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The IEE is actively re-engineering itself to remain, in an Internet-driven era, a premier provider of lifelong career support for its ever-increasing, worldwide membership. To do this, the IEE must provide unique and valued support for academics, teachers, researchers and industrialists at all stages of their careers. The Internet, with its rich potential, offers a wonderful platform on which to deliver this support, but the experience of many professional users is still poor. In particular, the delivery of relevant technical information and educational/training support is still generally relatively unsuccessful. With this mission in mind, the IEE has introduced over thirty fully managed Professional Networks (PNs): Internet-enabled communities, offering access to a wide range of information resources as well as facilities to support community interaction. A wide range of services has been introduced to explore technical capabilities and real costs, as well as to test user acceptance. This paper discusses these experiences and reviews the fundamental issues that are being raised, suggesting where work needs to be undertaken to satisfy these real requirements. In particular, it explores issues of content management, and highlights the need for a range of new techniques.
Date of Conference: 2002