Monday, June 30, 2008

SCHEDULED DOWNTIME: New Servers ;)

Scheduled downtime: Tuesday, July 8th 2:15-3pm PST

In our continued efforts to make Taltopia.com very scalable and redundant (tech terms which mean "able to grow big" and "safe from crashing") we decided it was time to invest in some professional grade computing power. We've been getting by until now with the single server that we built with our own hands. For all you techies out there, this means that we have been running our operating system, database, encoder, media files, and anything else you can imagine on one machine...yikes!

We would like to now introduce you to the new machines that will be running the show:
3 brand new Dell 2950's! Here is what they look like:



These computers are monsters, they are load balanced, Dual Quad Core Raid 1's and 5's, 4 Gig's of Ram, and Dual Ethernet Gigabit Cards. Below is a Prime 95 test for 12 hours(basically running the CPU's at 100% for 12 hours to make sure that Dell didn't send us duds)




We have been setting these up in our office for some time and will be delivering them to our host on Tuesday night, so the site will be down for a few hours. Thanks for understanding!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Finally Here!! Taltopia.com's Contests!!!!

Wow. Starting off the blog with a "wow" may be dramatic, but it's well deserved. After months of talking about contests, we finally did it. No, your eyes are not deceiving you, you read correctly dear talopia-ites.

Contests have arrived.


You might be wondering, "What does it mean for me, your average taltopia user?" Well, average taltopia user, this means that you can now win prizes and famebucks just by creating or entering contests.

Contests are broken down into two main categories:

1. Sponsored
2. User Generated

Sponsored contests are generated internally. What this means is that we partner up with companies, studios, casting agencies, etc., to bring you contests where you can win awesome prizes. Currently we have an MTV casting seen here , a digital camera for photographers seen here, a chance for models to sit down with a scout seen here, and a gift certificate to Michael's Arts and Crafts seen here and other great stuff to come that you can take home. Check it out here.

User Generated contests are created by you, our fantastically cool users. You create the title and description, then set the requirements, entrance fee and duration. It is totally controlled by you! After you create your contest you can invite people to join, and the entrance fee they pay gets placed into a prize pool. For example if you created a contest with a 5 famebuck entrance fee, and ten other people joined, then the winner would get 50 famebucks!! Check our User contests here.

We hope you enjoy the new section on our site, it can be accessed via the new tab, and on the front page.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Janice Dickinson, Paul McCartney, and the Smart Car?

What does the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, Paul McCartney, and the Smart Car have in common? They were all somehow tied-in to the green carpet event that we were invited to attend last night at the House of Petals in West Hollywood. The event was titled the "Green with Envy Fashion Experience" whose purpose was to raise awareness about the environment, help fight global warming, and to discover new ways of enjoying an eco-friendly lifestyle.

The green carpet event was hosted by Janice Dickinson and featured models from the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, including CC Fontana who you can see here. There were also some great organic foods and beverages.




We had the pleasure of meeting Paul McCartney's mother and sister. For those of you who are too young to know who Paul McCartney is, you might know him from a little garage band called THE BEATLES! It turns out that Paul's sister runs a website which provides management tools for up and coming bands and musicians. We spoke about potential partnership opportunities and are setting up a meeting - look out for some news of this in the future.



(photos courtesy Wm. Marc Salsberry)

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Headshot Envelopes

Anthony and I were traveling to a conference a few weeks ago, and when we arrived to the security check area at the airport. As we proceeded to take off our shoes and place them in the bin for the x-ray machine, we noticed a clever ad from zappos.com, the site that sell shoes online. The ad was inside the shoe bin and read "Looks like you need some new shoes...visit Zappos.com"

We felt that this was some really great advertising - everyone who was boarding a flight could relate to the ad - thats some good targeting. We needed to come up with something like that for Taltopia.

Here is what we came up with: Pretty much all aspiring talent need professional headshots if they want to be considered for a gig. Actors need headshots, models need headshots, comedians need headshots...everyone in the entertainment industry needs headshots. Why don't we provide headshot studios with FREE (branded) envelopes!?!? Genius!

We picked up a few hundred 9x12 envelopes, printed our quirky message on them, and started distributing them to local photographers. The photographers loved the idea of getting free envelopes (lower overhead costs for them) and they felt that Taltopia would be a great resource for their clients.

Here is what they look like:




If you are a photographer who would like some free envelopes, be sure to contact us.

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