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Social Networking Site Targets Professionals

Members can create networks and share information just like at other sites, but CollectiveX also offers password-protected networks targeting organized groups ranging from large associations to small book clubs and social groups.

Laurie Sullivan

May 15, 2006

3 Min Read

Social networking sites are pushing past teenagers and 20-somethings to build a new wave of Internet communities targeting professionals.

CollectiveX on Monday launched a social networking site meant to attract enterprises, non-profit groups, university groups and alumni, and other professionals. While the online hub joins a list of established players from LinkedIn Corp. to Visible Path Corp., founder and entrepreneur Clarence Wooten believes his site can offer business professionals something more.

Like most social networking sites, CollectiveX allows users to create networks and share information to update and reconnect with business associates, family, and friends. But unlike typical social networking sites open and accessible to anyone, CollectiveX offers password-protected networks targeting organized groups ranging from large associations to small book clubs and social groups.

"Groups have been using Yahoo Groups and e-mail to communicate for awhile, but none combine social networking with group communications," Wooten said. He believes CollectiveX will do for professional groups what MySpace did for individuals.

Combining group e-mail and communication services gives users features such as group calendars, e-mail blasts and shared file folders. Groups can privately share a calendar and add meeting dates.

The interface to create a user bio requires answering a few questions about employer, occupation, and education. Wooten said software engineers used the Ruby object-oriented programming language to write the code that automatically creates bios from a few simple answers.

The site, in part, will operate on advertising revenue. The service comes with password protection, 10 MB file storage, social networking features and access to a shared calendar. Those who choose the basic version must put up with ads.

A $19 per month version still contains ads, but storage space increases to 500 MB and group e-mail blast functions are included. The advertising annoyance disappears for $36 per month in the <a = "https: www.collectivex.com signup select_plan ">professional plan

, which includes features, such as 2 GB file storage and secure 128 SSL data encryption.

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