Tuesday January 22, 2013 | 04:35 PM

CreativePortland.com screenshot

This afternoon, at a public conversation between the Maine Arts Commission and the local Creative Portland Corporation, city officials and economic development officials are taking the wraps off a brand-new website whose goal is to connect creative-economy Portlanders and recruit more people and businesses to move to our city (disclosure: until last month when I joined the Press Herald, I worked on this site extensively as the editor of Creative Portland's old site).

Credit for the new site's visual design and back-end development goes to local firm Might & Main.

The new site reflects elements of the city's new creative economy branding strategy, including a new Portland tagline: "Yes. Life's good here." With bright photography and testimonials from people who live here, it's a big part of the city's pitch to attract new residents and businesses from cities like Boston, Brooklyn, and the other Portland.

A big part of Creative Portland's strategy is to strengthen the creative economy by strenghthening the already tightly-knit personal networks we have here in our small city, and extending those networks out to prospective residents who don't live here yet.

The site invites Portlanders to share details about their own involvement in the creative economy, and what they love about the city. The "Connect to a Portlander" section of the new site uses these profiles to help market the city to like-minded people from elsewhere. The idea is that if an architect from Atlanta is thinking about beating the heat with a move to Maine, they'll be able to find Maine-based architects and designers and begin their networking before they pack the moving van. It's economic development with a highly personal touch.

Of course, this feature works best if lots of people participate, so check out the new site and create a profile of your own.



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I'm an economics wonk and an online content producer for the Portland Press Herald.

You can get in touch with me by emailing cmilneil [at] mainetoday.com, or by calling 791-6307, or by following @vigorousnorth. Also check out my business and economics list on Twitter.

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