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Social is becoming more and more powerful in the internet. You can now search through the power of social connections. Word of mouth is still the most powerful way to influence decision making. Wajam makes searching the web through your friend’s word of mouth as a medium, possible.
I’m not going to make this a full review. I’ll just be including what I generally think about Wajam’s tool – purpose, advantages and disadvantages.
Upside: A Great use of Social Data – instead of you asking them for a decision (to buy or to subscribe, etc.), their opinions are readily available
There are so many things that the internet can do with your social data. Wajam is a company that is wise enough to know that they can use your social data for your own informational and/or decision-making benefit. If you have the Wajam tool installed in your browser, you are now able to see your friend’s sharing of information in your Google, Yahoo or Bing SERP (and much more as you can see in the picture below).
You know your friends and they know their stuff
Friends are people you know in real life. These are people whom you have some extent of relationship with – consequently, these are people you have given some extent of your trust. What they say or think has credibility to you and could affect the way you think.
Sometimes you want to ask people what they think about something. You don’t know which friend you would ask because you really don’t know who of your friends know about that ‘thing’ you want to ask about. Well, Wajam checks that out for you as you type in your keywords in the search bar of any search engine.
The problem is, how does Wajam know who’s opinion matters the most? Can Wajam know who your best friend is? Can Wajam know which of your friends in Facebook or Twitter you trust the most? Wajam retrieves the same social search results even when you try searching in a different search engine. In the above picture, I tried searching in Google, in the picture below I searched in Yahoo. Same result.
Apparently, the Wajam social search engine has not been able to determine who gets to rank first. Perhaps there is little to no ranking algorithm yet in place. But hey, how the heck would they know who should go first, right? Perhaps they base it on the stuff that your friends share and not on your friends themselves. Which pretty much beats the fact that it’s a social search engine and it should rank your ‘best friends’ first. At least, that’s how I see it.
Downside: Asking for too much Facebook access
I think that Wajam is asking for too much Facebook permission. I don’t think they need most of these permissions but they are asking for it anyway. This is a big turn-off for me since I don’t really give my Facebook info away.
I think that they shouldn’t include:
- Send me email
- Post to Facebook as me
- Access my photos
- Access my profile information
- Access information people share with me
Why? Well because Wajam retrieves Facebook data as per single generation of connections. Meaning it should be only on a friend or no friend basis, not a friend of a friend basis. Otherwise the social search results of Wajam would have so many results and you don’t even know some of the people popping out.
All in all, I think if Wajam doesn’t have a way to rank which person’s opinion matters to the searcher, its effectivity is definitely reduced greatly.
I wouldn’t use it because:
- I don’t want them to have all of the unnecessary Facebook access that they’re asking me
- Most of my followings and followers in Twitter are what I’d like to call online relationships – thus not having a real offline relationship
In effect, Wajam’s social search is not relevant for me. If the Wajam team creates a solution wherein they wouldn’t need so much access for Facebook info and they would come up with an algorithm to rank the results in accordance with the searcher, then perhaps it’s something I would really consider using in addition to all searches I make online.