Author: 
MOLOUK Y. BA-ISA, [email protected]
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2010-06-23 19:00

The site () just became available in beta in October 2009, in the midst of a difficult global economy. Nevertheless, Hoover and her team at LELA Media, iaam.com’s parent company, are determined to keep the site packed with fresh content in order to compete with other online venues that offer teens little that will bring them success and satisfaction in life.
“When I was designing iaam.com, my thoughts were to make it a carefree online venue. I added the entertainment aspect because I expected that first teens would play a game or watch a video and then maybe they’d read an article or take part in one of our activities,” Hoover said. “There is a glamour component of the site showing celebrities but we also feature people who have normal lives and are successful. It’s important to us to focus on why people have achieved success. Many teens don’t realize that success is achieved in part due to attitude.”
The name iaam.com stands for “I am a millionaire,” and the site hopes to inspire young adults to redefine wealth — finding riches in everything that matters. While Hoover has launched the site from Albuquerque, New Mexico in the USA, she understands the universal appeal of the values promoted by iaam.com because she is a global citizen, hailing originally from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Mother of twin daughters, Lena and Lana, she has personally experienced how filled the Internet is with shallow, negative messages targeting teenagers. Hoover commented that she is fairly strict with her own children, allowing them to browse the Net only under adult supervision. She created iaam.com in part to give her children an amazing place to hangout online.
Schools in New Mexico have welcomed iaam.com into their classrooms — where other sites such as Facebook have been barred. Making the site teen-friendly has meant that Hoover has had to work much harder to secure funding to keep her start-up thriving. The site initially displayed Google ads to earn income. Those were stopped when Hoover became concerned that the Google advertising content didn’t mesh well with the values that iaam.com promotes — valuable life skills in finance, careers, health and lifestyle.
The site highlights young musicians, artists and other professionals who have more on their minds than their hair. Time, research and psychology are put into creating the articles on the site, with many of them written by young people. Hoover believes that teens are more receptive to considering the topics when they see that these ideas are coming from their peers.
“It’s essential that teens are exposed to positive ideas so they look forward to creating a successful future. Young adults need a place to go where their dreams are nurtured and where they can discover how to strike a good balance in their lives,” Hoover remarked. “We knew from the start that we wouldn’t attract every single teenager. But our purpose is to build an online community for intelligent, creative teens and it’s exciting to watch that community growing. Please join us and share your great stories, so they inspire others.”

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