There were a couple of seemingly contradictory developments today. Would love to hear the group's thoughts on this :
1 - Microsoft + Facebook - leverage your friend's recommendations, posts, comments to help prioritize results for searches you make
2 - behavioural economics - how we often make (economical) choices not always in our best interests.
If friends care about you, how often would you listen to them :)
If search is for information, as opposed to data, doesn't the quality of your network become important ? Therefore, isn't measuring this quality important ?
Would we prefer to interpret the data, and therefore should "social search" be relegated to just presenting us the raw data points, than just return results from our network?
Would you treat a recommendation / search ranking differently if someone in your network weighted it?
Can't the questions you'd seek of your network be resolved by simple polls, like Facebook already does?
Isn't it smart(er) to be able to specify specialists in your network? I have people in my network I consider experts in playing music, in game design, in psychology, etc. Wouldn't I just call them than search?
Who likes quora? I still often end up having to interpret responses and make my own decision ? What's it therefore lacking?
Social searching. Hmmmm. I prefer picking up my phone & calling up my friends, but I guess I'm old fashioned. There are exceptions though, when I needed specific pieces of content. It could either be a video a friend posted earlier (which I want to now want to share), or a link. In any case, if the friend is over seas, then I leave him/her a message on the wall or in their inbox, depending on the nature of what I'm looking for ;)
But if I do need an expert to answer a query I have and this person does not happen to be in my social circle, Quora becomes an apt solution. Along with forums which I may join because I own a product & have a query about it. These provide me with solutions without adding the human element of 'being indebted' to anyone. I prefer taking second opinions (just like doctors) before making a decision I am not very sure of. Thus Quora becomes a tool to help me reach my decision, and not the sole enabler of it.
Polls are a different matter altogether. If I need a personal opinion, I get it from the people I meet everyday :)
Professional opinions are more trusted when they come from mentors. From peers & experienced professionals through professional social networking sites like Linkedin (it's the only professional social networking site I am a member of.)