Inside Innovation

Behance Network

Launch: August, 2007
Members: More than 3,000

While News Corp. (NWS)-owned MySpace hosts thousands of visual artists, some of them have left the site because they have a hard time making their work stand out on such a massive network. Former Goldman Sachs associate Scott Belsky started Behance Network, a site where illustrators, designers, computer graphics specialists, and other creative professionals can network, share feedback on current projects, and look for jobs. Applicants must have a written summary of their work approved by the Behance team—though Belsky says requirements are "not stringent." Once in, artists upload projects to a profile page—viewable by the public—and join private, collaborative "circles" focused on a theme (We love Helvetica), region (Artistos Brasileiros), or discipline (character animation). Unlike public social networks, says Michael Ventura, Behance member and creative director of New York ad agency Seed Gives Life, "This has an organizing principle. It's strictly for the [artistic] community. That's an important control to a niche network." The site is also useful for advertisers wanting to target creative types—and employers looking to hire freelance artists with specific skills.