Thursday, October 14, 2010

Social Search

With Microsoft and Facebook announcing a new partnership to integrate social search functions into The Bing, I'm have another round of those thoughts that I'll probably look back on some day as representing a time when I just didn't get it...
Facebook this week announced a major partnership with Bing. Your Facebook connections now affect the search results delivered by Microsoft's search engine.

The update means that a box will be added to Bing search results showing relevant Web links that have been "liked" by your Facebook friends. What's more, when you search for a name, Bing will mine your social network to show people you might know.
When I conduct a web search, I don't really care what related sites my "friends" have visited and "liked." I'm content with organic search, and so far, have no major complaints with Google's algorithms.

Beyond that, I don't particularly like the idea of search results that vary from person to person because they are tailored to the preferences of each user's social network. That strikes me as being likely to unacceptably narrow the slice of available information I'll see in my search results.

When searching any serious topic, I want to find answers for myself, and I seriously doubt my click-throughs will - or should be - be influenced by the tastes of others.

I think...*

(*But ask me again a year from now)
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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