Fame Game and Tatiana Platt Featured in WhomYouKnow’s Movers and Shakers
WhomYouKnow.com features an extensive interview with Tatiana Platt about Fame Game, the social media landscape, and the competitive environment in their Movers and Shakers feature. Read the full article.
THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012
A Red Carpet Regular is a Brilliant Businessperson: Exclusive Interview with Mover and Shaker Tatiana S. Platt, CEO and Co-Founder of FameGame.com
At Whom You Know, when we interview a Mover and Shaker again after first being in that column, if they are in entertainment they graduate to Red Carpet Regulars. If they are in business, they graduate to Brilliant Businesspeople. Tatiana is such a superstar she graduating to both concurrently and is the first ever to do so. Mover and Shaker Tatiana S. Platt is an Internet business executive and entrepreneur. She is CEO and co-founder of FameGame.com, a social entertainment web site chronicling the movers and shakers of New York City and beyond. Fame Game was previously featured in Big Apple Business in 2009 and today we are thrilled to bring you the latest updates for everyone that Moves and Shakes and wants to be in the know. Tatiana has become a key voice in the online industry, and also serves as a brand consultant to new media companies and we really admire her work.
Before embarking on her Fame Game venture, Tatiana was Chief Trust Officer and Senior Vice President at America Online, Inc. In her 12 years at AOL, she spearheaded initiatives to ensure that AOL fulfilled its commitment to consumers as an “Integrity Brand Leader”, and that all AOL-owned Web properties included community, privacy, and safety elements. She was responsible for setting internal strategy for various AOL businesses in areas such as product development, online programming, e-commerce, advertising, and graphics review. She has pioneered the development of consumer safeguards on the Internet and Web 2.0 standards on social networking, rating, and labeling systems. While at AOL, she regularly testified before the U.S. Senate and the Federal Trade Commission.
Before joining AOL, Tatiana was Executive Vice President of Parvus International Inc., a business intelligence firm where she had operational management responsibility for the company’s domestic and international businesses. She has extensive experience with the federal government and foreign policy agencies, and also worked abroad for Intercontinental Hotel Corporation in sales and marketing. All of this collective experience contributes to the illustrious success of Fame Game today. The big news about FameGame for 2012 is the deeper integration of social media into the site. Front and center: they now have a Twitter feed of New York movers and shakers on the home page which updates in real time with all the latest tweets of top tweeters.
With new companies like Klout (which measures social influence based on Twitter and Facebook) and PinReach (which measures social influence based on Pinterest activity), influence ranking is now a proven business model. And Fame Game was doing this first! Fame Game has started to incorporate Klout scores into FameGame, and they are adding new sources into feeds all the time. Consequently, they have seen traffic sources evolve. Google is still the #1 driver of traffic to Fame Game, but social media sources are creeping up. Oooh and you know we hope they have a Whom You Know feed soon….
Top Traffic Sources to FameGame:
Fame Game is even seeing traffic starting to come from Pinterest. FameGame event photos are being posted on Pinterest and they see clear results in traffic redirects. In 2011 Fame Game launched coverage in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and Palm Beach. Also, they have a great new partnership with Manhattan and Hamptons society photographer Rob Rich as a new source of event photography. They are further exploring new partnerships with mobile app providers. To wit, they are in the process of incorporating app recommendation through a cutting edge new company called AppTap. Here is what their widgets look like: http://news.famegame.com/new-partnership-with-apptap. Consequently, they are in the process of spec’ing out their very own FameGame app!
The Fame Game weekly newsletter also continues to garner rave reviews as the authoritative weekly round-up of influencers, with its news recap, birthday and event listings, mover and shaker lists and “Most Visited” people and organization pages. Recent news (http://www.famegame.com/recent-news) section is also highly popular with its selection of articles mentioning people of FameGame. Tatiana is an active philanthropist, personally and professionally, and donates her time and efforts to several nonprofit organizations. She serves on the boards of Best Buddies International, The Many Hats Institute, the Byrd Hoffman Foundation/Watermill Center, and Eyebeam. She has lived and traveled all over the world, and speaks six languages. And since she has been interviewed as a Mover and Shaker, she’s had three children in three years with husband Mover and Shaker Campion Platt. Whom You Know is so pleased to catch up with Tatiana! Peachy Deegan interviewed Tatiana Platt for Whom You Know and we are thrilled and honored to present her as a Red Carpet Regular who is a Brilliant Businessperson!
Peachy Deegan: What internet developments over the past few years do you find the most exciting and why?
Tatiana S. Platt: The explosion of social media is by far the most interesting Internet development in the last few years to me. Facebook now has close to a billion users, Twitter has 140 million, and Pinterest claims 9 million monthly active users. Attempting to harness that volume of activity are a preponderance of new start ups popping up everywhere now, reminiscent of the late 1990s Internet boom. And then you have sites like Klout.com that are seeking to monetize social activity by identifying influencers and making them available to big brands through initiatives like its Perks program. Also, the enormous popularity of the iPhone and iPad, and other mobile devices, has led to a new movement in app development that is generating exciting and fun ways to make our day-to-day lives easier.
How did you like Georgetown and what did you study there?
I loved Georgetown, the campus, the people, and the city of Washington D.C., such a great city. I started out as a Computer Science major, with an Air Force ROTC scholarship. But after two years, I switched to Russian language and Russian Area Studies. And I spent a semester abroad in Moscow at the Pushkin Institute.
What should the world know about the benefits of studying with Jesuits and what did you like about it?
Among a group of core values, the Jesuit tradition embraces academic excellence, community in diversity, “contemplation in action”, faith and justice, and educating the whole person. I enjoyed the balance between intellectual education and spiritual growth – think values-based leadership.
What did you learn most from working at AOL?
You have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves, put in long hours, and be truly dedicated to your work to succeed. The early days at AOL were breath-taking. It was a wild ride, and everyone was so passionate about what we were doing. We were all united in our mission to bring America online, and we fundamentally believed that we had a hugely important role to play as a company (we did at the time)! What made us successful was dedication, perseverance, clarity of mission, and flawless execution.
Has Fame Game progressed the way you had anticipated it would since 2009 when we last formally interviewed you?
In some ways yes, in others no. The marketplace significantly changed in the last three years as Facebook took off and all forms of social media exploded. We have seen other players assimilate different pieces of the Fame Game formula, and ranking online is no longer a novelty. What I personally didn’t expect were the millions and millions (almost a billion!) of people online who are active on Facebook and Twitter. Frankly, I didn’t expect people to spend as much time online posting updates about day-to-day banalities as so many have come to do. Fame Game was automated from the beginning because we believed, and continue to believe, that people don’t have that much free time on their hands and they welcome services that automate their daily activities.
How do you successfully keep Fame Game competitive?
By continually innovating, staying current with social media trends, and keeping the site fresh and new.
Will there be a London Fame Game or a West Coast Fame Game or will other geographic locations always revolve around New York on the original Fame Game?
Fame Game was created in such a way that it can be easily replicated in other geographic locations. However, expansion is dependent on existing data feeds of which we can avail ourselves. The London marketplace doesn’t yet have the kind of digitized content that we could draw from to do what we’re able to do in New York. So, London will come later, but we are already building our resources on the West Coast and you can expect to see a more California-centric mini site in the near future.
If someone does not have a profile on Fame Game, can they create one?
There is a tab that says “Join” on the upper right hand side of Fame Game pages. Click on the tab and follow the instructions. They can also contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to have one created. But they must have some connection to someone already on the site.
If someone has a profile on Fame Game, how do they properly “claim” it?
There is a link that says “Claim This Profile” on the upper right hand side of any given person’s profile page. Click on the link and follow the instructions.
Do people and organizations work differently on Fame Game and if so, how?
The primary difference is that we do not rank organizations at the present time.
Would you ever have Fantasy Fame Game like Fantasy Football or ever make it work like a stock market where people can wager on brands and/or people?
Absolutely. We are currently working on spec’ing out an iPhone app as well as an online Fame Game where people could play against each other.
Can you tell us how the qualitative aspects of Fame Game work if there are any?
Fame Game organizes people according to their social rank in the public arena. However, simply being prolific in the media is not a sole source of value. For example, Fame Game gives more weight to someone being mentioned in the New York Times vs. an Internet blog.
Can you tell us how the quantitative aspects of Fame Game work?
The Fame Game algorithm is a proprietary formula that gives people quantitative rankings based on their public profile. The algorithm takes into account a variety of sources of information, and ultimately the more visible you are, the higher your ranking.
What do your kids think of Fame Game is Fox your oldest old enough to understand it?
My youngest are way too young to understand! However, my 21 year old stepson thinks it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread.
What should the world know about Fame Game?
The original idea behind Fame Game was to create a resource that would allow people to get to know and network with each other. When I first moved to New York, I found myself keeping excel spreadsheet lists of the people I was meeting, who they were, what they did, etc., in an effort to be able to recognize who they were the next time I saw them. Fame Game was born from those original spread sheets. The idea of ranking came later.
Are you still defining Mover and Shaker on Fame Game in the same way you were in 2009?
Yes. Movers and Shakers are people on Fame Game whose rank has changed the most in a given week.
What are your favorite brands today and why?
I am a Starbucks fanatic. Not only do I like the product, but I strongly admire the company’s ethos and their commitment to brand integrity. Wherever you are, you know what to expect when you walk into a Starbucks. And they have successfully created a 2nd home-away-from-home for millions of people. This is similar to what AOL achieved at one point. Namely, AOL was an online destination where people spent the most time outside of their workplace or their home. Another favorite brand is Target, for similar reasons in that you can always expect a quality product, and in Target’s case, at an affordable price. Target has become a victim of its own success online, though. When they recently cleverly launched a line with Missioni, their servers went down because they didn’t anticipate how popular the offering would be. I could mention many other brands, but I will add in closing that my new favorite brand is Cadillac. I am a recent purchaser of their Escalade SUV and can now transport my whole brood in luxury!
How do you like being a mother?
I love it! It’s the hardest job I have ever had - I never anticipated how mentally exhausting it would be. Sure, I knew it would be physically hard to raise three children under the age of three, but, oh, the hardship of always being intellectually stimulating to three blossoming little minds!
Is Barolo still your favorite restaurant (we have reviewed it since your last interview and love it too!) and if so will you try The Peachy Deegan cocktail there?
Yes, Barolo is still my favorite. I have to admit I didn’t know that your cocktail was available there. Since I had my first child, I have mostly stopped drinking.
What are you proudest of and why?
My three children, of course. In my eyes, they are perfection and the source of immeasurable joy to me, my husband, and frankly just about everyone they come into contact with. My children are extremely social and know almost everyone in our neighborhood by name, from shopkeepers, to the Starbucks baristas, to the local garbageman.
What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
Pie in the sky? I would like to make an action movie a la Lara Croft based on the life of Jim Thompson. And star in it. More realistically, I’d love the opportunity to work with Richard Branson.
What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
Mostly I have been honored by the non-profit organizations I have worked with. I received a Woman of the Year award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a service award from Best Buddies International.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?
I caught someone looking someone else up on Fame Game!
Who would you like to be for a day and why?
The President of the United States. Of course, only one day wouldn’t be enough to get much done, but it would be phenomenal to experience the wide range of responsibilities that come with the job.
If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?
A tree in Central Park. Maybe even a genus of tree? Central Park is the green livelihood of Manhattan.
If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
It would be my husband. With our hectic lives, we seldom get to have dinner just the two of us. And he is my greatest inspiration, consigliere, friend, advisor, and partner in life. Plus I love spending time with him!
What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
I sit on the boards of several non-profits, and volunteer my time. When I was at AOL, I created a division that focused on making the Internet more accessible to people with disabilities, something of which I am very proud. And I like to think that the time that I spend evangelizing the benefits of the Internet do indeed make this world a better place.
What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Most underrated, the subway for sure. I know Manhattanites that have never even stepped foot on a subway platform. I am a diehard subway rider. Also underrated is the free newspaper amNewYork that you can pick up at subway stations. Overrated? Restaurants that have a 2 week or more waiting list for reservations. Frankly, there are too many great places in New York City to choose from that I can’t be bothered to try to snag a seat at the hottest place in town. Of course, celebrities don’t have to worry about that, but obviously I am not a celebrity!
What else should Whom You Know readers know about you or Fame Game?
We are still looking for interns for the summer. Interested candidates can send their resume to email@example.com with “Internship” in the subject line.
How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
I get something like 500 emails a day, so I am somewhat cautious about giving out my email. The best way to get a quick answer from me is on Facebook or on Twitter @tatianaplatt.