Leaving LiveWorld – Time to Stand on My Own

categories: Business

It’s time to go

We just announced to my team and the rest of the company that I am leaving LiveWorld. My last day will be around the middle of January. My boss Peter Friedman and I are parting on good terms after I have worked for him for 13 and a half years here at LiveWorld and 17 and a half years total. It’s time. If you are reading this blog then you probably know that I have been working 2 jobs over the last 4 years. I worked for LiveWorld as the Executive Vice President of Engineering and Operations during the day and then I worked for myself at night on the Amateur Traveler “media empire”. For now it is my intention to focus the 60-80 hour weeks that I have been working just on my own projects.

Peter, Jenna and the team

It has been my honor and privilege to work with a wonderful team of people all these years. Special thanks go to Peter Friedman (CEO) and Jenna Woodul (Chief Community Officer) who I have worked with this entire time.

Over 17 years is a long time to work for someone in any industry and in Silicon Valley it is simply unheard of (Peter tells me if I had worked for him for 2 more years I would have gotten alimony). He has always been supportive of me both at LiveWorld and in my efforts at Amateur Traveler. He knew that my heart was now in the later and has given me a gentle push out of the nest for which I am grateful as I was still trying to get up the courage to leave. I would not have worked for Peter this long if I did not respect his honesty, creativity and dedication and I wish him and the rest of the team the very best.

Jenna has been the heart and soul of a company that really believes in the value of community both for its employees and for its customers. My thanks to all of the many people who have worked alongside me these many years.

The Ride

I was employee number 4 at LiveWorld and helped steer the company from 4 employees to 256 (by my count) before the dot com bubble burst back down to 15 and then back up to 50-80 employees more recently. It has been a hell of a ride and one of the reasons I have stayed so long is that it felt like 2-3 different companies as we reinvented ourselves from an ad-supported community site (Talk City) to an online event company to a white label social network supplier and online agency. LiveWorld still has some tricks up its sleeve as some of our new products like facebook communities and credit card LiveBar show. I hate to get off before this ride is over but I am excited about my new journey as well.

Customers and Former Customers

I put together a list of some of the brands I have had a chance to work with or work alongside. I am sure I left some off, but wow! My thanks to all of the customers who have made my time at LiveWorld so much more interesting. My favorite part of my time at LiveWorld has been helping solve customer problems. I plan to continue to help customers like these as a social media and new media consultant.

My last day at LiveWorld will be in the middle of January.


by Chris Christensen

I am the creator of AmateurTraveler.com, a popular travel blog / podcast. I am also a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast, The Bible Study Podcast and the Passport Marketing and PR Podcast. I am the owner of BloggerBridge.com and a software consultant.

21 Responses to “Leaving LiveWorld – Time to Stand on My Own”

James W Mitchell


I am glad you find yourself in a position to make such a decision and wish you the best of luck (I believe you have the knowledge and skill part covered). I am a big fan of your “media empire” and look forward to be a part of whatever is to come.



As a long time listener to Amateur Traveler, I want to wish you well. Glad you can follow your dreams.

Trisha Miller


Wow – an impressive history! 17 years in any field is long enough to see major changes, but in technology the changes can come so fast it’s dizzying. It will no doubt be a big adjustment come January. It’s a loss for LiveWorld, but I’m excited for you and the opportunities that you’ll now be able to pursue….You go boy!

Jenna Woodul


Chris, You’re doing exactly what you should be doing, what you’ve prepared to do, and you’re leaving us with your best. Thanks for all these good years. Love you.

Amy Hodge


Best of luck to you. I quit my job last year and it was extremely scary, but exciting at the same time. Have fun!!

Valerie Sprague


Chris, I’lll miss working you very much, but I’m extremely excited for you at the same time. 🙂

Valerie Sprague


Chris, I’ll miss working with you very much, but I’m extremely excited for you at the same time.

And I had to submit this twice, since I was so verklempt I mistyped the first comment. 🙂

Best of luck!

Mike P


Best of luck, not that you need it. Must feel great to follow your passion!




Congrats on this new phase of your life Chris!! You work very hard and I think it shows in all that you do. I wish u the best of luck in your new adventures!!



Wow, I am a long time amateur traveler listener. I really wish you the best. I feel the same. After 28 years with a very large computer company, it would be hard to leave. I am glad you have built such a large “media empire” and this will support you doing what you really love. All the best to someone who self describes as “eternally shy”.



Thanks. Roger I usually describe myself as “functionally shy”… I am only temporary. 🙂



Good luck on your new endeavors! It’s exciting to hear that you’re pursuing your passions. I’m sure LiveWorld will miss you, but I’m also sure you’ll continue to remain a part of our (their?) lives.

Dave Peterson


Congratulations, Chris! I love to hear about people moving into the position of working fully for themselves in the new media/social media sector. Wishing you all the best!

Claire Doyle Ragin


WOW, I can’t believe it’s been so long! Peter and Jenna, et. al. have been very fortunate to have you on the team all this time. I have no doubt you will be have a huge success with Amateur Traveler. Best of luck to you!

Gerry Borden



Congratulations and best wishes. Leaving a known quantity and comfort area is difficult and yet exhilerating. The Amateur Traveler has been a mainstay of my daily commute and I know that delving more deeply into your passion will bring you much joy. All the best,

Gerry (Sablehrt)
Parks Canada / Barbershop Harmony Society / Sing Canada Harmony Scholarship Fund



It’s Hotel LiveWorld Chris…you can check out but you can never leave! You’ll always be a part of the “family” and hopefully you will never be a stranger. It’s be a real privilege working with you these past however many years. It’s been more of a privilege knowing you as a person. I hope we will continue to see each other even though it won’t be at the offices anymore once you’re gone.

Erik Smith


Congrats Chris. You are a class act and I am glad to see you will be able to work on your own projects now. It’s a pleasure to be a listener and and honor to have been a guest. God Bless!

Cousin Mark


Good luck on your new adventure. Maybe you will now have time to come to God’s country (Wisconsin) and enjoy some good cheese and beer. God be with you and Joan.

Jake Berzon


Chris, good luck on your new beginning. I know Peter will have a difficult time replacing you. I am glad that he has the experience to deal with such challenges. This may be the end of a long road for you at LiveWorld, but hopefully not for the company.

Jake Berzon


Chris, I couldn’t resist and wrote this little historical account of LiveWorld, Inc. on my blog: http://stockvalues.org/LiveWorld-TalkCity . Hope it brings back some good memories of your long time with the company – enjoy!

Tribute to Chris Christensen of Amateur Traveler | LiveWorld SocialVoice Blog


[…] Tuesday afternoon, during a LiveWorld staff meeting, we learned that Chris plans to take his podcasting efforts to the next level. He’ll be leaving his full-time LiveWorld position next month to concentrate almost exclusively on his podcasting and related travel projects. He’ll be busy– I just love this–expanding his “media empire.” […]

Tags: ,