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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Make it big online with Fame Me

New website lets aspiring artists upload videos and offers a platform to gain wider exposure
The Sunday Times - March 25, 2012
By: Melissa Kok
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Make it big online with Fame Me -- PHOTO: WWW.FAME.ME

If singing competition American Idol were held on the Internet instead of TV, it could look like Fame Me, a new Web platform to help regular people find fame.

As with YouTube, aspiring entertainers upload their singing or dancing performances on the website to compete for votes cast by netizens. The contestant with the most votes can win a cash prize.

Fame Me ( is still in its beta testing phase, so users can submit videos and join the contests only on an invitation basis.

If things go well, aspiring performers in Singapore will have another avenue to showcase their talent on a global scale.

Fame Me is the brainchild of four Seattle-based technology veterans. Mr Paul Fulton, Mr Brett Marl, Mr Tim Ahlers and Mr Greg Vandenberg, all in their 30s and 40s, founded Fame Me last November, and had a soft-launch for the website last month.

Mr Fulton and Mr Marl previously ran technology start-ups that were acquired by Cisco and they have worked for Microsoft too; Mr Ahlers and Mr Vandenberg worked with Mr Marl at Cisco.

In a phone interview with The Sunday Times on Friday, Mr Fulton said they wanted to use their tech expertise to 'build a stage fuelled by FaceBook' that can give exposure to talented musicians and performers.

He said: 'We have friends in the music world; my daughter's been in dance and I have friends whose daughters tried out for American Idol. They're just so good and passionate about it, but no one sees it, so (Fame Me) gives them exposure.'

Fame Me hosts themed contests where users upload videos of their performances via video-sharing site YouTube.

The winners are then picked by netizens who vote for their favourite performances on the website.

They can also comment on the performances and share links to the video via social networking site Facebook.

Fame Me's cash prizes of US$1,000 (S$1,300) are a small amount compared to televised music competitions such as The Voice and The X Factor which can offer cash prizes of US$100,000 and a recording contract.

But Mr Fulton said the key aim of Fame Me is to spread the word about the performer: 'It's not really about the prize. The contestants are not doing it to win; they're doing it to build up their fan base.'

So far, Fame Me has received no video entries from Singapore, but it has seen participation by users in the Philippines, Australia, Dubai and Britain.

The winner of the first contest was a dance group called Dac Pac, which performed an interpretive piece titled Wish We Could. It received 5,489 views.

Two other contests, both singing competitions covering all genres of music, are ongoing.

Mr Fulton said he hoped to officially launch the website soon. He declined to reveal how much money was pumped into the online venture, but said the cost was being solely borne by the company's founders.

Among the new ideas Mr Fulton and his partners are considering in future for the website are possible tie-ups with record labels, and guest judges to critique artists' performances.

Mr Fulton said: 'Right now, we're trying to make sure that the engine is right. There will be more in store for viewers; we want to make this a destination site for users... with more engagement.'



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