Three months ago David Mackey, a 23-year-old network engineer, added a social-bookmarking site called Informed Networker to the ranks of Slashdot, Digg, Mixx, Propeller, StumbleUpon and dozens of other news aggregation site.

Informed Networker is media and news aggregation specifically for IT professionals.

As he says on his site, Mackey "was disappointed with Slashdot because of its lack of a true democratic voting environment and by Digg as it grew in popularity and lost its geek focus".

Informed Networker is still a work in progress, with most of the posts submitted by Mackey, whose day job is overseeing the network and more than 40TB of storage for Collages.Net, a site for professional photographers. Mackey estimates he spends 10 to 25 hours a week on the site, mainly during weekends and at night. A friend and fellow techie, Andrew Vogel, has been working with Mackey on the project.

The site has a Digg-like feel to it, with an easy story submission process and the ability to vote/bury and comment on stories of interest. Stories, from sites such as networkworld.com, are tagged and organised by categories such as hardware, network and security. Headlines on the site include "10 dirty little secrets you should know about working in IT" and "The current state of online storage."

Mackey says he has been designing websites since he was about 13 years old, and has other sites on topics as diverse as the Civil War and obsessive compulsive disorder.

To date, he has mainly publicised Informed Networker via other blogs and counts unique visitors per month in the 3,000 to 4,000 range and page views per month in the tens of thousands. Longer term, he hopes to sell ads on the site to turn it into a money-making venture.

Hot buttons for Mackey include storage, such as newer technologies like iSCSI, network security (such as security breaches at government agencies) and keeping up on new software releases.

"I just think there's still a gap between what's out there for news sites and what's available," Mackey says. "That's where I see Informed Networker fitting in.

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