CollectiveX: MySpace For Professionals
A new social networking site is trying to draw in business professionals. In addition to more typical features, CollectiveX, launched on Monday, will offer password-protected networks aimed at specific clubs, groups, and associations.
CollectiveX founder Clarence Wooten believes this feature will help his site do for professionals what MySpace did for other individuals. "Groups have been using Yahoo Groups and e-mail to communicate for a while, but none combine social networking with group communication," he said.
The website will feature private group calendars, shared file folders, and e-mail blasts. Required user information will include facts about employers, occupations, and education. People will be able to sign up for free; there will also be two paid levels of membership.
The most basic membership will offer password protection, 10 MB of file storage, and access to the social networking features and a stored calendar. These users will be exposed to advertising, which will be the site's primary supply of revenue. By paying $19 a month, users will get increased storage (up to 500 MB), and access to e-mail blast functions. These users will still see ads, though. Only by forking over $36 per month can users avoid advertisements at CollectiveX. These users will be allowed 2 GB of file storage and provided with secure 128 SSL data encryption.
Traffic through social networking sites is growing rapidly. According to data from Nielsen//NetRatings, the top ten social networking sites experienced 47 percent year-over-year growth, and reached 45 percent of active Internet users. This could prove a double-edged sword for CollectiveX, though. While there is a large potential audience, there are also many competitors, including LinkedIn Corp. and Visible Path Corp.
Still, Wooten believes his site will be able to draw in targeted business professionals. "CollectiveX groups are more about professional networking within a group as opposed to open social ‘personal' networking," he said. This focus, and the other features of his site, could be enough to gain a share of the Web's social networking market.
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