Forgoing the usual tote bags and T-shirts route, new startup Declaration.net is making a unique proposal to donors on its Indiegogo campaign page: contribute $50 or more and receive permanent public recognition as an early supporter of the site. To put that in Facebook terms, it's like having a gold star from Mark Zuckerberg forever attached to your Facebook profile. Early adopter status has never been so verifiable. Of course Declaration.net has a long way to go before it's spoken of in the same breath as Facebook. In fact, calling it a combination of Wikipedia, IMDb, OKCupid, and LinkedIn might be a more apt comparison.
The site, which is scheduled to go live in March, is a digital database of creative content spanning a wide range of creative industries and disciplines - from advertising to woodworking and everything in between. It exists to help people preserve and protect their work, gain recognition for their efforts, and bring a new level of transparency and democratization to the creative process. It also serves to ensure that those who haven't put in the work won't take credit away from those who have.
Declaration.net is the brainchild of four ad agency veterans - Yogi Naraine, Ryan Edmonson, Jake Wallace, and Marc Macaluso - who saw a need for a robust online archive that did a lot more than just host portfolios. "Transparency is one of our key tenets," says Naraine. "Among the biggest barriers to creating something are not knowing the time, money, equipment, vendors, and materials involved and not being able to connect with likeminded people who can help make it happen. Our site is a resource for overcoming these obstacles."
Declaration.net is designed not only to showcase creative output but actually facilitate new creative breakthroughs. Members get metrics on their work's performance. They can follow other users whose work they admire. And they can attach themselves to projects they've worked on that already exist in the database, making the dreaded portfolio update - the bane of creatives everywhere - a lot less daunting.