Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Microsoft Socl social search/network opens to public [updated]

Socl.JPGMicrosoft has opened to the public Socl, the company’s experiment in mixing search and social networking.

The site — which can be accessed at www.so.cl — was originally designed for students and open by invitation only. Back then, the company said Socl was “designed to give students the ability to network with peers, share useful information quickly, and build their own pages that collect information from both inside and outside the classroom–in a sense, transforming the web and social networks into the new classroom.”

The site now includes more rapid viewing and creation of posts, easier people- and interest-finding, and virtual “parties” where users can create playlists to watch videos and chat together, according to a Microsoft blog post.

Update 5:15 p.m.: After playing around on Socl for a bit, I called MIcrosoft to ask about its purpose.

Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs, spoke with me. (FUSE Labs focuses on research, software and services related to social connectivity.)

FUSE Labs is still regarding Socl as an experiment in “how we can better bring the web into your social experiences,” Cheng said.

It’s not intended to be a completely new search engine or a completely new social network to replace the ones you use.

Rather, Microsoft researchers are trying to think about search in different ways — less of a solo experience, more of an expressive, social act.

“When you think of search, you think of the links – the UI (user interface) you’re used to,” Cheng said. “You just never think of being able to use it to create” things such as collages (which is the main form of posts on Socl).

“We have this thing in social called riffing,” she said. “Riffing comes from jazz music, where you can pick up on someone’s song and play your own variation.”

Similarly, on the web, people search for stuff they’re interested in, go off on a tangent, come back, share some links — “they go on a weave,” Cheng said. “We’ve tried to embrace the notion of riffing.”

(Screenshot of Socl at www.so.cl)

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►