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HP Intros Social Network For IT Pros

48Upper, expected to start beta testing this year, will help IT professionals connect to share information and solve problems.

Hewlett-Packard is laying the foundation for 48Upper, a social networking community designed specifically for IT professionals.

Named after an HP building in Cupertino, Calif., 48Upper has its own Facebook page, YouTube video, LinkedIn profile, and blog. To date, the Facebook page has 117 fans, while the YouTube video -- featuring stuffed animals and dancing IT folk -- has been viewed more than 3,600 times. The IT-focused community is expected to go into beta testing sometime this year, although HP has not yet publicly released a firm date. The alpha version of the Web site launched in March.

"48Upper provides IT professionals with the tools and knowledge necessary to be more productive by solving problems and finding solutions more efficiently than ever before, and most importantly, without ever having to leave what they are working on," according to its website. "48Upper is a powerful on-demand service designed for simplicity and ease of use. It addresses the processes of running IT, where the collective knowledge and power of the community is available to all and is built directly into the service."

The site is part of a "Social Collaborative IT Management" revolution, dubbed SoCool-IT in techno-speak, according to the site. In addition to simplifying IT professionals' ability to share information, the site is designed to break stereotypes, according to 48Upper's three-page "Social Collaborative IT Management Manifesto."

"We have lived with the stereotype of being uncaring, introverted, pessimistic loners for too long. We share a common goal with our business stakeholders: maximize profits, increase customer satisfaction, and win in the market," the manifesto states. "The world around us has not kept pace with the realities of who we are and the increasingly complex demands of our lives inside IT. For us this is not just a job. It drills to the core fabric of who we are."

By giving IT professionals access to each others' expertise, questions are resolved faster and better, according to 48Upper.

"The power of the community is greater than any one person, team, or company," the site said. "We can connect and collaborate with people around the world without sacrificing company secrecy. And if you don't give us a way to connect, we will find a way. In fact, we already have."

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