marketing at AOL/Netscape for AOL Music, Netscape Search and Directory Products. Chris was a co-founder and VP of Marketing at NewHoo, and led the sale of the company to Netscape. After the acquisition, NewHoo was relaunched as the Open Directory Project at Netscape and became the world's largest human edited directory of the web, and is still used by companies like Google, Alexa and AOL. Previous to NewHoo, Chris held a variety of sales, marketing and management positions at Sun Microsystems. Chris graduated from the University of California at San Diego with degrees in Computer Science and Economics, where he was awarded the Michael J. Addison award for his senior thesis about the online information industry.

RHONDA LOWRY is vice president, emerging technologies Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s (TBS, Inc.) strategy and operations group. In this role, Lowry provides thought leadership and strategic guidance toward emerging digital and enabling media technologies and trends in virtual worlds, gaming, social collaboration and computing, and personal media. Lowry is based in Atlanta and reports to Jim McCaffrey, executive vice president, operations and strategy, TBS, Inc. Previously, Lowry was vice president, program management for the Internet technologies division of TBS, Inc., leading the technical program and project management teams for programs across a wide portfolio, including CNN digital news production systems; new broadband products including CNN Podcasting, CNN Pipeline and GameTap; as well as numerous Web systems and services for the CNN, NASCAR, Turner Entertainment and Sports Illustrated Web properties. Lowry has over 15 years of systems development experience and leadership roles at NASA, Rockwell International, and Lockheed. Lowry began her career at NASA, where she was a software developer and systems integrator for a multi-planetary detection system that eventually became part of the Kepler Mission. Lowry was chief engineer and department manager at Rockwell, where she was twice awarded the President’s Award for professional achievement. She spearheaded a revolutionary modeling and simulation program for Lockheed on the F-22 program for which she was awarded Lockheed’s highest award for leadership, the NOVA Award. Lowry earned a bachelor of science degree with honors in physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in physics from Washington University. She has a certification in systems engineering from UCLA and is a member of ACM, INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering), WICT, and is a Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Fellow. Lowry was the recipient of WICT Atlanta’s 2006 Catalyst Award for Woman in Technology and was listed on Cable World’s Top 50 Women in Cable in 2006.

MICHAEL JONES, CEO of Userplane and VP, AOL: Michael Jones, CEO of Userplane and Vice President of AOL, oversees Userplane's business strategy, sales and operations. As a founder and CEO of Userplane, Jones' business leadership brought the company from startup to acquisition by AOL in August 2006. As a Vice President of AOL, he now focuses on the growth of AOL's syndicated application strategy, under the Userplane brand. This includes coordination with a variety of AOL subsidiaries and internal technologies to pioneer distribution to millions of web publishers as well as AOL's strategic positioning as a platform provider to the online community sector. Userplane now supports more than 50 million users in some 15 countries across 150,000 different web publishers, including top tier web properties like,, Red Bull, and Honda. Userplane has been recognized as a pioneer in the Web 2.0 movement, one of the inventors of the open widget distribution model, and among the largest users of Macromedia Flash and Flash Media Server as core, web-application technologies. In addition, Userplane has provided core infrastructure to MySpace since its launch, encompassing communication technologies and, for the first nine months of the MySpace Music, its music playback system. A serial entrepreneur, Jones founded Elixir Magazine in 1994, a nationally distributed pop-culture music and entertainment magazine. Subsequently Jones founded his first digital production studio PBJ Digital in 1996, during his junior year at the University of Oregon, which he sold in 2000 after growing the company to profitability. He has since launched numerous businesses and participates in fund raising, angel investing and as an advisory board member in various online startups. Jones frequently represents AOL and Userplane at conferences and in publications. He was the keynote speaker at the 2007 Online Dating and Social Networking conference, 2003 OFFF conference in Barcelona Spain, a featured presenter at Flash Forward 2003, BlogON 2004, iDate Miami 2004, SITRAS 2004, iDate Nice 2004, iDate Miami 2005, iDate Hong Kong 2005, iDate Miami 2005 and Digital Hollywood 2006. He has also been published in numerous Internet journals, including iMediaConnection. Jones earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Marketing from the University of Oregon.

Chris Fralic joined First Round Capital in 2006. Chris was most recently VP of Business Development at, which was acquired by Yahoo! in December 2005, focusing on distribution partnerships to integrate across a broad set of browsers, tools and publishing partners. Chris previously spent 6 years at eBay, and his last position there was a combination ad sales and business development role helping entertainment companies such as Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Music Group, Apple and Netflix reach and connect with eBay users. Chris previously led the Entertainment categories, managing the transaction, platform and supply/demand aspects of the books, movies and music marketplaces on eBay in the United States. Chris had been the VP of Business Development at, which was acquired by eBay in June 2000. Chris was one of the early employees of, where he helped develop many parts of the business including fund raising, content licensing, the affiliate program, supply and distribution partnerships, and advertising and sponsorships sales. Chris has over 20 years of technology industry experience, including significant Internet sales and business development roles since 1996. He was Vice President of Business Development at Nextron Communications, a Safeguard Scientifics funded startup focusing on web site development technology and services. He was Director of Business Development for the Enterprise division of America Online, which provided secure remote access and virtual private network services to businesses.

Warren Tomlin, Chief Creative Officer, Fuel Industries: As Chief Creative Officer, Warren Tomlin leads Fuel’s client strategy and creative execution. In this role, his responsibility is the development of the senior creative team, to ensure that Fuel continues to provide the most leading advanced online entertainment backed by solid strategy and insights. Prior to joining Fuel, Warren lead eBusiness Strategy and Product Development for Canada Post Corporation, a C$6.5-billion Crown Corporation. In that role, Warren defined and led many of Canada Post’s innovations including the strategic definition and delivery of to become the number-one directory Web site in Canada. An innovative and creative web strategist, Warren has intimate knowledge of interactive marketing topics including online strategy, social media and mobile marketing. Warren has developed Internet products and marketing programs with industry giants such as Hasbro, Earthlink, General Mills, and Sony Music as Director of Internet Marketing at a Nortel Networks subsidiary (NetActive). Most notable was a marketing program with Disney Interactive and General Mills that bundled 5.5-million Toy Story 2 CDs to Cheerios boxes. This breakthrough deal emboldened these brands and marketers to pursue even more innovative, interactive-bridge marketing programs. Energetic and creative with varied interactive marketing experience, Warren is an accomplished presenter and speaks on a variety of new media marketing topics. Warren holds a Masters of Business Administration from Queen’s University at Kingston.

Steve Rosenbaum, CEO and Founder, Steve Rosenbaum is acknowledged as one of the early innovators in User-Generated Video. In 1995 he created UNfiltered, a program that put the very first user-generated video on MTV. lets sites quickly add a robust video solution to their existing site by providing video discovery from the web’s most popular video services.

Ian C. Ballon, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP: Ian Ballon represents technology, media and entertainment companies in complex litigation and counseling relating to copyright, trademark, trade secret, database and computer and Internet law issues. Mr. Ballon, who splits his time between the firm's Palo Alto and Los Angeles offices, is the author of the three-volume legal treatise, "E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms" (LegalWorks/ West Publishing 2001 & 2005 Supp., which has been cited in state and federal court opinions. He also serves as Executive Director of Stanford University Law School's Center for E-Commerce . In addition, Mr. Ballon is an Advisor to the American Law Institute's International Intellectual Property Jurisdiction Project, a Council Member of the American Bar Association's Section of Science and Technology, and a member of the GRAMMY® Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative Advisory Committee. Mr. Ballon frequently speaks and writes about intellectual property and Internet law and is regularly quoted on these subjects in general-circulation and industry publications. He serves on the editorial boards of The Cyberspace Lawyer, The Journal of Internet Law, Privacy and Information Law Report, E-Commerce Law Report and Intellectual Property Lawcast. In 1999, he was named one of the top 20 California lawyers under age 40 by California Law Business, and in February 2001 was listed as one of 16 top new-media lawyers in the United States by the Daily Journal's CyberEsq. magazine. He was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California by California Law Business in 2001, as one of the top 25 copyright, trademark and patent lawyers in California by the Daily Journal in 2003, and has continued for several years (including 2005) to hold a position as a top intellectual property litigation lawyer in the annually released Northern California Super Lawyers published by Law & Politics and San Francisco Magazine edition. Mr. Ballon is also listed in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of intellectual property and information technology, and as one of the world's leading lawyers in the 2005 Technology, Media and Telecommunications Expert Guide.