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Bldg98 is the creative home for writers, artists, photographers, graphic artists, readers and critics to interact, share and improve.

As can be expected on any network with a heavy concentration of pure talent, Bldg98 relies heavily on member-generated content. Members have shared more than 1500 vastly different photos, from scans of their own paintings to great works of photography.

The Network Creator, Aden Fisher, has taken extra steps to help acclimate new members. He has added a tab that links to a group entitled “The Front Desk,” where he explains basic concepts such as “How do I change my profile pic.” With this group, he has created a central place for his members to ask questions about the network.

Another way Aden has encouraged growth is by highlighting members who have significantly contributed to the network. At the moment, Bldg98 member Jason Ellis is prominently featured on the right column of every page on the network, after inviting the most people to Bldg98 in February.

After the jump, Aden explains it all in his own words.

Tell us about yourself and where you’re from.
My name is Aden Fisher and I’m an author/musician/artist living in the US. I’ve written eight novels, two of which are available for sale in the US and UK. I’m a songwriter/guitar/piano player and when time permits I love to draw and paint. I’m currently working on my latest novel, Holland’s End. With Holland’s End, I’m trying something different, writing one chapter a week until it is finished and posting them for free on my blog: http://adenfisher.blogspot.com. I decided to go this route because I liked the idea of bringing my readers along where no one could read ahead of anyone else. It creates tension in the story and a community among the readers.

Why did you create the network?
There are two reasons I created Bldg98. The first is, back in 2000 I created/ran a website dedicated to writers. It was ASP based and cutting edge for the time in the vein of writing sites and was featured in Writer’s Forum magazine as one of the top 50 websites for writers. However, after three years of running it I decided to dedicate my time to writing and closed shop. Flash forward to 2007, I’d been trying to find a decent network for writers that actually catered to the writers, created by a writer whose been out there in the publishing world and knows about the struggles and frustrations associated. I also thought, why limit it to just authors, artists in general have a hard time promoting and getting the word out so while the site has a slant towards writers, we welcome all creative types and all those who love creative types.

The second reason I created the site was I’ve seen other writing sites that are available and I haven’t been impressed with the look of them, what they offer, or how they treat the writers so I created the Bldg to be the type of site I’d like to use.

What’s your favorite feature?
The blog entry interface and the flexibility/viral aspect of the site.

What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve encountered?
I was surprised that you would turn over source code control to the developers. That was what really attracted me to the platform.

What are you future plans for the network?
I hope to continue to expand the feature set and bring on not only more writers, but readers and artists in all the different venues, be it photography or sculpting and also make the feature sets more streamlined for each of the different types of users.

How is your network unique?
I think with Bldg98, the mindset behind the creation was done out of a true hope that the site would bring artists together in a community where they can bounce ideas around and get feedback from other artists who may have more, or less, experience in the same venues. To me, that’s the best way to enhance your skill set and to up your game. I know from experience that trying to break into any industry be it the music industry, publishing, or even having your work shown at a gallery can be frustrating and time consuming. It’s a great thing to have people in your network who you can go to and say “What do you think about this song?” or “What do you think about this story?” and be able to field the issues that may arise before you ever take it to the industry. We all know you have to take your “A” game to the professionals when you submit your work so I hope that Bldg98 will give its tenants the ability to have that kind of relationship with the other members.