Social Media Marketing

Alphonse Ha: Social Media Marketing Strategies

Semantic Search VS Social Search: The Future

July 30th, 2009. Published under SEO. 2 Comments.

social search
I want to discuss is the impact of the Yahoo-Microsoft search partnership on the future of the search industry. Reading Yahoo committed seppuku today got me thinking… Jason Calacanis states that Yahoo committing suicide is good news for emerging competitors of Google:

And so ends the second chapter of search and begins the third.

  1. Chapter one was inception up until the launch of Google.
  2. Chapter two was Google’s rise and Yahoo’s death.
  3. Chapter three will be the two-horse race of Microsoft and Google, with the inevitable emergence of a third and fourth player.

Yahoo’s Suicide Opens Doors for Smaller Players

With Twitter revamping their home page and putting search front and center, Bing integrating Twitter in their search, Facebook owning the information of over 250 million users across the world and Google developing Google Friend Connect to compete, that 3rd and 4th player won’t be looking on the sideline; they will be major players.

In fact, using the Yahoo-Microsoft news as an example, I was thinking that we are getting flooded with information more than ever. Google’s rise to prominence was due to its ability to filter and sort information. However, it is now becoming easier to publish ourselves and accordingly, more and more people are doing it. Moreover, social media creates more lines of communication, hence the rise in the level of the flood.

Google is no longer relevant

Searching on Google is no longer enough. When I heard about the Yahoo-Microsoft deal, I wanted to read more than the facts of the deal. I wanted to read insightful opinions, its impact on the search industry, etc. It took me 2 days, reading multiple websites and tweets, before I found Calacanis’ insightful post thanks to a RT (retweet) in a Facebook Status.

Since I have been using Twitter, filtering information has become a priority. I unfollowed a lot of “gurus” in the industry and “power users” because they just post too much. I decided that the most important information will reach me through RT anyway, thus following them is unecessary.

Social Search is filtering by people instead of robots

Semantic search has been a hot topic lately but I think that social search or social filtering of information might be where the money is at. By social search, I don’t mean finding people online, rather I mean how information can be filtered and sorted through online social interactions. I am picky about the people I follow on Twitter because of the pertinence of the information they deliver.

In a way, I have developped my own search engine by choosing the people I decide to consume their information. Titles of the web page or articles is instrumental in my decision to click but the distributor of the content is perhaps even more important.

It only makes sense, doesn’t it? That people filter and sort information rather than robots? Of course, I am aware that algorythm or “robots” would still be needed to sort the social information but atleast, it is social based rather than link and keyword based. We have always resorted to referrals and recommendations from other people or from people we trust. Why stop now?

Social Search is not (only) Twitter

Thus, whoever can develop the best social search engine will be the new Google. Twitter seems to have a head start but I don’t believe they have the firepower to get it done. Social search is more than just tweets, albeit tweets are currently a great ressource, other forms of social interactions such as comments, ratings, sharing, etc come into play. I just wonder if Google will be the new Google or if somebody else will.

With the flood of information, I am becoming more reliant on people feeding me information than Google. I believe that semantic search is necessary but social search is indispensible.

Perhaps “social search” is the wrong term. Any suggestions?

How do I Know I can Trust you?

What do you think is the role of trust in the social search engine? How can it be measured or calculated? Can it be calculated?

photo by: Clearly Ambiguous

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Dresde  on July 30th, 2009

I guess semantic search would still be the leader, since most of the time when I look for something I want the information plain, easy and fast.

I just tried the twitter search, with “i-phone” as keyword. This are the first three entries:

BeckywalshRn Let’s be honest…. Last full day off. Listening to guitar talk…. Thank god for the I phone

alsj picked up my new toy this week my HTC Magic Google phone. cooler than an I phone any day

JeroenGr87 @rickvanv Waarom heb ik nog steeds geen Flash op mijn I-Phone? Zucht…

Not interesting to me at all… even not all in a language I can read. Hence, I’m wasting my time. Of course when looking for “i-phone virus” I got, in the first links, some scary messages and two links to information, but since I don’t know that people I can’t tell if it’s reliable information.

So if i’m looking for what people thinks, I rather use RSS and follow the people I’m interesting in than to try a random search. As you said, if I’m missing something important I will get it from facebook, twitter… this is, from my own social network. As example, I know you and trust the information you share, and that’s how I learn about the i-phone virus, through your facebook status.

But yeah, I agree adding in the search engines the option like “hey, this link is matches better what you are looking for, but I have found that a lot of people in facebook is sharing this other link, so it may be interesting too”.

In any case, all this leads to the fact that people needs to be reeducated on how to use internet and search engines. Most of people doesn’t even use the magic of GoogleNews when looking for articles.

Alphonse Ha  on August 13th, 2009

I’m not sure semantic search would be the leader but I don’t think so.

Perhaps, search itself will be different completely as we know it today. For certain things, we will use semantic search and for other things social search. For example, if I am looking for a product like a car, I would most likely turn to my social circle for information. If I was searching information about Oil digging, I might do a semantic search. I guess I see it as facts = semantic search vs opinions = social search.

I’m afraid that my post did not hit home. I am suggesting that social search will be a search in my social network. Not the world. So in your example, I would make a search for “i-phone” but rather than seeing what everybody is saying on Twitter, I would be able to just look at what my friends are saying on Twitter.

Something like the Facebook Search that was announced recently.

It would be exactly what you said, a search of the collection of RSS I decided to subscribed to + twitter people I follow + LinkedIn contacts + Facebook Friends, etc.

I stumbled on this website called Aardvak. I believe this would be the primitive version of social search. I like their idea and I like what they are doing. I think they have a lot of potential. I don’t see them becoming a Facebook or a Google. I actually expect them to be eaten by one of them because I don’t believe they have the population to make it relevant nor do I see them gaining enough grounds. Unless they get huge funding and they can invest millions into members acquisition.

I will keep an eye out on them. You should check it out, it is pretty interesting. I will try and take some time to write about them.

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