Tagged With social search

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Let's face facts—you're probably Googling yourself on a regular basis, whether for pure ego satisfaction or monitoring of your professional image online. New search aggregator Addict-O-Matic just happens to be great for seeing how you "look" online, as it focuses on returning results from the top social networking sites, Web 2.0 services, and blog-watching services. Of course, it's also a great tool for monitoring a topic or another person across the web's wide expanse, but once you add Addict-O-Matic to your Firefox search bar options or just as a bookmark, you know you'll be heading back to satisfy your online-mirror-checking fix. Addict-O-Matic

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Windows/Mac/Linux with Adobe AIR: Keep updates on all your friends' social network activities with Alert Thingy, an application for Adobe's AIR platform that brings FriendFeed functionality to the desktop. We've shown that social aggregator site FriendFeed can make it faster and easier to keep tabs on friends, and while you could track those updates with a private RSS feed, Alert Thingy lets you keep it in an buddy-list-like window, available for quick browsing and, best of all, searching. If you can't keep yourself from digging through your various social memberships to see what's new, Alert Thingy might at least make it quicker to do so. Alert Thingy is a free download for Adobe's AIR platform, which runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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Custom search site Swicki, just out of beta, combines cherry-picking site searches with social moderation features to make a theoretically smarter personalised search box. Like Yahoo's search builder or personal search granddaddy Rollyo, Swicki lets you pick topics and sites you want to look through, but has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

The main difference is that a Swicki uses the clicks, keywords and searches from other Swickis with similar interests to rank and sort results, rather than any Google-like system. It also relies on users' voting results up and down and removing them to train the widget on what to look for. Lastly, Swickis can display RSS, video, and multimedia content, and be embedded in blogs or web sites. Building a Swicki is free, but requires clicking through a few pages to complete the process. For you longtime search tweakers out there, do Swicki's results seem worth the overall effort? Share your experience with the site (and others like it) in the comments.

Swicki Tour

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I read about Listable this morning on Online Tech Tips, and it sounded like an okay premise. It's basically a website which draws on social search/bookmarking principles to compile lists of online resources. We know that members of online communities will voluntarily create lists - Amazon is a classic example.

Unfortunately when I went to Listable to have a look around, it seems to have fallen prey to a bunch of porn and credit card shysters - every second 'list' seems to be pushing porn or how to get out of a bad credit rating. You need to create an account on the site in order to create a list there, but obviously they need to put a few more controls in place if they want the site to work.

While the links identify the user who submitted them, there doesn't seem to be any mechanism ensuring that links are relevant to the list topic - I found a listing for 'personalised dog tags' in the "Resources for Wedding Planning" list.

A barometer for contributor credibility is also going to be necessary - I'd want to know whether someone who has created a list is a genuine user rather than someone promoting their own business  - so a flag showing the number of lists they've created or number of "votes" they've received as a useful contributor would be helpful.

In short, nice idea, but right now it's just an example of how not to run a social recommendation site. Shame.

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So the interview for your next great job is coming up and you've got answers for your strengths, weaknesses, and teamwork skills—but can you explain the 5-4-3 rule of computer networking? InterviewUp, a social website focused on industry-specific interview questions, could help you prepare for your time in the hot seat. No account is required to search, post or answer questions asked of candidates, but a free sign-up lets users get email notices when questions they ask get answered. The question pool seems to lean heavily toward the programming, science and health care fields at this point, but other careers and general questions get some attention as well. Interviewees can also check out job interview tips from a recruiter and advice on how to ace a job interview.

InterviewUp

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As anyone who's had a computer for a week or so knows, error messages are only occasionally helpful themselves, and searching through Google or even specific user forums for the fix can be awfully time-consuming. Web site Bug.gd, a collaborative search and support site, aims to make do-it-yourself troubleshooting easier through a user-generated database of software problems and their solutions. Type in an error message from any operating system to see if the problem's been addressed already. If you don't find your fix, the site will email you in two days to ask how you solved your bug to help grow the site. Bug.gd is both free and free of ads, and it's preloaded with 60,000 bug fixes (yikes!) from Microsoft's Knowledge Base.

Bug.gd

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Web app Twine (currently in closed beta) attempts to bring social search and bookmarking tools to the wiki, which sounds like an interesting combination. The app offers personal or group knowledge management for sharing, organising and searching for information, includng bookmarks, images and videos.

Web Worker Daily wrote about Twine the other day, and described it like so:

"A 'twine' is similar to a wiki, in that it may be specific to a certain subject or project, can have multiple members, allows for permission-based updating, and supports moderation. You tag the content you add to Twine, but the twist is that it tags your content too, by using natural language processing to figure out what it’s about."

Twine is in private beta at the moment. However, I got in touch with Twine PR to find out if it would be a free or paid app. The word came back that Twine will always offer a free (ad-supported) basic version, as well as a subscription-based professional version. Good stuff.

 Twine for Personal Knowledge Managment but Not Yet 

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Collaborative web search tool StumbleUpon has always helped you avoid unnecessary trips to Google, but now the free browser plug-in can also improve your search results there—along with Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, and other sites as well. Starting today, StumbleUpon users should notice star ratings and speech balloons next to their results, indicating the number of thumbs up and overall popularity of the site, as well as the names of StumbleUpon friends who have voted the site up. Links to discussion pages are also provided on the search and results pages.

The new search features come as part of an upgrade package to the StumbleUpon browser add-on that includes a familiar feature to find friends through your e-mail account, Facebook login, and Outlook contacts. Those who want to keep their search results clean can easily disable the new features in the StumbleUpon preferences. For tips on better using StumbleUpon, check out Wendy's guide to getting the most out of your stumbles.

StumbleUpon