An obligatory review of Microsoft’s So.cl

Jim Dougherty

featured contributor

Photo: Cute Ferrett  Credit: Kulo T

Photo: Cute Ferrett Credit: Kulo T

It’s hard to love Microsoft.

I truly want to love them – more than any other company Microsoft is an economic driver in my beloved Pacific Northwest.  They do a lot of things I like: The Archivist is a tool I use everyday for social, Office is hands-down a superior product to OpenOffice and Google Docs, I appreciate how they revolutionized network gaming with the Xbox, and I even appreciate the UX of Windows Mobile platform.  And while I was willing to forgive the Zune for all of the conversations I had with my Microsoft friends about how it was going to topple the iPod,  So.cl may be truly unforgivable.

Positioned by Microsoft as a virtual “study group” and not a serious competitor to Facebook, the concept of so.cl is that it is a social search engine with filters returning various results from Bing, Facebook or the so.cl network.   You can pin stuff, start and join groups, and some other features.   It appears that So.cl wants to be part Bing, part StumbleUpon, part Pinterest, part Google Plus, part Facebook.  It’s got so many personalities that it’s almost impossible to understand or explain what they’re trying to accomplish with it.

I remember using ifttt for the first time and feeling the same overwhelm that I felt navigating through so.cl.  But while I was navigating through ifttt I had a sense of optimism that the ifttt tool could be used to do some amazing things (it can and it has).  With so.cl I felt a sense of helplessness beginning with a search of the movie “The Avengers” which yielded Bing’s habitually poor SERP plus one social result.  I can’t see anyone finding enough utility or potential in this tool to take the time to harness it.

It makes me wonder how much value there is in retail consumer search, and if so who is going to realize it?  If so.cl is any indication – it won’t be Microsoft.

 

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Photo Credit

Jim Dougherty

Jim Dougherty

Writer and chief of miscellany at leaderswest.com
I'm the guy that wrote the article you just read. Sorry for the typos.

Comments

  1. says

    Jim,

    I don’t know what the point of Socl is, but I’ve enjoyed poking around the site. It’s just as you described it — part Pinterest, part Google Plus, part Facebook., etc. Right now I do not plan to use it to engage with people, but I’ve found it’s a fun way to discover stuff.

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