[Web4lib] Social search and virtual reference or instruction?

B.G. Sloan bgsloan2 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 24 13:49:29 EDT 2008

Just finished reading a brief article by Greg Notess from earlier this summer. The article is mostly about Microsoft's SearchTogether social search product:


Notess says that: "the SearchTogether browser add-on enables you to designate a group of other users with whom you can share results, divide the search labor, and add comments and ratings to specific webpages. Because each participant’s searches, comments, and ratings are recorded, the group can work together in real time or sequentially at different times."

He also suggests that social search systems might have an application in libraries: "...consider how similar the purpose may be to what many information professionals handle daily in reference and instructional transactions. We collaborate on searches in person, on the phone, and via a variety of online communication methods...One of the goals described for SearchTogether is that it 'also can promote search learning, in which someone with rudimentary search skills can learn how to formulate more effective search queries by working with a person with more expertise.'"

Just wondering if any virtual reference or instruction folks have experimented with SearchTogether or other similar products?

Bernie Sloan
Sora Associates
Bloomington, IN


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