Do you ever get the urge to travel around the world? With Socl you can discover new and exotic destinations by creating collages about the places you would like to visit. Let your mind wander and dream big. For instance, one of our community members Barney Pear recently did a collage about Venice, Italy
As you can see, the images she chose for her collage are vibrant, colorful and have a great deal of texture. It’s almost as if we are welcomed into her dream of Venice living. I was so inspired that I riffed back with a collage featuring Sicily, Italy.
Having visited family in Sicily a few years ago, I was excited to share the images that I remember from my time there.
It’s the new ideas you gain from the people on Socl that makes the experience so valuable. You never know, you might even meet someone on Socl from the location you would like to visit and they can give you a local’s insight into your next dream vacation.
The best part of making your dreams a reality is that the Socl community will be there to help you along the way. Stay inspired and dream big. We can’t wait to see you on Socl!
One of the best features on Socl is riffing. Sometimes when new users come on the site and see a riff, they think it is like a Retweet on Twitter. But it is totally different. Look at it as expanding from an idea. It could be something similar, related or totally different.
Here is one example from a riff between three users on Socl including myself.
Fizaah Faiyaz did a post on “balconies”. It is a very colorful post with beautiful balconies looking from the outside.
I then did a riff on “balcony view” which showed the perspective looking out from the balcony and, since I love the beach, I chose images with water views.
Then Kurvoazie Shir riffed on my post with “balconies without balconies.”
This is part of the fun in Socl. It allows your creativity on one topic expand to your heart’s content. I finished the riff with Popes in the balcony.
The examples above were all riffs about balconies. But my last riff about the Pope could have led to a whole different topic. Now that you have the link, go ahead and take it creatively where you want to. I will get a notification of the riff, so I dare you and let’s see where it can take us to. Rome and Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Vatican… maybe?
Kati London of FUSE: Playful and Surprising -
Many people talk to their plants. But what if those plants were able to talk back?
That’s the premise behind Botanicalls, a project to enable communications between plants and people. A sensor network provides the flora the ability to call and text people to request assistance, such as “I need water,” or “Not sure if it was you, but someone gave me a drink—I feel great!”
It’s a fascinating, precocious venture, one featured on the TODAY show on May 7 as part of a discussion about home technologies. It’s also a window into the work of Kati London, one of the driving forces behind Botanicalls and the newest member of FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research.
Read more here
We’re pleased to announce that you can become the moderator of your favorite collections and collect with your friends - Socl collections are sure to be even better than ever!
Now, every collection has at least one moderator who comes from the Socl community. Moderators have the ability to edit the title, description and tags of a collection. Moderators may also remove inappropriate or off topic posts from a collection at their discretion.
You can become a collection moderator in a variety of ways. If you create a “Me” Collection, you are the moderator. You can also invite moderators to join you in contributing to the collection (those invited will receive a notification that they’ve been invited to moderate which they can choose to accept or decline), essentially creating an “Us” Collection.
In the case of “Everyone” Collections, the original creator is designated moderator, but from that point on moderator designation is based on active participation in the collection. Active participants in a collection can eventually replace original moderators based on participation in and contribution to the quality of that collection.
With the addition of Collection Moderators, we are now offering a third type of Collection – “Us” Collections. Now you can invite others to moderate a collection with you; you can also decide if you would like that collection to be visible to everyone or only your co-contributors.
As always, please let us know what you think and happy making!
Today we made it even easier to share the Socl love… Now you can easily share any Socl post to more of your favorite social networks, such as Pinterest and Tumblr.
Simply click “share” at the base of a post you’d like to share… Below and left is a lovely post made by our own Cheri Walters. I used the new share feature to include this post in my Tumblr blog (top right) and on my “Love Love Love” Pinterest Board (bottom left).
For those of you that don’t know, FUSE Labs is also the home of Kodu Game Lab. Kodu is a complete 3D game development environment designed to let kids create their own 3D games. Kodu is built around a custom visual programming language that makes it easy for everyone to learn how to program.
The new version of Kodu includes lots of new features, here’s the highlights:
The focus on water characters isn’t by accident. We’re also announcing the Imagine Cup Kodu Challenge where the theme is exploring the relationships between water and people. This is a chance for game developers ages 9 to 18 to compete in a world wide competition. Oh, and the winners get some cash, too.
You can get the latest version of Kodu here: http://www.KoduGameLab.com
Find out all the details about the contest here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Mar13/03-19KoduChallengePR.aspx
It’s almost Spring here in the Pacific Northwest. To celebrate, FUSE Labs is rolling out a fresh Socl design featuring many new capabilities we think you’re going to love.
Here’s a summary of what’s inside the “Spring 2013 Collection”:
- Simplified site navigation, including:
- Collections and Interests merged into one concept
- Better post creation, featuring:
- Personal opportunity cards to help build your following feed
- Private messages
- In line editing of profile information
- Enhanced discovery, search and presentation of related content
- Enhanced first time user experience
Many of the ideas in the new design have come directly from you. Thank you so much for your continued support.
We sincerely hope you enjoy the new Socl. Happy making!
For the Socl faithful, we thought we’d create a brief Q and A regarding the Spring 2013 release.
What happened to Interests?
Socl Interests have been merged into Collections. Collections can now be curated by an group (formerly Interest) or an individual.
I can’t find a Collection for one of the Interests I followed - what happened?
It is possible that the Interest did not meet the activity level required to be merged into a Collection or was not in keeping with the Socl terms of service. If you feel an Interest is missing in error, please let us know via Socl Public Feedback and we’ll look into it.
How do I tag posts now?
Tagging of posts is now done at the collection level. All the posts in a collection now carry the same consistent tags, aiding our ability to surface related content in the other parts of Socl and reducing the chance of tag misuse.
What are some of the other new features in the Spring 2013 release of Socl?
For a summary of the Spring 2013 release, see our blog post announcing the update.
As some of the Socl faithful have noticed, Socl is at TEDActive 2013, thanks to our colleagues at Bing.
TEDActive attendees are accessing a special version of Socl to create and share collages inspired by TEDActive 2013 Talks.
As posted on the Bing Search Blog earlier today:
…we partnered with Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs, creators of a Bing-powered technology called So.cl, and built a special area of this research platform for TEDActive attendees, available at TED.so.cl. Here, conference-goers can assemble images, research links, videos, and text into collages that express their reactions and associations around the TED Talks. Once completed, attendees can share their collages not only with those at the conference, but with anyone who wishes to view the real-time, online feed.
Well over 100 Socl collages have been posted thus far… We at FUSE Labs are delighted by this novel use of Socl and hope you enjoy the posts!
Recently, Brianna Camarda, one of our Community Managers, shared some of the new features on Socl. Today, I am going to go over some of the settings and links that are located right below your avatar or your profile image. To access, simply hover over your picture on the top right corner. You will then see a drop down menu.
Clicking on “me” will show all the posts you have created and will show the URL of your user. This is useful if you want to share the link to any of your friends as an easy way to find you on Socl.
“Sign out” is simply logging out.
“Settings” will lead you to a page to add an avatar picture or change to a different one than your Facebook picture if you logged in with Facebook. All you need to do is copy paste the URL or highlight the link of the image and click on CTRL C where the image is stored, then CTRL V in the space provided on Socl. For example, I uploaded my avatar to Photobucket, a free image editing and storage site. You can use any other one you like. It is better not to use a link that has used a URL shortener.
The nickname is what will appear as the name on your posts. This can be changed at any time and is different than the URL of your profile when you click “me”.
Below that, create a short description about you like your interests, what you work in or where you live. This really helps to gain followers easily. Finally, one of the new features is the ability to add links from your other social networks including your website.
“About” is a great resource page that includes frequently asked questions, including screenshots of many of the features offered like riffing, video parties, interests and collections.
“Help” will provide you with links to this blog and to the interest “socl tips” which we have tagged many posts to answer many of your questions. If you find “socl tips” overwhelming, type “getting started” on the Interest tab for more beginner tips.
“Terms” is the agreement between you and Microsoft Corporation that you agreed to when signing up for using Socl.
“Privacy” is Microsoft Socl privacy statement.
“Invite” leads you to a link to invite your friends to join Socl via Facebook, Twitter or Email.
And finally, “socl bookmarklet” leads you to a page with instructions on how to add the bookmarklet so you can easily share articles, news or any links on Socl. As a tip, when you do share a link, take the time to add a commentary below the link and tell the community why you are sharing that link. Just adding link after link to your profile without engagement or commentary is not the best way to get interaction on Socl.
In the same way, when you share a collage, adding your commentary enhances your post even if it is a few words. You can see my post about this tip here.
I hope you truly enjoy your experience on Socl and look forward to seeing your creative posts! And if at any time you get stuck, feel free to ask the community. Someone is usually there to assist you.