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When Jean-Claude Goldenstein launched his online community for commercial real estate professionals in early 2008, the economy was already showing signs of weakness. He thought CREOPoint, an online meeting place, would offer certain advantages as business slowed. But he concedes he never expected the economy to get as bad as it did.

Because it has, Goldenstein says, virtual networking has become even more important. “Marketing, trade show and travel budgets are being cut, leading professionals no choice but to network more on the Internet. Tougher times and technology are obliterating conventional models of conducting business globally and locally,” he says. In this second of a two-part interview, Goldenstein talks more CREOPoint, a site that hopes to leverage globalization, industry change, sustainable development and multiple Web 2.0 essentials, including online B2B communities, user generated content and mobile technologies.

GlobeSt.com: What’s the technology behind the site?

Goldenstein: Ten years after the dot-com days, we now enjoy the benefits of the Internet: lower costs, greater choice and improved integration between industry partners. The next wave is already well underway with 500 million people already using new Web 2.0 standards to share information through podcasts and webcasts, news feeds, blogs, wikis and social networks. Adoption is exploding at rates far exceeding the initial adoption of the web. As Business Week recently wrote, “It will change your business forever.”

The social web is evolving into a new business medium–the Professional Web. Professionals between the ages of 25 to 45 around the world are driving this change, connecting point-to-point as well as many-to-many. This is a revolutionary change similar to changes as profound as email and PDAs. Tens of millions of executives have already joined networks like LinkedIn or Plaxo. Experts agree that the future of the web is in vertical, less cluttered communities like CREOPoint.

So much has happened since I started my career as an aerospace systems engineer, and technological change is accelerating. But CREOPoint is less about technology, even though it’s a web-based application, than quality and ease of use, especially on PDAs and iPhones.

GlobeSt.com: So CREOPoint is not another social network?

Goldenstein: No. CREOPoint members have businesses to run and are happy that we are cutting out the noise by being exclusive to the industry. And the best and brightest often want to increase their visibility and share their wisdom with others. Social networks like FaceBook are useful to connect with people in their 20′s but it also comes with unhealthy exhibitionism and mass-voyeurism. And real estate students about to graduate can’t show their Saturday night pictures to potential employers. LinkedIn can be useful for job searches and introductions, but it is not industry-focused the way CREOPoint is. Frankly, experienced CRE professionals are concerned about privacy and don’t have the time to sift through millions of profiles from hundreds of industries. CREOPoint gets to the point and it is rapidly becoming the Commercial Real Estate Online meeting point.

GlobeSt.com: What are your membership expectations?

Goldenstein: We are committed to building a strong community based on quality, privacy and trust. The focus of CREOPoint is on quality rather than quantity, and we maintain strict standards in accepting new members and their professional profiles. Since we soft launched in Sept. 2008, we’ve gained more than 1,000 members (average age = 43) from 30 countries. These pioneers who believe in CREOPoint represent:

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