The LinkedIn for designers aims to kick-start connections

Aiming to make the online creative community more collaborative, Ciarán Burke came up with Hiive.

hiive

Could Hiive be the website to kick start your creative connections?

There's no denying that when it comes to showcasing your portfolio, Behance is ahead of the game. However, recent months have seen a surge in Behance-like sites, such as Desinion as well as others. Hiive is another such site, which aims to combine the portfolio aspects of Behance with the connectivity of LinkedIn to produce a creative site with a difference.

We sat down with editor Ciaran Burke to find out what makes Hiive stand out from the crowd and what he hopes the site will do for the creative community.

Tell us a little bit about Hiive...

We've set up Hiive to become the professional network for creative people. Hiive allows professionals, companies and course providers to kick-start creative connections with jobs, projects, courses, knowledge and people.

If you're a creative it's a fantastic place to showcase your talent or business, discover opportunities and ultimately grow your network.

Why did you decide to create it?

The idea was born out of the success of the creative industries. The industries grew by almost 10% in 2012, representing 5.6% of UK jobs. We needed an online platform that could champion these industries, encourage this growth and get creatives talking to one another within and across the different sectors.

Not only that but there was and still is a huge need to open up careers in the creative industries to a much broader, more diverse demographic across the UK. We now feel we have created a website that has the ability to do just that through giving people a platform to showcase their talent.

How does it differ to other sites offering similar services?

There are a lot of great sites for the professional communities, like LinkedIn, and others for a creative audience, like Behance and Dribbble, but none that brings everything together in one place for individuals, businesses and course providers.

With Hiive you can showcase your skills and portfolio as well as connecting with other creatives and influencers. Users can learn new skills and collaborate across Hiive Swarms, our new microsites.

If you're a business, you can find new talent and connect with other companies facing similar challenges and opportunities. If you offer courses, we have a community of over 10,000 creatives desperately keen to keep learning and getting better at what they do.

Do you think Hiive will help to make the creative industry more diverse?

Yes, it is part of Hiive's ethos to help make the creative industries more diverse. Thankfully it's becoming a lot easier for new talent to get into the creative industries because social networks are helping to break down the traditional barriers you had to get through to see an employer.

With Hiive we want to bring those barriers down another level. By being able to being able to bring all of your online content into one place as a cohesive portfolio on Hiive, it's much easier to be discovered by the right people, regardless of your background.

Hiive's aim is to make the creative industry more diverse

What was the process like when creating Hiive?

We have a great team with a wide range of skills, and we're constantly asking our users for feedback. This really helps Hiive to evolve, and new features are constantly cropping up on the site as a result of this feedback such as freelancer availability, the ability to use gifs and the need to build our own audio player.

We were probably guilty of trying to build too many things at once, so I think it is always a good idea to prototype an idea, test it out with your target demographic and then get it to a level that is ready for market instead of trying to do every feature at once.

What can we look forward to from Hiive in the future?

The Hiive Agency is something I'm very excited about. It's all about unlocking the talent in the Hiive community through generating paid commissions for them. I can't say too much at the moment but we've already had some incredible ideas flying around.

We want Hiive to be synonymous with people in the creative industries. The day is coming when I'll overhear someone saying, "Oh, I saw your Hiive," and that will please me greatly.

This interview originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 240: Promote Yourself.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A founder member of the Creative Bloq team, Sammy Maine is now a freelance journalist. She also thinks that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably the best television series ever created.