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Are Social Networks Better Than Search Engines?

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Last week I was pointed towards Paul Sutton’s #NoSearchProject.  The blog is an experiment to see if Sutton can go without using a search engine for two months.  Sutton’s role as a social communications head at a PR company makes this task even more difficult because of his constant need of digital information.  The experiment is in its fifth week now, but already Sutton has made some interesting discoveries, the most important of which is that you don’t actually need to use a search engine.

While it takes Sutton longer to find information through social networks than by using a search engine, he still gets the information he needs.  He says that Twitter has been one of the more useful social networking sites to use for information gathering while places like Facebook are also useful, but slower.  Sutton found websites such as Digg, Delicious, and Stumbleupon are great at making information easy to find.  Surprisingly, Sutton says that Quora is worthless, although he does not elaborate on why.

In addition to pointing out which social media websites are useful for information gathering, Sutton gives pointers to website designers to help people find their way around.  He says that websites should focus on making a good in-site search option with easy to understand navigation a priority over flashy graphics.

Sutton’s week 5 post commented on the launch of Google+.  While he believes that it will help change the way we interact with the internet, he also believes that it will strengthen the Google brand and potentially give more power to search manipulation.

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Written by Christopher Siler

2011/07/11 at 20:04

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