«I'm proud to announce the arrival of the Blender Network - the official Blender Foundation partnership program for professionals.»
The Blender Network will support these professionals by providing them much better visibility to prospective clients. In addition, it will actively support their business with promotion (with events, press etc.), and by helping companies find the right Blender service for them. This is also why the membership is not free - there will be a lot of actual work done, which needs to be paid for. The Blender Network and the Blender Foundation decide together on how the money will be spent.
Ton Roosendaal, Chairmain of the Blender Foundation, writes:
«I am convinced that the Blender Network initiative will be as important for Blender's future as the open movies and the game we made over the past 5 years. If we want to keep growing and keep investing in quality, we need to build a community of professionals specifically based on their own requirements.»
What does the Network site offer?
Network members can maintain their own profile which includes detailed information about the services that they offer, contact information and samples of their work. Visitors can browse all this information and search very accurately: do you need a Blender consultant in Rome? You've got it. A Blender Core developer with knowledge of compositing? No problem!
In addition, members can indicate that they have done business with each other. This way, you can see who has strong ties and good reputation within the community.
What are the future plans?
The Network site is not ready yet - far from it. The networking component will become larger, members will be able to upload more types of media to their page (Video, interactive 3D), and they will be able to maintain a list of projects, for example.
More services are planned and there's a still lot of room for your feedback. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to present your suggestions!
SIGGRAPH Special: 50% Discount
Sign up during SIGGRAPH 2012 and receive a 50% discount on the first year of your membership. Well okay, we'll give you a little more time in case you're traveling - sign up before Sunday, August 12, 8pm GMT+1 (Amsterdam time) and you'll pay only half the regular membership.
The last couple of weeks have been hectic, and I'd like to thank the people who helped me out: Ton, for pushing the concept for this release further than I first thought feasible, Evert from Streeff for creating the graphic design, and our team of dedicated testers for relentlessly pointing out bugs and