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So.cl ain’t that Social

By Rohit Ramesh on Wednesday 30th of May 2012

http://gdgt.ro/266


Ever wonder how old is social networking? Well, in 1997 the first recognisable social networking website was launched called SxDegrees.com which allowed users to create profiles and add friends etc. As the proud teenagers we are a part of a society, the online society (Mostly Facebook) and have come a long way. Almost every day there are attempts to be the new Mark Zuckerberg, new social networking sites are born (and die sooner). Though there are some who stand out like Pinterest, but most of them go to the gallows of the so called internet prison (I do feel caged sometimes). So.cl (Don’t worry they are not the elements from the periodic table) launched by Microsoft without a buzz (Did you hear of it?) as referred is not a social networking website but more of a social experiment.

A Microsoft representative referred to So.cl as,”So.cl is an experimental research project focussed on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people.” They said So.cl is not meant to be a Facebook challenger (smart move).It is designed to help students network with their peers and share information. Well in my view the aim for the website is quite misplaced. Students efficiently share information over Facebook is the form of groups and forums (Ask me). Why there is a need of a new website for that experience is quite difficult for me to understand.  Well the process of sharing information is in sync with a Bing search bar . Microsoft has added its own share of features to this website and there is one thing to dote upon.

Video Party

This is the only innovative concept that can make me say that So.cl is cool. Users can search and assemble videos and then share it with others. All video parties converge on a particular subject. You can add comments and create a playlist.

Profile

Like every social networking website you get a profile here. It lists your name and your Windows Live or Facebook picture. There is also a self-generated cover photo based on your follows.

Post

Well here you don’t post your romantic status update instead you choose a topic and then search it on Bing. Once you get your search results you can navigate down, select a post and then click the ‘Add to post’ button, add a message if you want to and then click ‘Done’. You can post links too using the ‘Add link’ button.  It looks unnecessary though, as every post now comes with a share on Facebook button so why the need..?

The last word

Still said to be in the research project phase So.cl has very little to offer and nothing incredibly new that is going to attract the youth. The rest of the features are similar to any other social networking website. The Bing search centralised system fails to provide anything different. It may be too early to say So.cl will be a success or a failure but being a part of youth I can say I will stick to Facebook even if So.cl is not in the same league.

 

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