This article originally appeared at American Express OpenForumThe noise that constantly fills up Facebook and Twitter feeds can be a barrier to using those tools in the professional world in an effective, meaningful way.
That’s where PROskore comes in.
This new social media metric focuses on the professional influence of social media users. It’s like Klout with a business bent, and the goal is to streamline work-centric networking online.
We recently sat down with PROskore CEO Bill Jula to talk about his company and the concept of measuring social influence:
What is PROskore?
PROskore is the latest in measurement websites, yet another online destination for linking to more new people as well as more of the same old people — only in a newer way within the paradigm of social networking. PROskore aims to fill the professional void in social media by measuring professional reputation. LinkedIn touches on this professionally, and Klout has paved the way with a scoring system.
PROskore’s agenda is a hybridization of the two by developing an online networking space for the small business owner, sales professional and market executive looking for business and wanting to be in the know with the right people to do so.
“[I wanted] to create a more intelligent and organised way for people to network professionally online,” says PROskore CEO Bill Jula. “The larger social networks, LinkedIn and Facebook, make it incredibly difficult to network in an intelligent way. Measuring professional reputation has the potential to be a game changer for everyone in business. It’s about quantifying who you are and who you know. That’s never been done before.”
Filling the empty professional reputation measurement space
According to Jula, Klout is limited in what it measures with a business model that benefits big box advertisers vs. providing real value to the users. LinkedIn, a resume service, is designed primarily to benefit recruiters and advertisers. It lacks a functionality that helps people generate business, says Jula.
“I view our place in this market very similar to LinkedIn back in 2004,” says Jula. “While Facebook was beginning to win the social space, LinkedIn was winning the professional space. There’s social influence: Klout, and professional reputation: PROskore.”
PROskore works not just with context but also on a localised level when scoring and ranking users.
“The speed with which people can locate new opportunities, or, leads is a game changer,” says Jula. “Our scores take into account more dimensions of a persons life, that include less variables and more constants.”
Those constants include one’s past work experiences and educational experiences, which are high-valued indicators that support evidence of an individual’s online worth.
“[We give] more weight given to things like LinkedIn activity, Facebook Fan Pages, etc., [and] ironically, a small part of our scoring algorithm takes into account the Klout score itself,” says Jula.
To complete the measurement process, PROskore factors in how much users actually actively use their site.
A social networking tool that gives context to you and your experiences
The idea of a professional reputation score that gives a more complete view of the individual has a lot of merit in a world where Justin Bieber and 50 Cent dominate with millions of followers, and those lesser-known who still have say, an impressive 100,000 Twitter followers, don’t necessarily have an equally-impressive number actually wanting to do business with them.
“Just because I don’t influence 10 million people, doesn’t mean I don’t have influence in my own social and professional circles,” says Jula. “At the end of the day, for most people, that’s what is important.”
An eHarmony for Business
Just as eHarmony matches people up for dating, says Jula. PROskore matches professionals up based on what they offer and what they need.
“If I’m a Web designer in Hoboken, New Jersey and I’m looking for an attorney in Hoboken, PROskore will scan our system and match me up with an attorney in Hoboken who also said he’s looking for a Web designer,” says Jula. “Both sides of the coin need to match for there to be a lead.”
It’s only then does the scoring part start the potential mating process.
“Let’s say I get 10 of those attorney leads,” says Jula. “Now I can begin to filter them by viewing their scores. I might ignore those with 10s, but focus my time on the guys with 70s. [It’s more efficient than] wasting time searching through profiles on LinkedIn or Facebook with no direction.”
Reward badges that matter
PROskore badges are designed to help people showcase their professional skills and accomplishments, whereas networks like Foursquare offer fun badges for the fantasy world.
“If you’re one of the TOP 500 scores on PROskore, or, if you’re a TOP 100 score in your city, or TOP 100 score in your industry, that’s an important distinction that can help you do business,” says Jula. “The badges also showcase people who have achieved some milestones in the world of social influence.”
A no “Twitter scraping” policy
Understandably, it is annoying to learn there is another online destination to bookmark and make part of the daily or weekly URL routine particularly at the risk of coming off looking “too connected” with endless icon of user profiles. Probably the biggest challenge PROskore faces comes in the wake of Klout’s “Twitter scraping.”
“90-nine per cent of the people on their system are unaware they have Klout,” says Jula. “They scraped 100 million profiles from Twitter. What we want is a system buzzing with activity. [That way] the value of our network increases exponentially. People themselves are doing business; not just advertisers.”
Being a new business doesn’t mean you don’t have a reputation
PROskore has good timing also from a self-starter and self-employment standpoint. The state of the economy and few employment opportunities has triggered entrepreneurship and new business.
PROskore merely capitalises on that trend.
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