Q&A: The New Search Insurgent

Moderated by:
Danny Sullivan (Search Engine Land)
Doug Leeds (Ask.com), Bob Rosenschein (Answers.com), Charlie Cheever (Quora), Damon Horowitz (Google)
Location: Pacific Heights Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

Hosted / underwritten by Ask.com

This Opening Luncheon is now at capacity.

Search is no longer just defined by keyword queries, algorithms and blue links. Instead, a user’s social graph, location, reputation and expertise are all positioned to usurp the page rank as the barometer of quality. In the midst of this, new Q&A services change the game even more, extending search’s promise beyond relying on published data to routing questions to real people in real time.

As Google increasingly incorporates social features, Facebook circles in on search territory, and all of the above scramble to define, own or enable the mobile search experience, the search throne is once again up for grabs.

This panel will look at the rise of Q&A services as the intersection between three major points of control: social, search and mobile. Key players across the burgeoning Q&A category will come together to address the big changes underway in search, the challenges, the business models and who is in it to win.

Photo of Danny Sullivan

Danny Sullivan

Search Engine Land

Widely considered a leading “search engine guru,” Danny Sullivan has been helping webmasters, marketers and everyday web users understand how search engines work for over a decade.

Danny’s expertise about search engines is often sought by the media, and he has been quoted in places like The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The New Yorker and Newsweek and ABC’s Nightline.

Danny began covering search engines in late 1995, when he undertook a study of how they indexed web pages. The results were published online as “A Webmaster’s Guide To Search Engines,” a pioneering effort to answer the many questions site designers and Internet publicists had about search engines.

Danny currently heads up Search Engine Land as editor-in-chief, which covers all aspects of search marketing and search engine news. Danny also serves as Third Door Media’s chief content officer, which owns Search Engine Land and the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. Danny also maintains a personal blog called Daggle and microblogs on Twitter: @dannysullivan.

Photo of Doug Leeds

Doug Leeds


As President, Ask.com-U.S., Leeds oversees strategy, product development, and technology for Ask.com in the U.S. Previously, Leeds was Chief Operating Officer, Ask Network.

Before becoming COO, Leeds was President, Dictionary.com. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing all strategy and operations for Dictionary.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ask.com (acquired July 2008). Prior to his role at Dictionary.com, Leeds served as the Chief Strategy officer for Ask.com. Before joining Ask.com, Leeds spent almost five years at Yahoo! (including Overture Services), most recently as vice president, Global Product Justice, where he led the development of reputational products and services as well as oversaw product policy and legal compliance for all of Yahoo!’s products and services worldwide. Earlier in his career, Leeds held senior positions at mobile ISP OmniSky and mobile carrier Vodafone, and founded BootSpace, an advertising software start-up. Leeds received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Photo of Bob Rosenschein

Bob Rosenschein


Bob Rosenschein is CEO of Answers.com (NASDAQ:ANSW), a U.S. top 20 website [comScore 9/30/10], which he founded in 1999.

Previously, he founded and ran Accent Software, a producer of multilingual software tools, which produced the first multilingual word processor for Windows and also consulted to Microsoft to develop right-to-left Hebrew and Arabic versions of Windows.

Previously, he worked for Data General, American Management Systems and the World Bank.

Mr. Rosenschein graduated with a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976, received the Prime Minister of Israel’s Award for Software Achievement in 1997, and was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Award Finalist in the Metropolitan New York region.

Photo of Charlie Cheever

Charlie Cheever


Charlie Cheever is one of the founders of Quora. Previously, he worked at Facebook where he led Facebook Connect and Facebook Platform and also worked at Amazon.com. He graduated from Harvard University with an A. B. in Computer Science.

Photo of Damon Horowitz

Damon Horowitz


Dr. Damon Horowitz is a leading thinker at the intersection of technology and the humanities.

Horowitz recently joined Google as a Director of Engineering, leading several initiatives at the intersection of social and search. He came to Google from Aardvark, the popular social search engine, where he was co-founder and CTO, overseeing product development and research strategy. Prior to Aardvark, Horowitz built several companies around applications of intelligent language processing. He co-founded Perspecta (acquired by Excite), was lead architect for Novation Biosciences (acquired by Agilent), and co-founded NewsDB (now Daylife).

Horowitz teaches courses in philosophy, cognitive science, and computer science at many institutions, including Stanford, NYU, University of Pennsylvania, and San Quentin. He has spoken at conferences ranging from TED to AAAI to Web2.0, and his work has been featured in media ranging from the New York Times to Discovery Channel to TechCrunch. Horowitz was recently named one of the AdAge “Creativity 50” most inspiring thinkers and innovators of 2010.

Horowitz earned his B.A. from Columbia, M.S. from the MIT Media Lab, and Ph.D. from Stanford.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Sara Nerius
Sara Nerius
11/08/2010 7:20am PST

If anyone has questions about whether they are on the reservation list, please contact me directly at saran@oreilly.com and I would be happy to assist you!

Matthew Koll
11/07/2010 9:19am PST

Sara—same here. I registered for this event last week but haven’t gotten a confirmation.

Picture of Ashraf Tawakkol
Ashraf Tawakkol
11/05/2010 7:29pm PDT

Sara, I registered for this event last week. Was I supposed to get any confirmation Back?? I would really appreciate it if you can confirm my registration.

Picture of Sara Nerius
Sara Nerius
11/05/2010 6:22am PDT

Hi Craig – Yes, you are on the list as confirmed. :)

Picture of Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson
11/05/2010 5:22am PDT


I registered for this event last week. Can you confirm whether I am in or not pls? Thx

Picture of Sara Nerius
Sara Nerius
11/04/2010 6:25am PDT

Hi Andy, Kara and Peter. Per our communications earlier, you have all been registered for the luncheon on Monday. We will see you there!

Picture of Andy Evans
Andy Evans
11/03/2010 8:35pm PDT

I would like to join too? How do we ensure “ADVANCE RESERVATIONS” its not clear!?

Picture of Kara Udziela
Kara Udziela
11/01/2010 8:14am PDT

Kelly Thompson and I from iStockphoto would very much like to attend.

Picture of Peter Vojtas
Peter Vojtas
10/21/2010 4:35pm PDT

I would like to join you, Peter

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