No, Microsoft is not planning to topple Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. They’re just stepping into a new research project for students.
So.cl (pronounced “social”) is an experiment research project developed by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs, focused on using the possibilities of social search for learning. Not that the concept is new, but this seems to be a hardcore step forward into the field.
As mentioned in So.cl’s website-
- So.cl combines social networking and search, to help people find and share interesting web pages in the way students do when they work together.
- So.cl helps you create rich posts, by assembling montages of visual web content.
- To encourage interaction and collaboration, So.cl provides rich media sharing, and real time sharing of videos via “video parties.
The project is aimed at improving the student’s capability to understand and interpret how everyday communication can help in learning and sharing. Now that many students are searching and sharing stuffs of common interest over the net, via tweets and status updates, So.cl gives them a platform to integrate and share their findings at a common dedicated place.
Though at present Microsoft has partnered with only selected schools for this project, like University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University, they have invited mails from anyone who would wish to be more involved with the project. They can be reached at Socl@microsoft.com . The service uses your Facebook account to login and the search is powered by Bing (obviously!). To know more about the project, you can visit their FAQ page.
The video of So.cl in action can be seen here.
All said, would So.cl be just the tip of the iceberg for some greater plans ahead? Let’s wait and find out!