Analyzing How Users Utilize ‘ Riff’ for Collaborative Searching and Sharing Contents for Social Learning in So.cl

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Microsoft So.cl combines the collaborative features of a social network and the capabilities of a search engine to create a unique social search environment. The activity of riffing provides a unique twist on a typical search results page since users can actually contribute to the results of another persons’ search string, and/or annotate their own searches, also providing multimodal content such as image, video, and text within one results display; as well as user generated metadata via comments and tags. These collaborative and search features give so.cl the potential to promote discovery through interaction with search result content. Unfortunately not many so.cl users exhibit riffing behavior. For this reason, we explored behaviors of users who had riffed in order to further examine their behaviors, focusing also on some of the top riff posters, to determine both what behaviors and post activity might be popular among these users. Results from this analysis indicate that overwhelmingly users who riff on others’ posts also tend to create their own riff postings, as well as the fact that as users tend to become more acclimated to the so.cl service, they also tend to riff more. These findings can be used to determine implications for pushing certain behaviors within so.cl to promote riffing behavior.