Improve Social Search

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When you see a strong, social visual interface like Pinterest or Instagram, or even the revitalized Facebook and YouTube interfaces, you realize how far social search has to come. Search engines are generally not visual, don’t port well for sharing to networks, and are closed to commenting.

Google, Bing and Yahoo! index a blend of news and social conversations, but this early concept of social search is pretty stale.

The content presentation and simple link interaction is very 1.0 with text links, and a complete lack of dynamic commenting and sharing.

Consider the newer interfaces with pictures — similar to Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram web pages — that allow you to pick stories and conversations to engage in or discuss. Again, while not the intended use of these platforms, they illustrate the real problem with today’s social search.

The Google, Bing and Yahoo! searches are just lame text based sites with a dash of photos! Generally, the user interface lacks compelling oomph!

Facebook’s search generally sucks for finding things, but before it bastardized the network with Timeline driven advertising programs, it had social down to an addictive science.

Google and Bing do a great job of indexing content ideas and making money from ads. But the textual layout with social elements integrated just doesn’t work well from a user experience, standpoint. Mobile search is worse.

Bing Lakers

Maybe I’m crazy on this one. There have been attempts in the past, a la Mahalo, which sought to create search based on social input.

Maybe search can be compared to Craigslist, and heavy text interfaces are the best method for this kind of application.

Or maybe it’s just inevitable that someone is going to do both search and social well soon in the future, and make the killer next gen search engine.

What do you think? Is social search here, or have we yet to see the true merger of the two?

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  • Rogier Noort

    Ha, no doubt somebody will come along and stir everything up drastically.
    Signed up for Hubub. Maybe this is the one…

    • Geoff Livingston

      Ha, we’ll see. I hope this is more of a conversational firestorm than search, but we’ll see. The user determines the end game ultimately.

  • Brian Driggs

    Looks promising, but what happens as Google comes up with ever better ways to integrate G+ content into search results? Wouldn’t the already-in-place G+ platform pose a major threat to these guys? Or is Google acquisition the ultimate end-game?

    Also, I tend to avoid services which force authentication through third parties, ie; Facebook and Twitter. I would like to join the beta and check this out – it looks genuinely interesting – but not if I have to connect it with Facebook/Twitter. I can see the benefit to hubub in starting up with hooks to the big social networks – it makes sharing/growth easier – but it rubs me the wrong way, as it feels more about marketing hubub than providing me a service.

    Anyhoo. Thanks for sharing.

    • Geoff Livingston

      I understand! I think that this isn’t a search service, rather a something that provides conversation hubs. If it opens up without social sign on, I hope you’ll get a chance to see it. Thanks for your feedback, Brian.

  • Bojan Djordjevic

    I think Google + handles it pretty well to be honest.

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