Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits Lolcats: I Can Has Cheezy Laughs and Make Money Online

On my recent visit to Seattle, the highlight for BoomTown was a visit I made to see Ben Huh, the CEO of Pet Holdings.

Huh got a lot of attention when he bought icanhascheezburger.com in late 2007. The site, known as Lolcats, was well known for odd pictures of cats with even odder and often misspelled captions.


(The above image is an example of a new one, which kind of describes my relationship with various Web execs.)

Since then, Huh has expanded to a range of other time-wasting–but awfully fun–sites, such as: Loldogs (ihasahotdog.com), Lol Celebs (roflrazzi.com), Look-Alikes (totallylookslike.com), Lol News (punditkitchen.com), Graph Jam (graphjam.com), Nostalgic Win (onceuponawin.com), Fail Blog (failblog.org) and Engrish (engrishfunny.com).

His latest innovation is, naturally, Emails From Crazy People, which just launched. (See the letter below, which is achingly familiar to anyone with kids; click on it to make it larger):


All this wackiness is actually impressively profitable for Huh and his small staff of 20, earning several million via text and display advertising, leveraging the 170 million page views per month. Pet Holdings has also done books and is considering possible television shows.

Huh said Lolcats and Fail Blog do the best, in terms of revenue, although he has high hopes for Crazy Email.

Here’s my video with Huh, including a tour of its Seattle digs, as well as several examples from the sites (click on the images to make them larger):



Fail Blog:


Lol Celebs:


Graph Jam:




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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik