Supersonic Social Search

Really. What’s the point of being social on the Web if you can’t figure out what the social is? Fortunately, there are third party developers more than willing to improve on the rather lame search functions built into most social venues. That is a good thing.

MakeUseOf (link) highlights some of those search engines. I have used a couple, but there are some new ones in the list that I am looking forward to trying out. You can search mutiple sites all at once with Socialmention (link). Check out their ratings for strenth, sentiment, passion and reach of a given search term.  Find other peoples’ social life with yoName (link). It serves up an impressive list of profiles in tabs for many of the most popular sites. Like graphs and checkboxes? Check out snitch.name (link) – a social white pages of sorts which returns a lot of results broken down by social categories. For Google-powered social search, check out Followen (link) and Google Social Search (link). Samepoint (link) looks at social interaction from the vantage point of conversations – it will show the social conversations based on your search term topic.

There are more than a few that didn’t make MakeUseOf’s list. Some have been mentioned before in the Studio, such as 123People (link), Scoopler (link), and OneRiot (link).

No matter which engine you choose, these options can provide you with great topical, personal profile and real-time information to assist your own social web efforts. Monitor your own brand, your near and dear topics, and the brands of competitors and clients more effectively with these search tools!

Google Helps You Help Yourself – To The Cloud

How convenient! Have you or your enterprise wondered whether it made any sense (and cents) to look to the skies for your computing needs? The ever-helpful Google has released a “calculator” tool that should provide some insight on what going cloud might mean for your particular situation. Google’s main cloud offering, Apps, is gaining steam and Google wants you to see for yourself why Apps might be the answer. Sounding very much like the brainchild of a mad scientist, the Go Google Cloud Calculator (link) offers a test drive in the cloud. View the demo and then use the tool to create a custom URL (link), presentation PDF(link), spreadsheet (link) or even a poster (link) that you can share with other decision makers within your business as you discuss going Google.  Hit the calculator (link) here, and read more at the Officla Google Blog (link) here.

Google + Mobile = Mobile Apps

Cool news! Starting right now, Google will be showing mobile application information and links in search results when using Google search on your iPhone or Android powered phone! Including links cuts down a plethora of intermediate steps you might have to take otherwise when looking for an app on the go. Just go to google.com on your phone, search for an app, and you will see special links at the top of the results that will take you directly to the Android marketplace or iPhone App Store page. Basic facts are also revealed in the results, such as price, publisher and brief description. These results will show when searching for mobile applications and the Google search engine finds relevant, well-rated applications that meet search criteria. More information on this new Google Mobile tweak at their blog here.

More Patents & Trademarks Than You Can Shake A Stick At

Have a need for all the patent and trademark information you can handle? Have no money to spend? Don’t worry, Google and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have you covered. Available for free download are ten (count them) terabytes of patent and trademark information courtesy of the Goog and USPTO (link here). Right now, this includes all granted patents and trademarks, and published applications, both full text and images. Google and the USPTO are planning to make available in the future additional data, such as file histories and related information.

What can you do with this data? Well, if you are clever, you can track trends and apply interesting filters to cull out the data behind the data. And with a free download, it sure beats waiting for the USPTO to ship it to you via DVD or other hard media. Nicely done, boys. Read the full story on the Google Public Policy Blog here.

Bringing Style Up To Speed

Back in April (link here), I breathed a sigh of relief as the AP announced it was now permissible to write website, instead of web site. I am back to tell you that the 2010 AP Stylebook Online (link here) is now out in all its glory, with more help for other modern terms. Some history on the Stylebook:

The Stylebook was first produced in 1953 as a stapled collection of rules totaling 60 pages, and has grown to a publication of more than 450 pages today. The book’s creation was prompted in part by a technical change in the way the AP transmitted news as well as a need for consistency among a worldwide editorial staff that produced stories for newspapers with a variety of style preferences. There have been major periodic revisions over the past few decades, the last in 2008, and the print edition is now updated annually.

The new guidelines include many entries pertaining to social media usage. Many will come as no surprise (new ways to use the terms “fan”, “friend”, “trending”, “retweet”, “unfriend” and “follow”). Others make me scratch my head a bit (separating out smartphone into smart phone and hyphenating e-reader). Thankfully, the AP guidelines discuss some common sense rules for journalists as to how to use (and not use) social media in their research and reporting. As well as a healthy dose of acronyms generated by the texting generation. Go figure. From the site:

The new Social Media Guidelines section includes information and policies on using tools like Facebook and Twitter, how journalists can apply them to their work and how to verify sources found through them. Also included are 42 separate entries on such terms as app, blogs, click-throughs, friend and unfriend, metadata, RSS, search engine optimization, smart phone, trending, widget and wiki.

Just so you know, Web is capitalized when it is used as the shortened form of World Wide Web and e-mail is still hyphenated. You can buy the Stylebook here (link).