SCREENWRITERS AND WEB 2.0: TALENTVILLE.COM
Since the very beginning of blogging (I’m talking Livejournal and DiaryLand days), writers have been using the web to showcase their talent and get their names out into the world. Then came socialnetworking: The now-obsolete Makeout Club and Friendster. Myspace. And the most popular kid on the block, Facebook.
Now entrepreneurs are extending social networks to writers. Take talentville.com, which debuted a few weeks ago. Talentville is the brainchild of Ben Cahan (who was also a developer for FinalDraft, the Hollywood-approved standard screenwriting software), and it combines two not-so-new ideas: writers and social networking.
The website is billed as “The online city for creative minds” – and while the home page says that screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, and storytellers all have a space at Talentville, I’m guessing that the site is optimized mainly for screenwriters.
But the site itself looks pretty cool: Users start a profile for themselves, then they upload their work into forums for others to review. Users can browse a library of user-generated content, network with other writers, and (per the site’s “About” page) maybe even get your screenplay scouted by an agent or industry professional.
Quick note: Talentville makes sure that writers’ intellectual property is protected through encryption, viewing and printing controls, and an audit trail of who has read your work (sigh of relief).
While Talentville is new and still building its member base (some of the website’s capabilities still aren’t up and running yet), it seems to have a lot of potential, especially for newbie writers: Think of it as a resource for feedback and peer reviews – globally.