Welcome to creativepro.com
Allow me to introduce you to creativepro.com, a website devoted to the needs of the creative community. As editorial director of the site, I'm pleased that you've decided to check us out. If this is your first visit, read on to get a lay of the land. Been here before? Be sure to browse around and check out the new content we're adding daily.
TITLE!What is creativepro.com?
In current Web parlance, creativepro.com is what's known as a "vertical portal" : it targets a specific audience (a "vertical" market) by collecting and linking to information, products, and services (a Web "portal") relevant to that market, in this case the community of creative professionals. There are other ways to describe the site --Buzzword Bingo players take note -- such as content aggregator, business-to-business e-commerce, vortal and so on, culled from the pages of all the New Economy magazines published these days. You know the ones, Industry Standard, Fast Company, Business 2.0 -- the bibles for 20-something wannabe Net millionaires.
But while the Net-speak is technically correct, they fail to convey the true essence of creativepro.com. This site is designed to provide all the information and tools creative professionals need to understand their business, to work more productively, to make new client connections, to interact with your peers, and as a result, to make more money. That's it.
TITLE!What is a creative professional anyway?
At creativepro.com, we picture a creative professional as any individual or organization that conducts business across the creative workflow. Simply put, if you design graphics, layout pages, or animate GIFs, you're a creative professional. If you color-correct images, run a printing press, or program a Website, you're a creative professional. If you work in an ad agency, a service bureau, or (ahem) a vertical portal, you're a creative professional.
Too often people think of this audience as only those who work on the front end of the creative process – designers and graphic artists, for example. We think that creative professionals span the creative workflow, from project conception through execution, design and production. Another way of looking at it was expressed by Gene Gable, VP and General Manager of Seybold Seminars and former publisher of Publish magazine, who saw it as those of us who share "commitment and a passion for results."
TITLE!What does the site offer creative professionals?
At creativepro.com, you'll find a full array of information, products and services that complements your particular area of interest. The site contains 10 departments, from asset management to web publishing. Next to these departments is a list of companies relevant to the topic (on the home page, our partner companies are represented). Each department is context sensitive, so when you enter that department, you find only the news, companies, products and services pertaining to that department.
The home page reflects the types of information you'll find across the site, starting with headline news pulled from our partner news sites such MacWeek.com, Publish, and HOW magazine. Regular Spotlight features are written by some of the biggest names in the field – people like David Blatner, Bruce Fraser, Olav Martin Kvern, Brian Lawler, Kathleen Tinkel, and Chuck Weger. You'll also find productivity-enhancing tips, message boards, trade-show calendars, polls and more.
Creativepro.com is designed to be a one-stop shop for the creative professional. First, check to see which versions of software are available. Our relationship with Softwatcher provides the latest information. Then compare what different reviewers said about the same product in the Reviews Hub. Ready to buy? Our arrangement with beyond.com lets you purchase software without getting lost in cyberspace.
Take a look, too, at the resources directory. Here are complete listings of companies and organizations that are vital to your business. Need a service bureau in your area? How about a Web design firm? Seek and ye shall find. And if you're looking for work, check out Career Center under Community. Thanks to our association with monster.com, you can search for a variety of positions suited for the creative professional.
But the unique value of the site lies in e-Services -- web-enabled applications that allow you to work within your Web browser. Instead of buying a desktop application, you can use our online services from any computer that has a web browser. A simple example can be found in the Web Publishing department where you can convert RGB colors to the hexadecimal values used in Web sites. No fuss, no muss. Everything you need in accessible through your browser.
TITLE!What special features should I check out?
Well, What's Hot is a good place to start. Here you'll find special features and offers such as our Finders Keepers contest. This section changes on a regular basis.
Beneath What's Hot is the section devoted to e-Services. A more ambitious example than the RGB-to-Hex Converter is Preflight Online that allows you to check files for errors such as missing fonts or misplaced graphics before sending them to your output service. This process, known as preflighting, is employed by service bureaus and purchased as a desktop application. In fact 95 percent of all jobs sent to service bureaus contain these kinds of errors, according to some estimates. But think how much easier it would be if clients could go to a single URL and check their own files before sending them? That's the promise of services for the creative community.
Also, you'll want to customize your homepage through our personalization service, mycreativepro. Here you can pick which items you want to see on a regular basis. Only interested in Macs? Then set up your home page to only show material related to that platform.
TITLE!Who are we?
Creativepro.com began as a skunkworks project at Extensis Corp., the company known for its plug-ins and extensions and which should be familiar to most creative professionals. Extensis as a company has now morphed into creativepro.com. The standalone applications you are used to will all continue in some capacity – in some cases as shrink-wrapped software, but more so as e-Services on the website. In fact the technology that forms the foundation of creativepro.com's e-Services is adapted from Extensis's desktop applications.
Despite this website's genesis under the Extensis name, let me assure you of one thing: At creativepro.com, Extensis is treated just like any other vendor. If an Adobe or Quark or Macromedia product gets a negative review, we'll post it, just as we'd post a positive review. The same goes for Extensis products. We pledge that our content will be vendor neutral.
Our objectivity is my number one priority. I am an editor by training and by practice. I've been Editor in Chief of Publish and MacUser magazines, and until I moved to Portland, I taught for 8 years at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. It matters to me.
Finally, I'll be reporting in from time to time on the progress of the site and also about current happenings in the creative professional community. So please, click around and tell me what you think. I welcome your feedback.
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