The People behind the Famous URLs: 4 More Full Names worth Knowing


You visit the sites regularly, but how well do you know the people they're named after? Here's some basic bio information on four more of the biggies. (The original 4 from last week, including Craigslist and The Drudge Report) can be found here.

5. Timothy McSweeney URL - Hearsay "“ According to an interview he did in Flak Magazine, McSweeney founder and author Dave Eggers said: "[My family] would always get letters from someone named Timothy McSweeney ... He claimed to be my mother's long-lost brother...[Letters] would always include flight plans, like he was planning on coming to visit. I don't know if he's real or not. My relatives deny it, but who knows?" Not hearsay - McSweeney was Eggers's mother's maiden name Incipient rumblings "“ Timothy McSweeney started out as a literary journal, then Eggers & co. added a book publishing arm, the Web site, a store, etc. Riding the coattails "“ The band, They Might Be Giants, thought so highly of Timothy, they wrote this amusing ditty: Up, Up and Away "“ Since their humble Bay-area beginnings in the late 90s, the McSweeneys empire has spread like kudzu. The Web site is now updated daily, ranked nationally in the top 15,000 sites (amazing for a literary Web site), and has more than 3,000 published pieces in its online archive.

6. Eric Bauman URL - Born "“ 1980, Rochester, New York Study this! "“ Bauman is a Monroe Community College dropout (Rochester, NY) Spinning straw into gold "“ mining humor off the Internet was a high school hobby for Bauman, something he started doing from the bedroom of the house he grew up in. All in the family "“ the site used to be co-owned by Eric's secretary and father, Neil. Eric's then-girlfriend, Rinaudo, helped pick content for the site. Gorilla is the gist "“ To get the word out about his site, Bauman spammed newsgroups. He also snuck into the computer lab of his college and set all the PC's homepages to his site. Once, he struck an ad deal with eBay, then informed visitors to his site that they could bid on his sports car back on eBay. Total BS because there was no car, but the clickthroughs turned into revenue. Up, up and away "“ Launched in 1998, the site was purchased in 2008 by HandHeld Entertainment for $15 million, plus $2.5 million in Handheld stock and up to $52.5 million in cash and stock over 3 years.

7. Markos Moulitsas URL - Born - September 11, 1971, Chicago, IL Grew up in - El Salvador (that's where his mom is from - his dad is Greek) A-ha moment "“ After a stint in the U.S. Army that almost landed him in the middle of the Gulf War, he defected from his Republican upbringing and became a Dem. With honors "“ Attended Northern Illinois University and managed the school's newspaper, the Northern Star Up, up and away "“ Markos founded Kos in 2002 and garnered more than one million hits in his first year. Today the site clocks in between 14 and 24 million visits per month. When in Rome "“ Those who regularly tune in for their daily Kos are known, of course, as Kossacks.

8. Arianna Huffington URL - Born - Arianna Stassinopoulos, on July 15, 1950, Athens, Greece Get thee to London "“ Schooled at Cambridge University (was president of the Cambridge Union Society) Chariots of lyres "“ Just out of school, Huffington co-penned the lyrics to an album called Odes, produced and recorded by Vangelis. Back to Bach "“ In her youth, she was once a panelist on the British gameshow, Face the Music, a quiz show about classical music. Right on "“ She married millionaire Michael Huffington in 1986 and later helped him campaign for his seat in congress. To do this, she courted the religious right, which was easy, seeing as she was then a staunch conservative. Politics as normal? "“ Ran as an independent during the Gray Davis 2003 recall election in CA. When asked to describe the difference between her and The Arnold, she said it's "the hybrid versus the Hummer." We all know how that turned out: Schwarzenegger retooled one of his four Hummers to run on alternative fuels. Up, up and away "“ Launched in May, 2005, the Web site won the 2006 and 2007 Webby Awards for Best Politics Blog. It's now ranked in the top 500, internationally, and has many of the most accomplished people in the world contributing.