Stopping Virtual Blight: Hacking, Malware & Advertising Scams

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The success stories of Web 2.0 are built on social networks and crowd sourcing models that depend on user participation, user generated content and user voting/rating systems. The trust required for these models makes them vulnerable to spammers, scammers, hackers and botnet operators who want to exploit Web 2.0 sites for personal gain.

We are all too familiar with community blight in the physical world: The downward spiral afflicting many of our urban and suburban neighborhoods. Blight is marked by abandoned and foreclosed building, liquor stores and payday lenders on alternating corners, trash strewn lots and front yards, graffiti-covered buildings, broken sidewalks, broken glass and billboards everywhere you look. Prostitutes, drug dealers and scam artist haunt the shadows. Web properties afflicted with Virtual Blight are like neighborhoods suffering from urban blight. Billboards with deceptive advertise, street corner hustlers offer knock off watches, get rich quick schemes, pirated movies and software along with other products that are suspect and often illegal. Online neighborhoods begin as attractive destinations, but often they turn into vacant, desolate ruins. Hotmail and Geocities are two prime examples of Web neighborhoods that have been impacted by virtual blight, destroying billions of dollars worth of brand equity in the process.

Web 2.0 communities need to cooperate in the battle against Spam, Trolls, Malware and Hacking. This panel brings together experts from the front lines of each of these areas to share strategies and tips that can help make a difference and to encourage companies to share information and work together in a neighborhood watch model.

Photo of Jonah  Stein

Jonah Stein

Its the ROI

Jonah Stein is the founder of Its The ROI, a San Francisco Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing company. In 2007, he coined the term Virtual Blight to help web publishers understand the impact of Spam, scammers and other parasitic marketers on the value of web properties.

Jonah has been responsible for planning, designing and executing the web vision of companies ranging from venture funded start ups to Fortune 500 companies. Through two business cycles of venture capitalists pouring money like chum into the feeding frenzy, he has focused on creating functional web businesses with measurable ROI. Its The ROI currently assists companies with all aspects of Search Engine Marketing and Jonah serves on the advisory boards of several start up companies.

Photo of Jonathan Hochman

Jonathan Hochman

Hochman Consultants

Jonathan Hochman is the founder of Hochman Consultants where he has 20 years experience as a business development, marketing and technology consultant. He is also the chairman of "SEMNE ":, an association of professional search marketers in New England. In 1990 Hochman received two degrees in Computer Science from Yale.
Hochman’s credentials include Qualified Google Advertising Professional, Yahoo Search Marketing Ambassador, and Microsoft adExcellence Member. He has spoken at the Web 2.0 Summit, Search Marketing Expo (SMX) and Search Engine Strategies (SES) conferences. He writes for Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Standard, and Internet Evolution.

David Dagon

Photo of Steve Huffman

Steve Huffman


Steve Huffman co-founded the social news site in 2005 with
his college roommate. has grown into the largest social
news site and one of the largest communities on the Internet. In 2010,
he co-founded Hipmunk, a travel meta-search site trying to take the
agony out of searching for plane tickets online. As lead engineer at
both these companies, he’s had many technologies adventures and hopes
to share his experiences.

  • 3Tera, Inc
  • Ascentium
  • Awareness
  • HiveLive, Inc.
  • ImageSpan
  • Jive Software
  • Juniper Networks
  • Kapow Technologies
  • Keynote Systems
  • LithiumTechnologies
  • Nokia
  • nomee
  • Qtask
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • Remy
  • TamTamy
  • Vignette
  • Yola (fka SynthaSite)
  • Znak
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • EffectiveUI
  • Germany Trade & Invest
  • NeuStar
  • ONEsite

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