I’ve been using So.cl for the last few days and felt it’s time to start returning serious feedback on the newly opened site.
The first thing to remember is that Microsoft still consider this a Research Experiment. This suggests either it is just a temporary thing or it is still in Beta. I hope it’s the latter, because it’s really an excellent experience. Despite a few (to be expected) bugs, using so.cl has been a joy. It’s been brilliant to have answers to my questions with so little effort, and it’s great to know what people are searching too. I expect that in the future, Microsoft will develop it so you only see the searches of people like yourself, because at the moment it’s a little cluttered and many people are speaking a different language! At the moment, though, it’s the right size to allow all this.
If you wish, and I know I will sometimes, you can make your searches or statuses private, meaning they aren’t available to absolutely everyone. This is a major point because many people feel insecure about having others knowing what they’re doing, and this would allow those people to feel secure again. I also anticipate that we’ll be able to pick and choose who gets to see what update, if we so wish.
As I said in my first post on so.cl, over at https://olivermills6.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/so-cl-released-to-the-public/, the place is buzzing with activity, much unlike Google+ was when it was first released to the public. This is very good news for Microsoft, who presumably want many people to join their network, despite limiting their efforts to promote it. I feel people can do their own promoting of things like social networks now. Another advantage of so.cl for businesses is that they’re able to advertise products purely by searching for them in Bing, and this will raise brand awareness for certain companies. I think this is a masterstroke of Microsoft’s, because I’ve noticed a lot of positive talk about their Windows Phone 7 (and 8) platform, so maybe this social network will help to spread the word to those people who haven’t heard of the OS yet. I certainly think it’s worth giving it a go.
Finally, I at last tried out a video party yesterday, and it wasn’t bad actually. It’s a peculiar experience, and I’m sure there’s lots of work to be done on it, but it’s good to be watching the same video as others and to be able to discuss it with them online.
Overall, I think this is an excellent new social network that does a great job for what it’s supposed to, and it doesn’t look half bad either. I would definitely recommend you try it out!