Microsoft’s so.cl network brings the nice and clean metro UI that is featured in Windows 8 in to the world of social networks. I used so.cl and really liked this visual appeal and unique way of searching through topics. It was quite like a “Pinterest For Search” as Greg Finn found when he wrote about the Socl preview that went live in December:
"So.cl offers a few different benefits for students including the ability to combine of social networking and search to help find interesting content. This is not an extension of Bing, rather so.cl has been created by the FUSE Labs portion of Microsoft. To see the search functionality live see the video on so.cl."
It is very interesting how Bing was integrated in to the social network and I really think Microsoft is on to something here. This new social media service combines the "social broadcasting" aspect of Twitter and applies it to search queries and research. This social network seems to have a good balance of dynamic and static content that gives the user a choice of how they want their experience to be.
Imagine Twitter's 140 character field was a search field. When you type in a new query, it becomes the main heading of the "tweet." Then, when the results are returned, you can pick the ones that best apply to the heading and attach them. Then, you can add contextual tags, and other users can comment or "like" your search, or start "riffs," which are sub-conversations which may be tangentially linked to your original search or post.
I want to thank Richard Zaragoza from the FUSE team for a warm welcome and introduction to some of so.cl’s cool features. It’s still early to place my bet, but I am really liking this SOCL experiment.