Friday, March 28, 2008

2 New Features

Although it might seem impossible, things just got even MORE exciting here at Taltopia. We would like to officially announce the release of two new subtle, yet very cool "refinements" to the site. Many of you have seen the cool way that pictures expand when you click on them; if you don't know what I am talking about, load the following link and then click on the picture: http://www.taltopia.com/view/14678&s=browse&c=newmedia&cur=85/Macro.

...well, now you can do the same with every single profile picture on the site! To see an example, click on my profile picture here: http://www.taltopia.com/allen

NOTE: If you would like your profile picture to expand to a larger size, you will need to re-upload your profile picture by logging in and visiting your "Edit Profile" page here: http://www.taltopia.com/members/editprofile.aspx

Another great feature that we have released this week is the "Previous/Next" feature on all media pages. You will notice that this helps you browse more easily on the site, making your visit to Taltopia a bit more enjoyable (and time-consuming).

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Big News...

So we've dawned on a new chapter of our lives as the co-founders of Taltopia. You might have heard the rumors circling around your office water coolers, or should we say our office water cooler.

That's right taltopia-ites, don't let your eyes deceive you, I just said our office water cooler. Unknown to many, for the past year and a half, Allen and I have been working out of the following:

1) Starbucks
2) Allen's House

Pretty much in that order. Our running joke was that we had 6,000 offices all over the world. Let's just say we're happy that joke went out of style...really happy.

So, here are some pictures of the Talopia office with more to come as things develop. But before the break I just wanted to share some thoughts...I'm sure many of you have read these great tips on how to save money as a startup. Just to address a few of his points based on our experience:

For #2 and #10: Lots of people have their own computers. Especially if you are an online company. Although second monitors are great and buying people computers who work from home seems practical, you can just ask that people bring their own computers. I know this one's really cheap. But everyone here has their own computer and has no problem working on it. Yearly savings...lots.

#3: Don't buy people lunch. People need time away from each other, and lunch 4 days a week starts to add up.

#4: Bring whatever you can from home. We brought work tables and chairs from home and family members who were more than willing to give it away. What you don't have, buy cheap. I'm blogging right now on a $50 dollar Ikea desk, 4 legs and a flat surface, thats really all you need. Also, 600 dollar chairs are a bit much, don't skimp out on the chair, but 600 dollars, cmon. What it comes down to is that it's just a desk and chair.

#12: Do not buy a 5,000 dollar expresso machine. No explanation needed. It's freakin 5,000 dollars.

#13: Do put sodas and juice in your fridge. It keeps people happy and costs you almost nothing.

Our own few tips:

1)Hire people who have their own companies. 1099's are the entrepreneurs best friend.

2) Lots of whiteboards.

Here are the pictures I promised....


Doing some "filing":

Our first office visitor (we were lacking some chairs):


Allen's desk (did you notice the spotlight rugs?):


The Conference Room (excuse the mess):


Anthony's Desk:

Our first dinner in the office (Carl's Junior served on cardboard boxes...classy):

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2008 Montgomery & Co. Technology Conference

Montgomery & Co. is a Santa Monica based Investment Bank which holds an annual Technology conference where it invites established/emerging tech companies to present to an audience of potential investors and industry professionals.

We were honored to receive an invitation to attend this conference last week and were very impressed by the event. The conference was held at the Fairmont Hotel right by the beach on Wilshire and Ocean Blvd., across the street from the Montgomery & Co. offices. The two-day had 5 presentations running each half hour from 8am-6pm, with breaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We made sure to attend the relevant presentations which included sites like Habbo.com, Meebo.com, IMVU, Gaia.com, MyYearabook.com, Hi5.com, and so on. It was great to listen in on how these companies got to where they are, and more importantly, what their plans are moving forward. All in all, it was a very humbling experience where we were able to make numerous strategic contacts with potential future investors, as well as with representatives from the United Talent Agency, William Morris Agency, and the Creative Artists Agency. We hope to leverage these relationships to help our users get one step closer to getting the recognition they deserve.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

WE GOT FUNDED!!!

So, we don't know if you've noticed yet, but after putting in a lot of hard work into Fames...I mean Taltopia.com, we got funding! We just closed the deal late last week, and in celebration we donated 5 Famebucks to all of our current members! Also, as a promotion we are also giving away 5 Famebucks to the next 2,500 people who sign up, starting right now! So be sure to tell all of your friends and family!

We are very excited to use this money to help you, our loyal and dedicated users. Look forward to new and exciting features (trust us they are coming) and new opportunities for members to get connected with industry professionals.

That being said, we owe it all to you, our Taltopia-ites!



You can see the press release below, and download the pdf here. Be sure to give it a read because we were up until 4:30am this morning making sure it was distributed properly.


Taltopia.com™ Announces $800,000 Series “A” Funding to Connect Talent with Fans


Los Angeles, CA – March 5, 2008 – Taltopia.com™, LLC (www.taltopia.com), a free online platform which connects aspiring talent with fans and industry professionals, announced today that it has completed a Series “A” round of funding in the sum of $800,000. The financing was led by a single Angel Investor from Go4Funding, a site whose goal is to unite entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors.

The young entrepreneurs who started Taltopia.com™, formerly Famesource.com, have completely self-funded the project up until this point. Allen Vartazarian and Anthony Zanontian, now 24 and 22 years old, plan to use the funds primarily to broaden Taltopia’s reach and to further develop appealing features on the site.

“Taltopia is about empowering fans to decide who gets exposure,” said Allen Vartazarian, referring to the “fame” and “shame” voting system. By focusing on this unique niche, Taltopia™ has distinguished itself from other general social networking sites where aspiring artists typically get lost in the clutter.

For users who are not getting the exposure they crave, the site boasts a “Wall of Fame” which grants users the opportunity to “buy” their fame with Famebucks™, the virtual currency used on the site. Users bid for the limited number of spots available on the page, with outbid users being bumped down to subordinate positions. To kick things off, Taltopia.com™ is giving away $5 worth of Famebucks™ to the next 2,500 members that join the free site.

“Taltopia is going to modernize the way artists get the recognition they deserve by providing the tools they need to promote themselves,” said Anthony Zanontian. “We hope to further expand our relationships with talent industry professionals, which are an essential part of this equation,” he added.

For users who are not getting the exposure they crave, the site boasts a “Wall of Fame” which grants users the opportunity to “buy” their fame with Famebucks™, the virtual currency used on the site. Users bid for the limited number of spots available on the page, with outbid users being bumped down to subordinate positions.

Anyone can upload or embed audio, video, or images of their talent to Taltopia.com™, in the hopes of becoming the world’s next “web-celeb.” Even if you do not have a talent, you can join as a fan and become a critic.


About Taltopia.com:

Taltopia, LLC (www.taltopia.com) is an online media distribution and social networking destination whose aim is to provide aspiring and professional talent with a world-wide stage to share their abilities across the web. The site also rewards its members with Famebucks™ for simply using the site’s features, giving users an incentive to find and recommend good artists, while giving artists a platform to promote themselves online. Categories include Music, Art, Acting, Dance, Comedy, and Modeling. Taltopia.com™ is based in Los Angeles, California.

CONTACTS:

Allen Vartazarian, allen@taltopia.com (818) 438-4656
Anthony Zanontian, anthony@taltopia.com (559) 906-2050

http://www.taltopia.com

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