Monday, March 24, 2008

Malaysian won iYomu contest

If this is verified to be true, this is another achievements that would do Malaysia proud.

Full text copied from here .

Malaysian iYomu member million-dollar prizewinner?
By CLAIRE McENTEE - The Dominion Post | Monday, 24 March 2008

IYomu, a Kiwi-created social networking site for "grown ups", says it will honour its commitment to pay a US$1 million prize to a competition winner from Malaysia, once it has verified he is bona fide.

The company, whose directors include former National Party president Michelle Boag, aims to carve a global niche alongside the likes of Bebo and MySpace.

IYomu promised to give US$1 million to the member who received the most votes from iYomu users as a promotion, when it launched in August.

Players had to complete puzzles and tasks to earn points. The top ten point earners were then reduced to a final three, who had to explain to the iYomu community why they should receive the money.

Founder David Wolf-Rooney says a member from Malaysia called "Yeongch" received the most votes, though the final number is still to be verified.

"We're going through the verification process, I'm flying over to Malaysia late next week to meet him and our tech people are checking the votes. Within one month the whole competition will be brought to an end in terms of validating and identifying the winner."

According to Yeongch's iYomu homepage, he is a "blue collar worker" from Penang Island. He says he would spend the prize money on his child's education, a new car, charity, living expenses, setting up his own business and on his friends.

Mr Wolf-Rooney says the competition, originally due to end in February, was extended after some players cheated and forced a re-write of the rules. Nine of the top ten players were disqualified in December.

Thousands of people entered the competition and the site has a "significant number" of members from about 100 countries, he says.

"The spread of iYomu's membership is how you'd expect it to be, principally from North America, followed by Australia, New Zealand, and then others."

Mr Wolf-Rooney says it's difficult to say whether the looming economic downturn will impact on the business, and iYomu was always looking for new investors. "There's always a concern about funding. This is very expensive to do, we're going to launch an advertising feature in the near future. It's critical to generate revenue to keep the site as good as it is."

The resignation of several directors earlier this year was part of normal team changes as the start-up company matured, he says.

The competition prize money will be paid by 16 shareholders in instalments of US$83,333 over 12 months. The shareholders have offered various amounts, "from $15,000 to a considerably higher sum".

Mr Wolf-Rooney says growth opportunities in the social networking market are "enormous" and iYomu is the only site especially for grown-ups.

"Members often have three or four memberships with other sites.

"The challenge is to get them coming back.

"You've got to keep bringing out new features, that's a great lesson for New Zealand sites - if you stand still you'll just get consumed."

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