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Old 10-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #1
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Boston to get own social networking website

Boston Globe - October 16, 2008
Boston to get own social networking website
Emphasis will be on business, academic links

By Casey Ross, Globe Staff | October 16, 2008

Mayor Thomas M. Menino is launching a Facebook-like social networking website where people with roots in the city's corporate and academic communities can share ideas and information about promoting Boston's business climate.

The site,, will be unveiled today at City Hall and is scheduled to go live in November. It will include blogs, profiles of entrepreneurs and business leaders, chat networks, information about local events, and pages focused on everything from finance and investment to green living and clean energy. There is no cost to join the site.

"This is redefining the notion of this city's human capital," said Dave McLaughlin, executive director of Boston World Partnerships, a nonprofit organization created by Menino last year to run the effort. "This model includes not just people who live and work here, but people who live elsewhere and define themselves as being connected to the city."

Menino describes it as an online Boston alumni network similar to those operated by universities across the country.

"We've always known that our people are our best resource and that's exactly who this new strategy employs," Menino said.

Boston World Partnerships was founded to generate economic development in sectors such as healthcare, higher education, life sciences, and other industries that have a strong presence in the region. It received $1.4 million in seed donations from local businesses and $1 million from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Mark Maloney, former BRA director and president of the Boston World Partnerships board, said the network will allow the city to tap into brainpower around the world without having to fund expensive trade missions or use traditional media resources that don't necessarily result in productive working relationships.

"We want to reach out to people to find out what they need, who they want to meet, and how we can brainstorm about their business opportunities," he said.

Casey Ross can be reached at
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: Boston to get own social networking website

Interesting idea but they need a shorter URL.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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Re: Boston to get own social networking website

They're discussing this at the BRA meeting right now. Interesting idea, but given that this is Boston, it's likely only a hip, clever way to waste public money on a few dozen patronage jobs. I wonder if airing those sorts of sentiments will be allowed.
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