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It's Like Facebook For The Art World / by Alicia Eler

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It's Like Facebook For The Art World By Alicia Eler / January 26, 2012 5:30 PM

Forget the random pictures of babies and puppies, alarming status updates from family members and political rants. On My-ArtMap, you will be immersed in art. It's as simple as that. The site, which is targeted at an international audience, is available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Chinese. You can create a username and password for the site, or login using Facebook Connect. It is also available as an iPhone app.

My-ArtMap is a social network exclusively for the art and art market. Like the Art World, it is populated by art professionals, including auction houses, galleries, museums and art collectors. The site just exited beta, shortly after acquiring many new members from Spain, Italy and Germany. It is heavily focused on Europe, at least for the time being.

 "Facebook is a great project, but the international art market is very closed and the requirements especially for this market are really different in comparison to other markets," says ArtMap CEO Stefan Sebök. "Facebook and Google are too big and not specialized enough for the art market!"

The site's news feed is known as the Newscafe. Much like Facebook, it surfaces stories posted by fellow users. But unlike the Facebook algorithm, My-ArtMap does not differentiate between highlighted and most recent stories.

The "Galleries" section allows users to create their own virtual art galleries around specific topics. These images can either have a certain theme, or could be a collection of artwork. For some reason, even though I set the language to English, the text in this section keeps popping up in German. Users can also create groups around a specific topic to discuss ideas privately. The site still has quite a few quirks. It's unclear how the Newscafe algorithm sorts stories, and sometimes the text doesn't translate. Still, this is an interesting project that seems like it could become a very useful tool for the social networked Art World.