Social Network from Microsoft to Collaborate on Research with Friends: So.cl

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So.cl is a new social network which became available to the public just a few days ago. It was created by Microsoft and its main purpose is to allow users to share their interesting search results with each other. The website was invite only up until now, and now everyone is allowed to become a member of this new social network. There are two options of registering with your Windows Live account or with your Facebook account, when you do register you should see something like this:

so cl default screen

We’ve connected with So.cl using our Windows Live ID and the procedure is quick and painless. The usual questions are asked, do you want to share your information with So.cl and do you agree to the TOS. An important step that you are offered during account setup would be this:

so cl startup feeds

Some basic groups and usernames which were pre-selected on the count of the information from your account are offered for addition to your So.cl account. That way, you can receive updates in your account right away.

How does sharing search results with So.cl work?

So.cl is kind of a mix between Twitter, Facebook and search engines. You might have noticed on the left side of the screen on the image above that you have Feed and Followers listed. Feed is present on Facebook and it’s where what your friends share is listed, and Followers are what Twitter is all about. Here those two things have been joined, and together with Microsoft’s Bing they are what makes So.cl special.

How to create a post in So.cl

Creating a post, which will go into Feed for all your friends, or should I say followers to see is initiated by typing in what you are interested in at the top of the So.cl page.

so cl adding post

You create your post when you receive results, and then you start adding images, links whatever it is that the search results have found to create your very own post. For starters, we added a picture, a link and wrote a message from us, something similar to a tweet which will be shown next to our post. After clicking on the Done button, the post is created and it can be seen by your friends who are following you and reading your Feeds.

so cl test post

Content filtering in So.cl

Something that we noticed during the time that we used So.cl is that there is not content filtering when it comes to content which is not suitable for children. Some of the followers that we’ve been assigned to by the site decided to share searches which were mature, they appeared in Feed without warning, adult content. I guess it’s impossible to control what’s posted on sites like these, and other social networks suffer from similar problems, users submitting lewd content. Be careful who you are following and you’ll be fine.

Officially So.cl is not some big time project with which Microsoft is planning to take over the competition. It is aimed at students who would like to share what they enjoy with other fellow students and eventually connect with people who have similar interests. Sharing search results is definitely one way of doing that, So.cl might just be the next Facebook, time will tell.

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