BrandRepublic reports that the Financial Times’ conferences arm has launched a pay-to-join membership forum so that media and technology executives working in the digital, new media, mobile and telecoms sectors can network.
Not only a forum for people in this business sector: the FT is also launching two other forums – a CEO forum and a Luxury forum.
Information on these two is a bit scarce as no links are up yet on the FT site other than a link to request a brochure.
So it looks as though the FT Media & Technology Executive Membership Forum, to give it the full title, is the first one up and running.
Each forum offers wide-ranging membership benefits including complimentary attendance at an FT conference, access to and use of an online discussion forum and a free subscription to FT.com.
Discussion forums are certainly not new: they’ve been around for years. Offerings like this, though, wrap up forums with other features to offer a well-rounded package that will undoubtedly appeal to particular segments of the business community, and so is called a social network (or more correctly, according to Wikipedia, a social network service).
And another instance of niche networks.
Did you see how much it costs, Neville? Â£1,700 a year! To join a social network!
Probably no problem at all to corporate folk with large budgets :)
Most people only remember the first part of Stuart Brand’s quote, “Information wants to be free …”
Full quote, as I recall, is along the lines of “information wants to be free, but it also wants to be expensive.”
Premium prices for premium information and networking opportunities is nothing new — it’s the foundation of the industry subscription-only newsletter model and the B2B conference model, both now dominated in large part by Informa Plc.
FT’s social network model is much more than that — appears its an effort to converge social networking with their other media and conference operations focused on premium information and networking.
Will be interesting to see how this works out, what the uptake is!
We’re in the wrong game ;-)
Seriously, would corporates, government etc take Facebook participation more seriously if they had to pay huge amounts to be involved?