Social Networking for Those Who Can't Get Enough of Integration

Loraine Lawson

I still believe in social networking and the potential of Web 2.0 -- despite everything Facebook and MySpace have done to quell my initial enthusiasm.


So, in the spirit of Web 2.0 optimism, I'm passing along this announcement about the Integration Consortium's recent Web site revamp. Normally, this wouldn't be news, but in this case, they've added social networking features that allow you to connect with other IT pros based on your integration interests.


The catch is that you do have to join the consortium to participate. Corporate prices vary by earnings, but individual dues are $100.


Executive Director Leanne MacDonald said via e-mail that the new site will support networking by allowing members to create connection lists with other members and to search for other members using company name, first or last name, profession and location, among other options.


Starting this month, the Consortium will add smaller, more focused groups that allow members to connect based on their integration interests. Consortium Chair John Schmidt explained in the official announcement:

"It was created so that individuals with similar interests can easily exchange experiences and ideas related to all the specialties in the field of enterprise integration such as Service Oriented Architecture, Integration Competency Centers, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Enterprise Architecture and middleware."

The Integration Consortium SOA group and ICC group will launch this month, MacDonald stated in an e-mail.


The previous site already offered a few blogs, but eventually, blogs will be supported within the smaller groups.


MacDonald said the site attracts visitors from nearly 50 countries. If you're curious about the site, you can sign up for a complimentary membership, which enables you to download a limited number of white papers and case studies and subscribe to the consortium's monthly Integrator Newsletter.


The Integration Consortium was launched in 2001 by integration industry leaders and is registered as a 501 (6)(C) non profit organization.

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Sep 3, 2008 11:39 AM TravisV TravisV  says:
This seems like a tough sell. Charging any amount of money to IT pros to connect (in a social platform or otherwise) seems to overlook how many quality IT trade publications are having a tough time even selling advertising. Why would a Java developer, for example, want to pay to meet other Java developers to talk about J2EE integration, when already has extremely rich discussions (from an international audience) daily? This seems like it will be a very tough slog for this consortium to generate interest in this networking they are trying to facilitate. Also - with all due respect - I think users would note that joining a consortium led by vendors is basically opting in to being pitched integration solutions by those vendors. Reply
Sep 4, 2008 6:56 AM John Schmidt John Schmidt  says:
In response to TravisV's comment, I need to clarify a misconception. In particular, to make the case that the BEST way to ensure that members don't get vendor pitches is to charge a membership fee. As a non-profit organization, the staff that work for the Integration Consortium are not getting rich - the membership dues go towards providing services to help educate members and establish connections to help them be more effective. If the IC would stop charging membership dues then the alternatives are to sell advertising or secure sponsorships from vendors (both of which would result in more pitches of the kind TravisV doesnt appreciate), or go out of business. There are many professional groups that have existed for many years based on a membership due structure. The IC is doing the same thing, but with a more progressive social networking platform.And one more point about the vendors. They have some of most intelligent, most innovative, and insightful integration experts in the world. In fact thats why they work for a software vendor. If you were going to establish a community of experts from around the world, wouldnt you want the best and most passionate practitioners to participate regardless of which company they worked for? Reply

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