I’ll admit that while I use it, I’m not really into Social networking. I have the accounts with the usual suspects, (Twitter, Google+, and Facebook), but I only really use one and mostly because it feeds my brains need for constant information.
And It’s not because I hate it (anymore), just I’m not always that bloody social and most networks are like plants (needing constant attention). But I still mess with them.
One of the networks that I have been experimenting with of late has been So.cl (pronounced social). So.cl is an experiment from Microsoft Research’s FUSE labs. FUSE experiments in how to use social networks for new use cases and So.cl is just the latest. So.cl’s goal is to see how a Facebook or Twitter can be used in collaboration scenarios such as academics; and integrates search. Like Facebook or Twitter, users can post on whatever they want. Another feature available is the creation of video parties similar to Google +, and in fact So.cl uses Youtube for them.
You can comment on posts and like, but the interesting thing for me is the use of search. Bing.com is currently pushing searching with friends on Facebook and Google is doing Search Plus Your World (SPYW) which uses Google+; So.cl can turn search into a public event.
Now I use image search a lot, in fact most of my searches are image based. And on So.cl I find myself collecting images not just for myself, but to share. Doing so gives the site an almost Pintrest-like function; and I have used it in the past to save images to come back to later.
Another function I’ve messed with is the ability to “riff” off other people’s searches. It’s interesting to see how conversational you can be just using imagery.
Now I’m not going to say So.cl is the future or the next big social platform, this post was just to talk about something I use. Personally social and search will only work when you can divorce identity.
To close a link to FUSE labs head Lili Cheng and others talking about Social and Search: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=169975&l=i
PS: the images in the post are from the Panel talk and hopefully So.cl will put out a mobile application (starting with Windows Phone)