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Iran: Profile of Social Networking Site IrExpert.ir
FEA20091015959463 – OSC Feature – Iran — OSC Media Aid 14 Oct 09
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Iran — Social Networking Site IrExpert.ir Focuses on Iranian Professionals
IrExpert.ir is a Persian-language social networking site established as a forum for Iranian professionals and experts around the world. Similar in style to the popular international business social networking site Linkedin, IrExpert.ir serves as a platform for users to exchange ideas, foster professional relationships, connect with other colleagues, share information, and seekprofessional opportunities. Only limited information is available on the open social networking site, as the majority of content is retained in the password protected portal that can only be accessed by members. This report is based only on the information available to nonmembers.
According to Informatics Society of Iran (isi.org.ir), Ir.Expert.ir is the largest professional networking site in Iran and was established on 23 July 2006.[ 1] According to its website, the launch of a platform such as Ir.Expert.ir was needed to provide a space for Iranian professionals to post resumes, share information in various professional fields, house an information database of Iranian professionals with advanced search capability, and generate communication between Iranian professionals in the government and private sector (IrExpert.ir).
IrExpert.ir’s Statistics, Terms, Conditions
IrExpert.ir claims to be the leading Persian-language professional portal in Iran and reports its membership is rapidly increasing. According to website counter Alexa, approximately 99% of the portal’s users come from Iran, while less than 1% come from other countries.
- Ir.Expert.ir indicates that it currently has 27,000 members, who have obtained various levels of educational degrees. The portal claims that the site gains 200 new members per day (IrExpert.ir).
- The portal houses 25 professional databases in fields ranging from engineering to medicine to social sciences (IrExpert.ir).
The portal’s terms and conditions are as follows:
- Members must be Iranian citizens or of Iranian heritage (IrExpert.ir).
- Members must possess a “rich educational background” or be a student enrolled in a “degree program approved by the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology” (IrExpert.ir).
- According to IrExpert.ir, the social networking site is overseen by “advanced mechanisms” to ensure that materials posted in the portal are legal and in sync with the laws of the Islamic Republic.
Features Available on IrExpert.ir
Although IrExpert.ir is a password-protected website, some information about the portal is available on the open website under the following columns: “Introduction to the Site,” “Law Department,” “Question/Answer,” “Advertisements,” “News Archive,” and “Contact Us.”
‘Introduction to the Site’
According to IrExpert.ir, the portal has been established as an information bank of professional opportunities for members.
- By obtaining membership on IrExpert.ir, members are provided with a personal profile page to enter personal information, professional skills, and a list of any projects. This profile page allows members “to be introduced to a worldwide audience” (IrExpert.ir).
- According to the site, the latest news in specialized fields, information on conferences, and job openings and scholarship opportunities inside and outside of the country are e-mailed to members daily (IrExpert.ir).
The law department web page of IrExpert.ir advises that it “provides legal services to members” of this social networking site. No further information regarding cost is provided on the open page (IrExpert.ir).
- Law services include criminal law, will/inheritance law, business law, family law, real-estate law, and law pertaining to the registration of a foreign company (IrExpert.ir).
The IrExpert.ir portal contains a forum for questions and answers that users pose to other members, as well as a list of the most active professionals who participate in the forum.
- The ‘Question/Answer’ forum displays profiles of the most active members participating in the forum every week. The snapshot below lists the six most active members, who posted approximately 640 to 1500 questions, during the week of 3-9 October.
- The matrix below lists members and their professions in the right-hand column and their posted questions in the middle column. Examples of questions and comments posed to other professionals include: “How do we begin the creation of a factory in Kabul?” and “Please provide me with information regarding gasoline and petrochemical industry.”
Given IrExpert.ir’s focus on Iranian professionals, the website mandates that “only particular organizations and centers that provide specialized products and services are privileged to utilize this portal.”
- Some of the information service entities represented in this portal include: Technical University of Amirkabir, Malaysian Multi Media University in Iran, Islamic University of Science and Technology in Yazd, Information Technology Company 01, Behko Company, and Partlastic Company.
IrExpert.ir links articles on specialized fields written both by members and experts outside the IrExpert.ir community.
- Parviz Omidi is an electrical engineer who obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering and writes articles related to this field. His article, “The use of electrical energy in Iran,” is listed below beneath his photo.
Contact information provided for IrExpert.ir’s central office includes:
Street address: “Shahid Haqani Highway in Tehran”
Telephone number: 88870715
Fax number: 88794165
E-mail address: Support@IrExpert.ir
Additional Functions, Tabs on IrExpert.ir’s Home Page
IrExpert.ir’s home page contains several additional functions and elements, including: “Home Page,” “Library,” “Search,” and “Registration.”
IrExpert.ir’s home page lists the most active members of the week, articles pertaining to professions or field of expertise, advertisements, and information regarding professional conferences and educational institutions. Only limited information is displayed to nonmembers.
IrExpert.ir’s library consist of books that members can access pertaining to fields such as medicine, engineering, physical sciences, art, education, and other social sciences.
IrExpert.ir has an advanced search capability that allows users to search the site by first and last name, gender, marital status, profession, field of expertise, degree type and field, country, province, and city. Examples of professionals whose profile information is displayed on the search page are shown below.
Registration for IrExpert.ir is obtained in three stages. The first step is for potential members to submit personal and professional background information and then wait for an e-mail from site administrators. Next, potential members would use a log-in ID and password sent via e-mail to enter the portal. Finally, to take full advantage of the services provided by the portal, members must keep their profiles active and pay a subscription fee, if necessary. There is no information provided regarding the rules for membership charges.
[ 1] [Internet Site | | Informatics Society of Iran | | Introduction to Portal for Iranian Professionals | | Author: Vala Ali Rohani | |Last Accessed: 22 September 2009 | |URL: http://www.isi.org.ir/Magezin/174/58.asp].
[This item was originally filed as IAF20091014734001]