Microsoft Goes so.cl
Microsoft Research has released its very own social network simply labeled So.cl. So.cl was leaked a few months ago under the codename Tulalip, a Native American tribe in the Seattle area. It was rumored to be a site in which students would be able to easily share and collaborate in projects, but from what we have seen, it has nothing to do with that. Today the site was publicly believed to have been released but former head of Winrumors Tom Warren sent out tweet criticizing the rest of the news sites for only now realizing So.cl has gone live when in reality it had been up for months. Whatever the case might be we thought we would share our thoughts on So.cl.
Before we dig into this we should mention that So.cl is in beta and the last time I returned to the site it was having trouble with the increase of users.
So.cl can be called many things, it is a mix between Facebook and Tumblr, along with some Pintrest. Basically the new So.cl site allows for easy sharing and for commentary from people who have similar interests as you. Unlike Facebook, you do not need to know the person in order to follow them and much like Tumblr and Pintrest visually stimulating images are front and center. Search and sharing seems to be the main allure of the site. You can search for things you like and share them. You can even bookmark a sharing tool like WordPress and Pintrest. From a few hours of trying out the site, it is quite noticeable that this is a newly formed site, meaning hipsters out there will be quite pleased but content is not quite there yet. An example would be the absurd amount of links being shared. For some reason So.cl tends to send you back to the stream in which it shows everyone’s updates, not just the ones that you follow or that follow you. This is actually very annoying because now you are presented with something you would not expect and most probably not care about. You will not believe the amount of Bing links that were spamming that stream. Luckily most people will not spend most of their time there but in your own profile and commenting on other things you find interesting.
A really cool feature of this new social site is that you can create parties and watch videos together with other people. The downside is that there is no option to start a private party and having a public party can result in a power struggle. In one of the parties I was in a few people and I was playing music but because it was public random people came in and started adding videos to the playlist that were completely irrelevant to the videos already queued and what’s worse people actually have the option to change the playlist which led to people fighting over which video should be played next. The good news is that the team behind So.cl was actually talking with the community and I was able to ask one of them if there were any improvements coming down the line in which he responded that they are always looking to find ways to improve the site. Overall So.cl is a great site sure it’s not the best but compared to Google + I bet it could give it a run for it’s money.