Searching Social Media


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The more “networking” becomes the world, the more difficult to find relevant information using traditional search engine technology. Here social media and search possibilities appear

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Searching Social Media

  1. 1. <ul><li>“ To exist is to be indexed by search engines”. (Introna & Nissenbaum, 2000) </li></ul>Searching social media Presentation 2009 Sergey Malakhovets
  2. 2. Why search engines matter <ul><li>Search engines (SE) became gatekeepers of our information. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity and invisibility of SE technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Social consequences of SE technology adoption. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who opens boxes of search technology? <ul><li>Mostly marketers deal with “black boxes” of SE technology </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers put primary attention to technological and business aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Social sciences pay little attention to social consequences of broad usage of SE </li></ul>
  4. 4. Directories: applying library technologies to Web <ul><li>Early Web was hand-made. </li></ul><ul><li>People manually structured best sites intro directories. </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo was the most successful project of this kind. </li></ul><ul><li>With the time it became impossible to find and classify all existing sites. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Magic of robots <ul><li>The time of software robots came. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1993 first real search engine appeared </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three equally important parts of search engine technology. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crawlers (robots, bots) collect information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Database of WebPages (index) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Query processor with ranking algorithm and interface </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Sinking in spam <ul><li>First SE dealt primarily with pages metadata </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soon search was polluted by spammers (“optimizers”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users browsed pages and pages of search results looking for necessary information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liberation mission of Google: its link algorithm solved many of spam problems </li></ul>
  7. 7. Drawbacks of SE technology <ul><li>Increasing scale of SE economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2005 Google had more than 175.000 servers, in 2009 - more than 1.000.000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prospering SEO industry (link farms, googlebombing, etc) advancing your sites for money </li></ul><ul><li>Growth of invisible web </li></ul>
  8. 8. How to search invisible Web? <ul><li>Quickly growing number of dark, deep, hidden or invisible web pages and sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They cannot be indexed and found by main search engines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invisible Web is heterogeneous: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proprietary sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pages closed by owners for crawlers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic content in the databases (typical for social media) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Social search: bots and people reunion <ul><li>The more “networking” becomes the world - the more difficult to find relevant information using traditional SE technology </li></ul><ul><li>Ways out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop more and more sophisticated search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use different social search engines, directories and direct “crowdsourcing” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More and more social media built their search on peoples’ recommendations and preferences </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Three case studies: Twitter, Facebook and Ning <ul><li>In 2008 Twitter, Facebook and Ning were among the fastest growing social sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter was the champion, Facebook won competition with MySpace, Ning reached the number of 1 million networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common and different in social media search </li></ul><ul><li>Do all social media suggest social search opportunities for finding information? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Twitter: real-time search <ul><li>Twitter search tools </li></ul><ul><li>Searching for existing accounts (“Find people” page) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter search engine ( ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchasing of Summise search engine (July 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrating search into personal accounts (April 2009) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Is it new generation of search? <ul><li>One hour delay for search results vs. instant search: does it matter? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google searches past </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter gives possibility of real-time search. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In many cases they supplement each other </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Business foundation for instant search <ul><li>Twitter is talking about different businesses in real time. As a result: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People immediately receive information about different brands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Businesses lost control over news about their brands </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Today businesses are seeking for people’s feedback </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Twitter search races <ul><li>Several twitter search engines were launched recently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twazzup was launched in April 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twellow – directory about users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> – cloud-based Twitter search engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweetmatic – video search for Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitterfall – real time observation of search results </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Third party search tools <ul><li>Hashtags </li></ul><ul><li>Hashtags are people’s tool for tagging information on Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li> and provides real-time tracking of Twitter hashtags. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Twitterfall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives an opportunity to follow theme in Twitter in real time </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Third party search tools <ul><li>Twellow </li></ul><ul><li>Twitmatic video search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Previously Twitmatic was for seeing videos shared on Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recently the site became a platform for video search </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Third party search tools <ul><li>Twazzup </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Great for seeing links about a given topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Mix of real time search and top tweets. </li></ul><ul><li>In conclusion: Twitter search is developing and it’s impossible to predict its future architecture </li></ul>
  18. 18. Facebook vs. Google <ul><li>More and more Google treats Facebook as its major rival in the search engine market. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook search is social </li></ul><ul><li>It is based more on recommendations of the friends than random links </li></ul><ul><li>Google acknowledged plans of offering personalized, social-networking style to its search results </li></ul>
  19. 19. Facebook search system <ul><li>Facebook search is numerous and sophisticated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First level search box is on right upper side of the home page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is just for starting search on Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of advanced opportunities are connected with friends search and groups search </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Searching friends <ul><li>“ You’re not real friends unless you’re Facebook friends??” </li></ul><ul><li>Finding friends system is the most valuable part of Facebook search </li></ul><ul><li>Search is built on the basis of chosen networks and information added by current users </li></ul>
  21. 21. Searching friends <ul><li>Email Friend Finder searching tool helps to find friends by email addresses </li></ul><ul><li>AIM Friend Finder </li></ul><ul><li>These tolls allow users effectively use Facebook database stuff </li></ul>
  22. 22. Facebook browsing <ul><li>Browsing networks feature give also great opportunities for search </li></ul><ul><li>Your network affiliation allows effectively browse your chosen networks </li></ul>
  23. 23. Interest groups search <ul><li>Searching groups </li></ul><ul><li>Interest groups is an important Facebook feature </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook search engine allows users effectively search different groups </li></ul><ul><li>In conclusion: Facebook search system is built on peoples preferences and really challenges “more objective” Google search </li></ul>
  24. 24. Ning networks <ul><li>More than one million networks </li></ul><ul><li>Small functionality of Ning search engine for networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absence of ranking mechanism and other tools for searching (search between results, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Necessity of separate search inside networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate networks are hardly searchable with Ning search tools </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Ning search drawbacks <ul><li>The problem of finding necessary network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Browsing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Ning search engine? </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Ning directory <ul><li>Hand-made directory can help! </li></ul><ul><li>Directory for networks search </li></ul><ul><li>People’s cooperation can help finding necessary networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only combination of Ning search, Ning directory and Google or other SE search engines can give relevant result </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. How do social media change? <ul><li>Social media sites are based on Web 2.0 technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It allows them combining search engine technologies with individual users’ search behaviors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook search reached the best (is case of scale) results in combining these features </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. In what way do people influence searching technology? <ul><li>People like to follow their friends’ recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>This feature influencing many new “Google killers” start-up projects </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, very few of them became successful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On March 2009 Wikia search engine was closed by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It reached only 10,000 unique users a month in comparison with Wikipedia having 30,000,000. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Social search and privacy issues <ul><li>Everybody knows that you’re a dog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More and more private data are included in search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy issues in integrating social search into search results </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Underestimated social consequences <ul><li>Search engine technologies generate new type of digital divide. </li></ul><ul><li>The border of second-level digital divide is between skilled users using search engines and unskilled (Halavais, A. 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of users choose “the first reasonable option, a strategy known as satisficing” (Krug, S, 2006). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Satisficing = satisfying +sufficing </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. In conclusion <ul><li>Search engine technology is huge and demands increasing number of servers, energy and money </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional search engines will preserve their significance </li></ul><ul><li>Page ranking will be more and more socially influenced </li></ul><ul><li>Instant search is challenging traditional search. Nevertheless, it cannot replace it and probably will coexist with traditional </li></ul>
  32. 32. Literature <ul><li>Brin, S, and Page, L, 1998 “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”, delivered from http://infolab.stanford.edi/~backrub/google.html </li></ul><ul><li>Gori, M, Numerico, T. & Witter, I.H, 2007, “Web dragons: inside the myths of search engine technology” </li></ul><ul><li>Halavais, A. 2009, “Search engine society” </li></ul><ul><li>Introna, L.D. & Nissenbaum, H. 2000, “Shaping the web: why the politics of search engines matters,” The Information Society, 16, 3, pp. 169-85 </li></ul><ul><li>Vossen, Gottfried, Hagemann Stephan (2007) “Unleashing Web 2.0. From concepts to creativity”, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Kolbitsch, Josef, Maurer Hermann (2006), The Transformation of the Web: How Emerging Communities Shape the Information We Consume. </li></ul><ul><li>Krug, S, (2006), “Don’t Make Me Think. A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”, New Riders. </li></ul>