Is Social the new Search?

October 12, 2009 by John Swords

According to a new Nielsen report, 20% of “social consumers” now discover content through their social contacts, instead of through search engines or content portals. Commerce is a type of content. This means that for “social consumers” (defined as those who spend 10 percent or more of their online time on social media), Social could become the new Search. What can online retailers do to tap into this new trend? Deploy tools that let your shoppers discover your products by looking at what friends and neighbors bought.

Web advertising search

April 20, 2009 by George Eberstadt

Catching up on my reading.  Sorry, this’ll be old news to those who stay current.  Eric Clemons, a professor at Wharton, wrote a piece on TechCrunch a month ago titled “Why Advertising Is Failing on the Internet.”  It stirred up some controversy — 753 comments on TC as of now.  The core of his point is that consumers don’t trust or want advertising, and on the internet there are alternative, more trusted and welcome ways for consumers to get info.

What I just want to point out here is his commentary about what WILL work.  Along with a few other ideas, he writes:

Social search. Social search is a way of tailoring search based on the user’s network of friends.  Rather than searching for any hotel in Chicago, or for any hotel that paid for the keywords “hotel” and “Chicago” I would like to be able to ask for the hotel where my friends stay when they are in Chicago.  This invades no one’s privacy, avoids the annoyance of pushing ads at me when I am not searching for something to buy, and provides more relevant results than paid search usually can deliver.

We agree.