The following is a list of professional associations and related groups that should appeal to most Progeeks, Profans, Creative Class, and other Geekonomic types.
I've also listed what countries the different associations work in.
ACTING AND RELATED:
- Screen Actor's Guild (USA) – The well-known union for actors of all kinds. Getting in requires work in a SAG film or production, so joining may be a bit tough. Has many regional branches.
- Association of Talent Agents (USA) – A trade association for talent agents and talent agencies, heavily focused on member benefits and legal support in a complex industry. They also promote members with an open online directory, which may be useful in many ways.
- Casting Society of America (USA) – A society for Casting Directors – the people that are basically HR for actors. A bit tough to get into, but they provide a lot of benefits.
- AIGA (USA) – A professional organization for graphic artists and designers with multiple chapters in the United States. Multiple levels of membership andmultiple chapters in theUnited States.
- American Institute of Graphic Arts (USA) – A professional association for graphic artists/designers. Has a variety of chapters and initiatives, with a focus on both theory/education and professional support. Various levels of membership are available.
- Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ALL) – A major organization for sf/fantasy artists, and rather well-known. Also big on volunteering (a great way to get involved), and networking.
- National Association of Independent Artists (USA) – Focused mostly on artists who display in art shows, it provides resources focused on the same.
- National Cartoonist's Society (ALL) – Provides a variety of membership levels, with a big focus on networking and news.
- Society of Illustrators (ALL) – An organization promoting illustration since 1901. Has various levels of membership, including one for starting illustrators. Most other membership is by reccomendation/approval. Promoting illustration is a prime priority.
- ACM SIGGRAPH (ALL) – Part of the Association For Computing Machinery, Siggraph is a well-known community for computer graphics professionals. Provides a variety of educational benefits, a publication, a yearly conference, and more. One does not have to be an ACM member to join the group.
- International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (ALL) – Dedicated to recognition of and association among outstanding people in the digital arts fields. Membership is invite-only, so getting in is obviously pretty tough,
- National Association of Photoshop Professionals (ALL) – A group for photoshop users, started by a media publishing group and Scott Kelby, one of the most published experts on graphics. Has tutorials, community, and more.
- Pixel Corps (ALL – An organization focused on creating a "guild" for graphics professionals. Still evolving at this point.
- National Association of Comics Art Teachers (ALL) – A resource and professional site for those who teach comic art or are interested in learning. Still growing.
COMPUTERS AND RELATED TECHNOLOGY:
- Association For Computing Machinery (ALL) – A large, international professional organization for those serious about computing. Focuses more on theory than on hardware. Has a variety of memberships, special interest groups, and benefits. One of the larger computer professional organizations.
- Association for Information and Image Management (ALL) – An organization supporting people who work in information management as well as those using their services. Members are supported with certification, publications, networking, and useful online resources.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals (USA) – A venerable institution for people in information technology, especially leaders, managers, and senior professionals. Focuses a lot on networking and development. Has a large amount of chapters.
- Computer Research Association (ALL) – An organization focused on computer professional research, community, and policy, with a strong emphasis on improving education and academic quality and support
- Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (ALL) – A large international organization supporting people in the computing and related professions with a variety of publications, resources, and benefits. Has somewhat more emphasis on hardware and technology than theory. One of the larger computer professional organizations.
COMPUTERS – AI:
- Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (ALL) – An organization for those serious about the study, theory, and implementation of Artificial Intelligence. Provides publications, conferences, and resources to its members.
COMPUTERS – MANAGEMENT:
- Association of Internet Research (ALL) – An organization for people who study the internet, and thus heavily focused on the academic side of the internet. A variety of memberships are available, and the group focuses on journals, meetings, and mailing lists.
- Society for Information Management (ALL) – A professional association for managers in IT and managers of IT. Focuses mostly on networking and self improvement. Pretty high-level stuff.
COMPUTERS – OPEN SOURCE:
- Free Software Foundation (ALL) – An organization focused on free software, open source, and the promotion of those ideals, as well as legal support and writings.
- Linux Professionals Institute (ALL) – Supports training and certification of Linux professionals.
- The Linux Foundation (ALL) – Facilitates education, technology, and events for users and developers of Linux.
COMPUTERS – SECURITY:
- Computer Security Institute (ALL) – An education-focused organization for those working in computer security in theory and practice. Heavy emphasis on community, education, resources, and newsletters/publications.
COMPUTERS – SYSADMIN AND NETWORKS:
- IEEE Communications Society (All) – The IEEE's communications-oriented branch, focusing on networking, communications technology, and soforth. Has a variety of sister organizations and publications.
- Information Architecture Institute (ALL) – A professional organization for people involved in the architecture, physical and conceptual, of information services.
- League of Professional System Administrators (ALL) – System Administrators aren't often appreciated, but LOPSA is there to give them support. Has discounts, job boards, networking, etc. They appear to be evolving as a group right now.
- Network Professionals' Association (ALL) – An organization for networking professionals, focused heavily on professional growth, and providing diverse benefits to members.
- North American Network Operators Group (USA/Canada) – An organization for people who are involved in serious networks – backbones, heavy-duty structures, etc. They sponsor meetings, mailing lists, networking, and more.
EVENTS AND EVENT PLANNING:
- International Festival and Event Association (ALL) – Supports people who do events professionally, including awards, recognition, and networking.
INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT:
- Institute of Knowledge Transfer (UK) – A UK/Irish based knowledge management organization. It seems to be evolving over time.
- International Society for Knowledge Organization (ALL) – European-based organization supporting knowledge management of all kinds. Extremely international, though a bit small in size. Seems to have a very academic/research/theory bent.
- Knowledge Management Professional Society (ALL) – A large international knowledge management organization with a broad scope. Focuses on certification, community, and training.
- Museum Computer Network (USA) – An interesting group – supporting the technology of museums and those who work in them. Specialized, by it may fit some people's interests.
- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (USA) – A union for people working in both entertainment and journalistic media. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Has a long history, provides many benefits to members.
- American Women in Radio and Television (USA) – A non-profit organization supporting and advancing the careers of women in electronic media. Provides a variety of support services, from discounts to mentoring.
- International Alliance of Theaterical Stage Employees (MULTIPLE) – A union for people involved in stage and television, boasting a larger membership in the US and Canada.
- Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (USA) – An organization with a foundation focusing on those that write and illustrate children's books, but it also focuses on all children's media. Provides multiple levels of membership and benefits, and also focuses on helping people find speakers for events.
- The Actor's Fund (USA) – Provides career, benefits, and information support to people in entertainment careers. Initially focused on actors, it's scope has broadened over the year.
- Visual Resource Associates (USA) – An organization dedicated to support people involved in image management – records, photos, graphic images, etc. Focuses on professional support, including training and publications.
- The American Society of Cinematographers (USA) – An extremely exclusive, invite-only group for people who are distinguished in directing and special effects. Membership is prestigious. The Society also publishes a magazine on the subject open to all.
- Professional Photographers of America (USA) – A professional organization for photographers in general. Provides a vareity of resources from advice to webinars to local affiliates. Multiple levels of membership available, and many local affiliates provide the opportunity to connect directly.
- Stock Artists Alliance (ALL) – A professional organization supporting stock photographers (a job too often overlooked). Provides a variety of memberships and information. Focuses on supporting stock photographers in their business and rights.
- Printing Industries of America (MULTIPLE) – A large organization providing professional support for printers and those in the industry. Despite it's name, its reach extends beyond America, with a variety of affiliates. Has a variety of membership levels.
- Association of American Publishers (USA) – An organization for publishers and people in publishing, supporting both the business side and the promotion of reading and publishing. Also focuses on changes in technology.
- Audio Publisher's Assocaiton (ALL) – Promotes and supports audiobook publishing, with membership from big publishers to individuals – and support for narrator careers. Supports and does presentations at a variety of events.
PUBLISHING – SMALL PRESS AND RELATED:
- Small Publishers, Artists and Writers' Network (ALL) – Supports people in all fields of publishing. Has teleseminars, free books, and a variety of other benefits. Membership is open to all.
- Small Publisher's Assocation of North America (USA) – Supports small publishers and writers as a nonprofit organization. Supports networking and provides a variety of membership levels.
- Actors Equity (USA) – An actors and stage manager's union and professional support group. Includes benefits. Has an outreach and education program.
- American Alliance of Theater and Education (USA)
- Dramatists Guild of America (USA) – Supports the interests of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists, and provides a variety of benefits with very reasonable membership rates.
- Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (ALL) – A professional organziation focusing on recognizing excellence in the gaming field, presenting awards and organizing the D.I.C.E> summit. Multiple membership options.
- Entertainment Software Association (USA) – A professional organization representing the interests of the game industry in the USA. Focuses heavily on legal issues, IP, and piracy. They run E3.
- Game Audio Network Guild (ALL) – A professional organization focused on promoting the game audio field and helping the professionals in the field. Multiple levels of membership are available.
- Interactive Software Federation of Europe (UK) – A professional organization representing game and other interactive software companies in europe.
- International Game Designers Association (All) – A membership group focused on advancing the career of video game professionals.
- International Webcasters Association (ALL) – An organization for those who work in webcasting. Focused more on companies, it has alliances with several big names. Multiple levels of membership are available.
WORLD WIDE WEB:
- World Wide Web Consortium (ALL) – The organization for world-wide web standards. Worth joining if you're seriously interested in the subject and want a voice.
- Author's Guild (USA) – A professional organization for writers, heavily focused on rights, contracts, and lobbying. You still need some big-name experience to join.
- Canadian Author's Association (Canada) – An organization for writers of all stripes, with many local branches. Provides various benefits, and several tiers of membership.
- Children's Literature Association (NORTH AMERICA) – An academically-oriented professional community for writer's of children's literature.
- EPIC-Electronically Published Internet Connection (ALL) – An evolved-from-humble-beginnings organization for people involved in ePublishing, be it self-published, industry, etc. Mostly focused around basic member support like groups, services, and networking.
- National Association of Independent Writer's And Editors (USA) – An organization for independent writers and editors, focused on general association and support, which includes quite a few resources such as databases and publicity Membership is open to all.
- National Writer's Union (USA) – A full-scale writer's union, with lots of support (including benefits) for members.
- Novelists Inc. (USA) – For serious novelists with a serious or growing body of work. Includes a variety of professional resources, though you do have some strict requirements for joining.
WRITING – SPECIFIC FICTIONS:
- Historical Novel Society (ALL) – Open to most anyone interested in historical novels, this group focuses on publications and meetings to support its members.
- Horror Writers Association (ALL) – An organization for horror writers and those in related fields, depending on qualifications. Provides newsletters, awards, specialty information, and more. Be sure to see if you qualify for membership, and at what level.
- International Thriller Writers (ALL) – A professional community for thriller writers and those interested in writing and literature. Has a variety of memberships (free if you are recognized as a thriller writer)
- Mystery Writer's Of America (USA) – A professional association for mystery writing professionals, their supporters, and the ambitious – with quite a few benefits for full (pro) members.
- Romance Writer's Of America (USA) – Focuses on promoting romance as a genre and supporting writers with a conference, research, and other tools. Has a variety of membership levels.
- Science Fiction And Fantasy Writers Of America (USA) – Provides a variety of membership levels. Has broad services for professional writers, from promotions to legal counsel to awards.
WRITING – NON FICTION:
- American Society of Journalists and Authors (USA) – For pro nonfiction writers and journalists. You have to have some pro publishing under your belt (as in paid for in big mags, papers, or publishers, but they provide quite a few benefits that are useful; medical benefits, opportunity, and networking.
- Online News Association (ALL) – An organization for people involved in all aspects of online journalism and news. Provides a variety of resources, from discounts to training, multiple levels of membership, and an active community.
- Society for Technical Communication (ALL) – Supports technical writers, illustrators, and other people involved in technical communications. It does this with a variety of memberships (including student), various publications, competitions, and education.
- The American Medical Writer's Association (USA) – A professional association for all involved in medical communication, with various levels of membership and multiple career, networking, and educational events.
WRITING – SCREENWRITING:
- CineStory (ALL) – An educational organization seeking to help aspiring screenwriters with mentors. Holds contests as well.
– Steven Savage