Jonathan Sackett, chief digital officer of The Martin Agency, is set to establish the International Association of Internet Professionals, a social network that can be used by industry professionals to interact with industry peers from around the world. The organization, which will operate at www.internetprofessionals.org, is scheduled to launch in beta in mid-July and be in full operation by the year's end.
Sackett, an agency veteran who's recently worked at Arnold and Draft FCB, founded the National Association of Internet Professionals seven years ago. It was originally started by Sackett as an organization for Chicago professionals and grew to 12,000 members across the nation. After it began to draw international members, the decision was made to abandon the national group and start the IAIP.
"The Web is full of great sites for mobile, search marketing, and info technology, but there's not a broad umbrella for professional networking," Sackett said. "We're looking at this as a global open source entity, an open forum for individuals to build cumulative knowledge. The IAIP will be a platform we can all stand on and an arena to congregate in."
Interactive agencies will be able to use the association to promote their own work and connect with other professionals.
The site will work as a social network on a peer-to-peer basis. "You can do drill downs by country and discipline. You can search for people with similar backgrounds from country to country," he said. Members will be able to post blog entries, register to join discussion forums, and create specialized groups, such as Australian mobile professionals.
There will be an assortment of pre-published and original content to view, with Google providing proprietary content. Google will host the site, Sackett said.
The Martin Agency will support the site, but not be officially affiliated with it. "They'll help with the back-end operation," he said.
Sackett said the site will operate on a non-profit basis but accept advertising, including sub- directory sponsorships from IBM and other companies. Banner ads will be accepted, "but we don't want a banner blanket, we want sponsored content," Sackett said.
The site has already generated member requests from 25 countries. Visitors to the site can register now.
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