Social and the Search for Content

I was re-listening to the TWIL that I participated in (Feb 5) while I was in the car driving for hours, hours, hours, hours (yes, a reaaaally long time) to pick up my kids from their perspective schools to bring them home for the extended weekend.

Re-thinking the conversation:

I am sure virtually  all of us are “Tony-Two-Timers” to some degree, i.e.: people who do better the second time around (story of my golf game – the successful second shot) or who, when re-reading meeting minutes, suddenly think of all that stuff they could have / should have contributed during the meeting.

Well – this is where I had my Eureka moment: we were discussing the “activity stream” and whether it is more or less a distraction with all these systems bringing in more and more content from the “outside”.

Social Aggregators

Basically we are seeing social software sites turning into news aggregators that (IMHO) will overwhelm the basic user without filters …. and aggregated search.

If you are bringing data / content into your stream via widgets and feeds then you will also need not just a way to filter that (display options, color coding, lists) but also a really, really strong aggregated search functionality.

Social – how does this apply?

Think this example through with me: you have a conversation with somebody and suddenly remember this fleeting bit of an entry that you saw in your stream sometime in the past. You might or might not remember the day/date and if you are lucky  you will remember where it came in from. Now you want to find it and research further. If you are inside of IBM Connections and the content originated there, you will eventually find it. But …. if it came from an outside system you have now been cut off from it. So, you go to, you go to, whatever. Or, you go through all the lists and feeds you know you have quite a few places to go to search for it – let’s not even talk about the content that comes in from other “outside” feeds in internal communities.

Social Search Aggregators

Clearly, if Software vendors in the Social space want to bring more data inside their platforms to keep users there, they will also have to provide very strong and flexible search, tagging and data retention capabilities to give users reason to do something else than stare at a stream all day and copy-and-paste bits and pieces out of it someplace else because they might need it some day.


Anybody out there have similar thoughts?