Startup PaperShare has launched a new social content network aimed at providing information about cloud and virtualization technology, services and business to professionals in the industry as well as enterprises using the services.

The launch is initially aimed at the cloud sector, but the company plans ultimately to expand the platform’s capabilities to a broad range of industries seeking similar community connectivity and content sharing abilities: Vertical industries such as finance and healthcare are slated to be available in the first half of 2012.

PaperShare was launched by Doug Brown, founder of the cloud and virtualization content site DABCC, and David Greschler, co-founder of Softricity and a former Microsoft virtualization executive. The company’s goal is to connect people, information and companies in the same industry and allow users to build a network of like-minded professionals.

“It’s a place where people can get together based on their interest in technical content,” Brown said. “Unlike a social network like Facebook, you’re meeting like-minded people.”

On PaperShare, users can browse and discuss business and technical materials with built-in social mechanisms such as messaging, direct links to Twitter and LinkedIn, reviews and content recommendations providing context on each search and interaction. PaperShare currently hosts cloud and virtualization topics with support for additional focus areas including security, data and storage.

“We actually flipped the paradigm: Instead of making about people, we made it about content,” Brown said. “Every piece of content is categorized and tagged.”

PaperShare has already signed up more than 20 charter customers who, along with cloud and virtualization professionals, have posted and shared more than 28,000 items, including content from industry leaders such as Amazon, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Microsoft and VMware. Some of the features of PaperShare include a bookshelf-like user interface, content search by industry topic, built-in contextualization and suggestions, and the ability for users to link friends and create groups.

The basic version of the service is available free for individuals, and a premium version will soon be available for $10 per month or $100 per year.