Taltopia is a social-networking site that’s trying to find the most talented artists, actors, musicians, dancers and other entertainers.
You create a profile and submit images, videos or audio tracks of your works. Then the site’s users vote on whether or not they like what you offer. The most popular submissions show up on the front page. There’s also a game component where you can earn “Famebucks” by doing things like voting on other submissions. You can then use these Famebucks to buy space on the “Wall of Fame” page of the site — a place to self-promote in case your works don’t get voted to the site’s front page.
For an example of amateur talent, check out the video below of a guy (who looks a lot like The Dude from The Big Lebowski) playing Allegretto.
A number of other sites are also trying to aggregate talent, such as GotCast for TV casting or Sony’s Crackle (formerly Grouper), also for TV and video.
It’s not completely clear how Los Angeles-based Taltopia can do anything distinctly better than any competitor. Maybe it’s a matter of which one of these sites gets big first? Or maybe it’s a matter of forging relationships with large media companies and talent agencies that can go the rest of the way in making talented amateurs into stars?
On that last front, the Los Angeles company is on the right track. It is starting to work with talent agencies, and already works with Bleu Models and LA-area music producers, it tells me.
Formerly known as FameSource, the company was founded in January of last year by Allen Vartazarian, age 24, and Anthony Zanontian, age 22. It just raised $800,000 in angel funding from an unnamed investor who it found through Go4Funding, a sort of Taltopia for entrepreneurs (so a proof of concept?). Go4Funding is a site where entrepreneurs can post their capital needs and information about their business, then meet prospective investors.
The funding is allowing the company to gain credibility with potential partners and, in Vartazarian word’s, “move out of our Starbucks office to a strategic location down the street from NBC Universal.”
Here’s the site’s front page:
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