About one month ago, I started getting wind on Twitter about a new social networking site — Profology — that is expected to do a beta launch this Fall. Profology provides very little details on its website, but describes itself as:
…a professional social network created exclusively for higher education faculty, staff and administrators. It provides members with individualized, discipline-specific content, and enables collaboration with colleagues across academia.
The site has been accepting requests from those wishing to become charter members when the site launches, but I found out via their Twitter handle on Monday that Profology is actively seeking academic beta testers to start using the product as early as next month.
Want a sneak peak and early access?
If you are a faculty member, staff or an administrator from a higher education institution, and if you want to get an early look and try at the site, Profology asks that you first submit your email address to their website, and then contact the founder, Bob Ertischek, directly at bob at profology dot com.
What do you think Profology should offer as a network?
I really have no idea what to expect out of Profology. But, since my line of work expects me to investigate these emerging social tools, and since I work in higher education, I definitely plan to at least give it a try.
My hope is that Profology will be able to offer me something more than the high quality professional networking and collaboration that I already get out of Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ — I want it to be more than yet another social networking site. I already use Mendeley Groups and Zotero Groups to network with colleagues who share similar discipline and research interests. And my own university system already maintains its own system-wide (although not widely populated) database of faculty members and their respective research expertise, scholarship, and creative activities.
While I understand the angle of a social network exclusively for higher education professionals, I am a bit leery of a service with such a restricted (prospective) user base. My library and university benefit tremendously through the networking and collaboration I do with professionals outside of higher education.
Do you plan to give Profology a try? Or are your burned out on new social networks? What functionality and services would you like to see this product offer that existing social networks don’t?