Monday, August 27, 2007
Allen Vartazarian
"Fame! I want to live forever!" The song "Fame" from the musical of the same name tapped into two things a lot of people want. And 24-year-old Allen Vartazarian recognized that sometimes the quest of the former is stronger than the latter.

Vartazarian founded
Taltopia.com (formerly Famesource.com), a social networking portal that connects aspiring talent with fans and industry professionals to help them acquire the fame they so desire in areas such as music, acting and comedy. It's a "talent portal" that lets wannabes upload a free profile and the stuff that's going to make them a star. Then the Digg-like ranking system lets Taltopia users determine if it's "fame"-worthy or just a "shame."

Recognizing that not everyone can afford plane tickets to Hollywood or make it in front of Simon Cowell, Vartazarian and his partner want to bring those resources to them. "The goal is to give everyone the same shot at fame, no matter where they live or how much money they have," he says. Vartazarian just provides the source, actually getting "famed" by the discerning Taltopia community could be just as tough as trying to live forever.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
It's about time someone comes up with a solution to recognizing those who have talents and are not given the chance in spot light... Thanks Allen Vartazarian, I wish you the best with this, and may you get many many praises for a job well done.

Paul J. G. of North Carolina
Compared to the other 'young people who rock', which, in context, can be viewed as those with a charitable heart and wanting to make a positive difference in the community, this individual's contribution seems particularly lackluster. he basically feeds the attention-whorish needs of an entertainment-driven drive-by consumer-based market. I would not consider him worthy of space on the same page as the others.
Dear Anonymous Commenter #2,

Thank you for taking the time to express your opinion of my worthiness of being featured as a "young person who rocks." As you already may know, there are hundreds of thousands of unrecognized artists in the world who are extremely passionate about what they do. Famesource.com is a free resource for these "starving" artists which attempts to give deserving people the big break they deserve.

If you feel that this free service does not reflect a charitable heart and a drive to make a positive difference in the community, I encourage you to read the other comment above, and to poll the thousands of aspiring artists that have been praising our contribution to society.

Thank you.
Keep up the great work, and do not listen to the ones who aren't open-minded enough to recognize your noble efforts.
You rock.
As artists, I believe we may contribute to the world in God knows how many ways... Allen's site and great ideas just bring light into some valuable pieces, many of which are priceless. As species, I do know the value of a helping hand on trying to save the Earth. We can save this world just by compromising with one another and giving value to the many voices that sometimes are just left unheard. And that's exactly what I believe is the main motto of Famesource.
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Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on CNN.com Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.
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