Designer Connections

Blog | Interesting | Web + Social

Charlie | Thursday 24th, 2011, 12:00am GMT

The newly-launched¬†fiftytwo Network¬†is¬†a social platform that’s been developed exclusively for professionals in the creative industries to connect and share. It’s the creation of Web Designer Daniel Howells, who is also¬†responsible¬†for siteInspire,¬†Kul√∂r,¬†Creative Journal¬†and¬†Creative Everyone. The fiftytwo network is still in Beta and we’re aware that there are some tweaks in the pipeline, but I’ve been using it for a week and I already feel that it has the potential to be an essential resource for established as well as up-and-coming designers, especially students who are trying to break into the industry, as it provides a great platform for designers to showcase work and share a bit of their personality. Users are currently limited to posting only one new piece of content per week. On this, creator Dan Howells makes a relevant point: “By restricting the rate at which content can be shared, the amount of noise you have to wade through to get a sense of what your contacts have been up to over the past few weeks. Hopefully then you can offer help, feedback, or just have an open discussion.” So whilst on the one hand this could seem like a maddening restriction, especially for designers with a prolific output, it forces the user to give due consideration to what work they want to spotlight and share, making for a more efficient and strategic output. The categories for new posts are also geared towards emerging projects, inviting users to post completed ‘New Work’ and ‘Work in Progress’, keeping the content on the network feeling fresh and allowing connected users to see design work in the developmental stages that would normally excluded from web portfolios. Users are also encouraged to participate and interact through its ‘News and Opinions’, ‘Questions’ and Comment sections, as well as¬†posting their inspiration for the week through ‘Shared Things’. In my opinion, this element of the site could be the most important as it enables users to enhance their profile with a bit of their personality which is arguably as important to the designers self-marketing toolkit as their portfolio of work. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the fiftytwo network develops over the coming months and, judging by the number of connection requests that have been coming through on our company profile since we signed up for one this morning, it seems like a growing number of other designers across the community are as well.