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FYI: I run two websites: a web design site and a web site promotion site.
Some swear by the local Chamber of Commerce, and I understand that some have monthly mixers that are open to non-members, too.
Another option to consider is checking into some local meetings of Toastmasters International [toastmasters.org], a great organization that develops important skills and is known for being effective for networking among business people.
I'm not sure about an industry-specific group, that seems a little like preaching to the choir, though with your dual skill-set you may find that you run into people who lack skills you have and alliances could be formed. Even that, I'd check into them on a local level.
Backtracking to your question about credibility, the mileage may vary with how impressed people may be, but it can't hurt to have an HTML Writers Guild logo on a site, and W3C validation shows a little extra effort; it's surprising it isn't seen more.
I'd think memberships that demonstrate participation in your local community might convey a civic-mindedness that could encourage trust. FWIW, my car mechanic isn't in a professional organization that I know of, but I've always been impressed that he's an active member of the local C of C, even to taking on organizing efforts for major events like parades. It makes him seem a cut above, having that level of community interest.
I have been so busy lately getting a new website up and running-that is why I was asking. I was looking for an on-line related organization. I know that words/actions speak louder than an official logo/icon on a website but there are folks who like to see "how professional" you are and I also want to network some.
FYI: When I am at my mechanic, I look to see if he has any certificates, but I go to him because of his reputation and word of mouth. I get the closest to word of mouth online is linking-which is what I am doing.
I will look into Toastmasters, etc
One consideration with displaying a membership logo is linking out from it. Some of us limit the number of outbound links we'll have on the index page of our site, and it's not a bad idea to have the graphic displayed, but have the links out on a separate site page set aside to give information about you, the company and/or affiliations and associations. It's a combination of a Page Rank consideration and also, not wanting to send site visitors off right away.
FYI - My company is a member of the Long Island Webmaster's Guild in NY.
It's good to network, as well as just let off some steam.
I am also a member of the local chamber of commerce. Which helps drive business through networking.
nym_fan, the one I referenced happens to be a webmasters group of a religious orientation. Having the logo up could indicate I wouldn't work on "other" types of sites, which might be the case with some, but isn't with me. That's not why I haven't put it up, which is a time issue, but it could be branding when thought of that way, which could work for against depending on the particular webmaster's goals and preferences.
I think probably a good way to find them would be on webmaster sites themselves, and then checking further. Or better yet, checking the categories at Yahoo or ODP to locate organizations.
By the way, nobodyiswritingthis, I'd be interested in knowing it what ways the IWG reminds you of Toastmasters.
Merged, and HWG has been around for quite a while, they're not Joe's Webmaster Group at Tripod :)
I'm in a few that had no cost involved, but to be honest, I've never given thought to them regarding credibility. It might be worth considering. I've only had one person ask for references, which I gave, but now that the issue of credibility has come up, it might not be a bad idea to mention on a site that references are available upon request.