News & Views
Introducing Hunie, a social network that combines creativity and criticism

In this day and age, it can sometimes feel like a brand new social network is cropping up every other day. And while few of these new contenders have the potential to be a genuine game changer, that doesn’t mean they are without merit, or their own market. In fact, niche networks remain one of the few viable avenues for entrepreneurs in this area. Lisa Gulasy recently blogged for Kuno Creative, a US-based marketing agency, on the business benefits that can be reaped from niche networks, including a greater chance of engagement and more targeted leads.

Newcomer niche network Hunie has been conceived especially with designers and creators in mind, and to a certain extent treads familiar ground that has been covered by Behance, while capitalising on the popularity and visual focus of curated mosaic sites like Pinterest and Loveit. The difference with Hunie is that it goes beyond simply offering a platform on which to showcase one’s work; it also provides a space for other users to give feedback and criticism.

Founder Damian Madray explained the thinking behind Hunie: “Not everyone has access to a large group of friends who are designers. We want those who are well connected to use this to give back to the designers now starting out. Beyond that, I feel it’s a great way to connect with new designers and gain perspective, fresh ones from designers you may not know.”

It is also Madray’s hope that Hunie may act as a forum in which artists and designers can build relationships with entrepreneurs, project managers and other more corporate types.

Of course, by inviting criticism, Hunie runs the risk of becoming the playground of choice for internet trolls and devaluing its unique proposition. Madray, however, has already foreseen this issue, and is keen to foster and cultivate the right kind of user base: “Getting critiques is always difficult online mainly because it’s a cultural issue. This is why it’s never been solved… Our approach is not purely technical but social. Once we have the tone set, we will slowly bring on designers who get this culture that can contribute to it. Our branding, messaging, positioning will be about critiques, so if you don’t dig it, head on back to Dribbble please.”

Hunie is still in its early stages, with only thirty members and various bugs that need weeding out, but a private beta version and eventually a full launch are both predicted for later this year.

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