Gaia Online May 5, 2008

” Extending Virtual Worlds:  Gaia Online”

Gaia Online is an online hangout and virtual world that has been busy over the past year bridging the connections between the “virtual” and the “real” world in very direct ways.

Gaia’s own internal market of rare and exclusive virtual items creates a thriving economy which operating as a backdrop for this youth-oriented world.  Gaia has attracted brand partnerships as diverse as Sony, Toyota, and World Wrestling Entertainment.  Recently they have added a cinema where your avatar can watch Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures films, and you can even buy prepaid cards redeemable for virtual items at your local Target store.

This year they have announced a plan to integrate an MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) into the mix, and in case you were wondering, yes, they also have a Bebo and Facebook apps. The world has a former Chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors on its economic board and is funded by Benchmark, Redpoint, and DAG Ventures.

We are pleased to have Joe Hyrkin, VP of of Sales & Business Development to present a rare look at this booming phenomenon. Come learn how this virtual world of 5 million users engages and extends the virtual experience into so many online and offline destinations.



Joe Hyrkin has more than 15 years of experience in senior sales and business development management both domestically and internationally. He has focused his career on creating and launching new businesses around the world, and has been instrumental in pioneering creative revenue opportunities in the community Web space.  At Gaia, Joe oversees all revenue including virtual goods, advertising and merchandize as well as all Business Development efforts including strategic partnerships, and distribution. He has pioneered business models that create some of the best brand and consumer engagement on the web.

Prior to Gaia Online, Joe headed up the business side of Multimedia Search at Yahoo!, where he also served as head of Business Development and Sales for Flickr.  Before his time at Yahoo, Joe served as Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Asia Pacific Operations at publicly listed company, Virage Inc, a provider of video search and publishing services and software. While at Virage, Joe and his team pioneered some of the first business relationships in the broadband entertainment space, working with some of the world’s leading media companies. Prior to Virage, he headed sales for, the top Chinese language web portal, and before that Joe ran The Economist Group’s business in China for 4.5 years establishing the company’s presence in the country and overseeing offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM May 5, 2008
Pillsbury Winthrop
2475 Hanover St.
Palo Alto,, CA

6:30 PM Registration and Networking
7:00 PM -8:40 PM Presentations

$15 at the door for non-SDForum members
No charge for SDForum members
No registration required