Network News - August 2013
07 August, 2013
Network News

Welcome to the August Newsletter! Today is actually an important day: the first birthday of the Blender Network! Thank you for staying with us after a shaky start and making the Network the great collection of professionals that is now.

We would like to celebrate this moment with a full report on the status of the Network.

Some history

First of all, let's review the major steps that brought the platform to the current situation.

First announcement

The Blender Network concept was originally announced by Ton Roosendaal in 2010 and described in a Blender wiki page.

Launch - SIGGRAPH 2012, LA

The project was developed during summer 2012, under supervision and management of Bart Veldhuizen. The first version of the Blender Network went public during SIGGRAPH 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Soon the website was featuring almost 100 profiles of professional Blender Users.

Change of management

Due to time availability issues, management of the Network passed to Francesco Siddi and Pablo Vazquez in January 2013, as they started to develop the platform from scratch.

New version

In March 2013, version 2.0 of the platform was released. After spending several weeks focusing on improving the quality of subscription management and user profile creation and editing.

A few new features were introduced, such as:

  • Availability status
  • Improved portfolio
  • Modular skillset
Further development

In the following months up to this date, we have focused on improving the overall usability of the website, as well as making sure that each and every Member Profile is up to date and well maintained. Special features such as realtime 3D model visualization on profiles were added, provided by Sketchfab.

Blender Network in numbers

Since February 2013 we have been collecting data about the website.

Some highlights on visits:

  • Nearly 150.000 pages view by about 27.000 unique visitors
  • 6000 visits a month, where roughly 66% are new visitors
  • A world map of the incoming connection is available

About our Members:

  • 180 active members
  • 500 pending members
  • 80% Freelancers, 10% Corporate, 10% Education

Members feedback

During the two weeks before Siggraph an internal memo was sent, inviting all members to participate in a poll to give feedback about the platform. Key points were:

  • The platform functionality is greatly appreciated and members are making good use of it
  • The value of our fast response support system (in average much less than 12 hours) is recognized and appreciated
  • Many freelancers got job offers and opportunities via the Network (happy members!)
  • 80% of the members plan to renew their membership

What is coming next

We are continuously working on new ways to provide great features to our members, but the ultimate goal is to create opportunities. Since the beginning our work has been more towards the structure side of the site, we are now ready to shift focus. In the coming months you can expect:

  • More advertising and marketing of the Network
  • Jobs board
  • An internal forum for discussion between members

Bring the network with you, show off your profile on the go and keep it up to date in the easiest way possible. (e.g. mobile applications, integration with other platforms)

We believe this will lead to a faster growth of the network in terms of popularity and visibility. We are already working on the jobs board system and it should go live very soon!

Conclusions

We are very proud of the current status of the Network, as well as the evolution path it has gone through in the last six months. Thanks again for your support, have a good networking experience!