Useless Knowledge was the brainchild of Joe Edelman, an award-winning commercial photographer based in Philadelphia. He created the original website in 1998 after being inspired by a project at his son’s school. Soon after launching, UselessKnowledge.com was hugely successful, with over 850,000 unique monthly visitors and 6 million page views.
In 2002, Joe Edelman answered the questions you’ve never thought to ask in a book called Useless Knowledge that St. Martin’s Press published. That same year, Useless Knowledge was acquired by the Cool Quiz Network run by Ed and Kim Keidat. The Cool Quiz Network comprised 35 entertainment websites for teens and young adults specializing in trivia, quizzes, polls, jokes, and other fun diversions. Useless Knowledge was the perfect acquisition for the fast-growing network that attracted over 1.2 million unique users and 60 million page views monthly.
Cool Quiz and Useless Knowledge were eventually sold to Intermix Media Inc. The company owned and operated over 30 websites, including MySpace. Richard Rosenblatt, the CEO of Intermix Media, negotiated the sale of MySpace and the company’s other websites for $580 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on July 20, 2005, and served as a consultant to Fox for six months and is said to have profited $23 million from the deal.
Richard Rosenblatt co-founded Demand Media with Shawn Colo in May 2006 and retook control of the Cool Quiz assets, including Useless Knowledge. Demand Media acquired Byron Reese’s how-to website, ExpertVillage.com of Austin, TX, for about $20 million. Reese became the company’s chief innovation officer and developed the company’s algorithm to identify topics with high advertising potential.
Not long after the company went public in January 2011, its market capitalization soared to more than $2 billion, sending the then-5-year-old firm’s value briefly past that of the New York Times Co. Changes in Google’s search algorithms have twice hammered the young company in recent years, leaving its few brands that managed to get significant marketplace traction, including eHow.com and Livestrong, hemorrhaging traffic. The company changed its name to Leaf Group in 2016 after Richard Rosenblatt left the company.
In October 2018, a fortuitous encounter with the influential Gary Vaynerchuk ignited a spark of inspiration within Eddie Rohwedder. Persuaded by Vaynerchuk’s unwavering conviction, Eddie Rohwedder, a trailblazing reality television executive producer celebrated for his acclaimed works such as “Fast N’ Loud” and “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe,” took the plunge into negotiating the acquisition of the coveted Useless Knowledge franchise. Driven by his insatiable curiosity and unwavering passion for storytelling, Eddie Rohwedder embraced the immense potential and exponential growth of the Useless Knowledge brand.
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