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PALS presents Internet humor king

February 21, 2011 12:00AM

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Ben Huh

Ben Huh wasn't the first person to post funny pet pictures on the Internet, but he is the first to turn those quirky photos with funny captions into big business.

Huh, the 33-year-old founder of an Internet blog empire devoted to this unique form of humor, will visit Pittsburg State University on Wednesday, Feb. 23, as part of PSU's Performing Arts and Lecture Series. Huh will speak at 7 p.m. in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center. Admission is free.

In 2007, Huh stumbled upon an obscure Web site created by two bloggers who put together photos of cats and tongue-in-cheek captions. Recognizing the potential of the site, which was named "I Can Has Cheezburger," Huh used his savings and money from investors to purchase it.

That site became the foundation of a Web empire, the Cheezburger Network, that includes more than 50 separate sites. The content of each is different, yet similar in that it is generated from submissions from readers. The network revenues are derived from advertising as well as t-shirts, books, merchandise and licensing fees.

Media observers say one of the keys to the success of the Cheezburger Network is the way the company keeps its pulse on the topical and changing humor of the marketplace. Employees with the company sift through the tens of thousands of submissions they receive each day to determine what is funny enough to post and in which categories the submissions seem to fit.

For information, call the PSU Campus Activities Center at 620-235-4795. The Cheezburger Network can be found at cheezburger.com.

©2011 Pittsburg State University