Social Enterprise

Poll: Does augmenting search with social media bring better results?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll question: Does augmenting search with social media bring better results?

I consider myself to be a bit of a technology geek. I am the host for several technical-centric blogs on TechRepublic, I have performed many Cracking Opens, and I pretty much have every electronic gadget worth having. I believe technology is what will eventually mitigate global warming, cure many diseases, and generally keep society from spiraling into oblivion.

But I am also entirely certain I do not want Facebook influencing everything I do on the Internet. And I am almost certain that I do not want or need Facebook modifying my search results, on Bing or anywhere else. I think this is a technological innovation I want to avoid.

Over on our sister-site, ZDNet, Sam Diaz blogged about the public announcement made last week that Facebook and Microsoft were partnering to "bring a new feel to search results on Bing." The idea is fairly simple: search a topic on Bing and the results will be modified to reflect the "likes" of your Facebook friends. If you search for Pizza restaurants, the results will be presented with your friend's preferences displayed more prominently.

At first glance, that sounds like a good idea, but then I remember my most active Facebook friends. For example, one of my friends is my 14-year-old niece. She is a big Facebook user, and she tends to "like" just about everything that comes through her Facebook universe. I also have friends on Facebook who live far away from Louisville, Kentucky. Will their favorite Chicago pizza joint be in the results now?

Perhaps I am being too cynical here, so I'll ask the TechRepublic members: Does augmenting search with social media bring better results? Is merging search with social media a good thing or a bad thing, or will it really matter? Do you trust your Facebook friends to give you advice?

I admit I barely use Facebook, so maybe that is where my skepticism comes from, but I am not convinced this will be better. Are you?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

6 comments
WebCzar
WebCzar

"I believe technology is what will eventually mitigate global warming..." You ARE joking, right? I mean, please try not to inject pseudo science propaganda into articles. 'Global warming and cooling' has been taking place for BILLIONS of years, it's a cyclical process caused by precession (axial, ecliptic, and apsidal), tectonics, and solar activity.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I know global warming can be a touchy political topic, but you are letting your passion on the subject cloud your judgment of my simple statement regarding technological innovation. I think it is inevitable that whatever contribution to climate change human beings make, large or small, will be mitigated by technological advances in efficiency and energy sources. The change in technology is the point, the actual impact on climate is subject to debate.

seanferd
seanferd

Facebook? God, no. But MS can have them, as i don't need a "Decision Engine" anyway. Yack. I could see, however, some form of search where one might add a filter via the advanced search options to enhance or narrow the results. "Social media" is used as such a broad concept that I would not dismiss it out of hand as a search adjunct. It would depend on how such a thing was offered, and what possible social media was involved, and what criteria from that social media would be applied. "Likes" from FB? Get outta Dodge. If I was "Friends" with a bunch of scientists or something, fine, but unless this scheme allows for social information to inform a search for other useful information (i.e., not shopping), then I see no point.

quinn.rm
quinn.rm

It's a good idea, and if they add a way to weight the influence of friends, it will be even better. Word of mouth is the best advertisement because people trust their friends, and people a friends with other people because they share similar interests and tastes. Therefore, their recommendations are probably what you're looking for. Also, this would be great while traveling, if you have friends in the area.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Is merging search with social media a good thing, bad thing, or will it really matter? Do you trust your Facebook friends to give you advice?

SKDTech
SKDTech

If I want their advice I ask them. I barely use Facebook either and half of my friends are out of state so I doubt I would receive any useful input from a Facebook enhance Bing search. On the other hand I don't want Facebook having any more information or influence on my online activities than I have already given them.