I am not a politician.
I am a local businessman and digital entrepreneur, born February 7, 1973 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
I graduated Lexington’s Lafayette High School in 1991 and Decorah, Iowa’s Luther College in 1995 with a degree in computer science. In 2012, I graduated from the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA program, receiving a degree from both Haas School of Business and Columbia Business School.
Upon graduating from Luther College, I was hired at the Department of Personnel (now the Personnel Cabinet) to repair an employee insurance tracking system that had managed to corrupt over 60 percent of all records in its database. I managed to stabilize it after nine months, during which I started to feel the entrepreneurial itch.
In 1996, I founded Digital Crescent, Inc, Frankfort’s first dial-up Internet service provider. We later expanded to Lawrenceburg, Owenton, Shelbyville, Louisville, Versailles, and Lexington. This was my first attempt at starting a business, and it overlapped the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s. Digital Crescent lasted six years. I made many beginner mistakes, and am grateful for what I learned from them. It was a good run.
In 1999, I founded Kentucky’s own Fark.com, one of the world’s most popular news-aggregation communities. If you’re not familiar with Fark, it’s basically what happens when the Daily Show runs into the Drudge Report. I am still the CEO and sole owner, which is unusual for a digital media startup.
Fark has evolved from being a repository of offbeat news to becoming a watchdog and thought leader for journalism and media. Currently, Fark is the sixth largest driver of social media traffic on the Web, right behind Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Pinterest.
Fark has permeated pop culture to the point where, among other things, it has been its own category on Jeopardy — twice. Fark is a daily source of stories for major radio shows, late-night talk shows, and comedy news shows in the United States. Yes, all of them.
In 2006, I wrote It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News, a book about the contemporary and future state of mainstream media — a book that has since become frighteningly prescient. It is consistently quoted by media and experts, nearly a decade after it was published.
I have appeared on every major news outlet and have given over a thousand radio interviews to date.
I am an advocate for digital entrepreneurship at the University of Kentucky, serving on UK’s iNet board (Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking). I also serve on Lexington’s Economic Development Investment Board, where I am learning much about the motivations of those who give and receive government job incentives. I have spoken at numerous conferences and symposiums worldwide, including a TED talk in 2012 on the issue of patent trolls.
Recently, I collaborated on a craft beer release with my friends Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company and Wil Wheaton. Our efforts produced Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout, an imperial stout that was ranked as one of the top 20 new beers of 2013. Stone re-released a second batch in 2014, this time with Aisha Tyler as a collaborator. We plan to release a 2015 batch in both the United States and Europe when Stone opens its European brewing operations in Berlin.
When I’m not working, my wife Heather and I raise our three children, who are neither shy nor quiet, which I hear is somewhat normal. I am an avid soccer player (if you happen to have a team and are looking for a player, let me know). I also really like to cook.