Talent Overload

By ranfanranfan (1260084551|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Talent Overload is the world's most talented search engine!

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Chuck Lamb says he owes millions and he is trying his hardest to pay it back. Not dollars, but fans. He has opened a website to begin the pay back process: TalentOverload.com.

Objective

This search engine is designed for people with talent as a place where they can share their talent which the world can find with a simple search. Its objective is to be THe site people go to when they “want a clown for your child’s party?” or "share talent with people in CA when you're in NY".

“In time, I’m hoping Talent Overload will become “The Place” for anyone who has a talent to be found by simply searching” Lamb added. “Painters, authors, singers, poets, screenwriters, clowns, jugglers, musicians and anyone else who is trying to live a dream like I am can get some of the exposure they desperately need to achieve their goal.” “Imagine finding your next favorite author just by going to Talent Overload and searching for ‘Author and Fiction’. “In today’s digital world, a person can write and self publish something and then be found directly through our search engine.”

How does it work?

The website is totally free. Anyone who signs up can create a profile, show up to three photos, add links to personal pages, write a bio and enter up to 50 keywords from which they can be found from the search engine. There is an option to upgrade to a premium profile that shows a photo in the search results. Premium profiles will also be listed first in search results.

Why does it exist?

Lamb is known around the world by the name of the character he created ‘Dead Body Guy’. He became a global phenomenon in 2006 when his website http://www.DeadBodyGuy.com was started. His site features him in different poses in and around his home playing dead in hopes of playing a corpse in a movie or TV show. With little to no acting experience Lamb knew he would have to come up with something new and different to get noticed in the world of show business. He also knew he would need support from people he had never met to achieve his dream. Those unknown people came out in droves. The website was sent out virally through websites, blogs and emails by the thousands. Lamb said he personally answered over a thousand emails from well wishers around the globe.

It didn’t take long for Lamb’s site to get the attention he had hoped. Within 6 weeks he was on the front page national of the New York Times and he was flying to New York City to be seen on shows like TODAY, CNN, MSNBC, CBS Early Morning and others. Lamb has been featured in over 400 newspapers and magazines around the world and has now been in over 12 TV shows and movies.It has now been seen by over 50 million people in more than 150 different countries making him an overnight celebrity.

After almost 3 years Lamb has finally lived out his dream. He attended the world premiere of the horror / comedy Thankskilling, an independent movie about a demonic turkey which comes back for revenge. Lamb played Sheriff Roud, a likable but not very attentive sheriff who of course gets killed.

Lamb says “I know me becoming an actor and being seen all over the world was a combination of a good idea, the right timing and support by millions around the world. All I would like to do now is repay some of those millions back for helping me live my dream.”

Essentially, this is a way for him to give back to his supporters and help others get started in the business. And he plans to help them by giving them exposure

Testing it out

I placed myself in the role of a "talent scout" and searched for "Artist" on the website. This Artist was one of eight that showed up. Looking at the profile, the page is very "ugly". It's just a long list with no substance. For someone that's an artist, there are only two pictures in the "portfolio", hidden at the bottom of the page.

Even though it may not be her fault, the setup of this website does not allow her to exercise much of her creativity - something I would expect of artists. This is evidence that TalentOverload does not allow for any loading of talent.

What I would expect from the site of an artist would be something like this. That is the website of a UMich art student, who is able to fully show off her skills, resume, portfolio through the site itself.

Next, I thought of myself as a parent looking for a clown for my kid's birthday party. A search for
clown yielded ONE result. The clown profile is a bit better mostly due to its youtube video which allowed me to see him in action. His own website though is much more lively. However, the lack of choices in terms of search leaves much to be desired. For instance, what if I had wanted a clown that specializes in balloon animals? Or even something as simple as conducting a local search.

Concerns

1. TalentOverload need to really allow individuals to PERSONALIZE their profile and have their personality shine through, not just offer them three measly pictures and the ability to link. For a guy whose career took off in a viral manner, his site (and hence the users' pages) sure doesn't look very appealing. Nothing here looks like it has the potential to be passed to another person.

2. The search function itself is lacking as well. Currently, it only has the ability to such for keywords in "profile" or "jobs". It lacks critical features such as location or experience (in terms of years). Location is obviously important because an amateur clown isn't going to have the money to fly from Ohio to California. And experience might matter to me because I wouldn't want a clown who's only been around for a day to perform at my kid's birthday party.

3. The ranking system in search results is not ideal.

From the FAQ:

With a Premium profile you’ll be listed at the top of all relevant search results. A picture will also be displayed in the search results. This gives you a better chance to get found and land a potential gig. For less than a $1.00 a month you can’t go wrong. Maximum exposure is exaclty what you trying to get and you get that with the premium profile.

He goes on to say

A premium profile is only $9.95 a year. So for less than $1.00 per month you have a better shot of living your dream. If you never take steps to be famous, you never will be. Create a profile, spread the word and let the world FIND YOU!

This means that companies or individuals cannot rely on the results returned form the website because there is no metric of measuring data within the system. On one hand, yes, people are trying to get discovered, on the other, if and when the website gets larger and there's more than just one clown in the system, what's going to distinguish them from each other? There should be some sort of ranking / recommendation system in place as another criteria.

Furthermore, the current system is very limiting. THREE photos? The ability to write a bio? Links to a myspace page? In this day and age of Twitter, social network sites, it is almost sad that these are even advertised as great features. This limited information is only useful if people know of the site and go directly to it. If it doesn't show up in major search engines, then it is probably not going to get a lot of hits. I tried to find the clown from before on Google. Returns showed up for vimeo, myspace, twitter, talenthouse, mixx, even the meijer site, but I looked through 5 pages of returns and could not find "talentoverload", I even did an in site search and could not find any results.

Conclusion

So overall, TalentOverload is so far disappointing and useless. For artists, tools like MySpace, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter are much better at sharing your talent and getting the word out there about who you are. Today, it is more likely for you to get "discovered" if people can just stumble upon your work or hear about you through word of mouth. Career search engines or even Craigslist are probably more helpful for FINDING jobs.

Heck, for just personal needs for talent, a YellowPage or flyers at the local coffee house might offer more insight and options than this website.

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