Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Web Video Is Easy! Just Ask CollegeHumor’s Ricky Van Veen and Vice Media’s Shane Smith at Dive Into Media 2013.

If you’re in the entertainment business, you can spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to make the Web — and Web video — work.

Or you can save yourself a lot of hassle and ask two guys who are already making pretty good progress.

That would be CollegeHumor’s Ricky Van Veen and Vice Media’s Shane Smith. And you can find them both at our Dive into Media conference next year.

To refresh your memory: Dive Into Media is our one-night-plus-one-day tour of the media landscape, and the way technology is changing that world day by day. That means unscripted, unrehearsed conversations with an all-star cast of moguls who hold very different perspectives. They’re all joining us Feb. 11 and 12 at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, just south of Los Angeles.

Here’s who we’ve told you about so far: Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, Hearst Magazines President David Carey, Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora, Facebook partnership vice president Dan Rose, HBO co-president Eric Kessler and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino.

And here are two more — both of whom have done very well on the Web and are now trying to figure out how to apply those lessons to more traditional outlets:

Ricky Van Veen co-founded CollegeHumor in 1999, when he and his buddies were actually in college. Seven years later, the site had evolved from a frat-tastic side project into an ambitious, successful content creation machine, and Barry Diller bought it for his IAC conglomerate. Now Van Veen is still working for Diller, but he’s moved from the Web to older media: He’s making TV shows like “Chopped” via IAC’s Notional production company, and next year he’ll release “Coffee Town,” a full-length feature film.

Shane Smith and his Vice Media co-founders started out publishing a raucous, no-holds-barred magazine back in the ’90s, and fumbled their way into the Internet during the first Web boom. Now they seem to have it figured out: They’re on track to generate $200 million this year, while making eye-popping videos — here’s a tour guide for Kabul — backed by blue-chip advertisers like Intel. Next up: An HBO series, and lots of attention from guys who run really big media empires.

Just like our flagship D: All Things Digital conference, D: Dive into Media will give you rare access to deep, smart talks with the people who matter. And we’ll be announcing more of them in the weeks to come. For now, you can find registration information here.


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle