After a year of research, planning and creation, reel-exchange.com is scheduled to debut in March, with a beta site going up this month to allow the first members to join the invitation-only community.
"In a Web 2.0 world, we have to provide new ways for people to communicate, collaborate and socialize," said Prescott Shibles, VP-online development at Prism. He described reel- exchange.com as a hybrid between LinkedIn and YouTube. LinkedIn, a MySpace or Facebook for grown-ups, is the leading social network for businesspeople, particularly in technology fields, with some 8 million members. The YouTube analogy relates to the media members will be showcasing, video and film, rather than the free-for-all environment of Google's newly purchased video sharing site.
Unlike LinkedIn and YouTube, though, participation in reel-exchange.com will not be free. The as-yet-undisclosed membership fee must be covered by the member or a reel- exchange.com sponsor that has invited him or her. "There's a lot of interest from sponsors in getting closer to this community," Shibles explained. "This gives them an opportunity to extend the affinity of reel-exchange.com back to the community by providing it to key people for free."
Sponsorship packages are priced by level, such as platinum and gold. Sony Corp. and Dell Inc. are among the intentionally limited number of platinum sponsors. In addition to prominent branding and site advertising, sponsors are able to extend a number of invitations to reel-exchange.com based on their level of financial commitment.