google

Google Reader: It’s Still Alive and Getting a Facelift, But Will Lose its Social Features

Google Reader, the company’s popular feed reader, long looked like the forgotten stepchild of Google+ and other more recent products at Google. As the company continued to update the look and feel of many of its products in the last few months, Reader looked like it would be left behind. Today, however, Google announced that Reader will soon get a facelift as well. At the same time, though, it looks as if Reader will also lose some features, as Google is moving all of its social efforts to Google+.

google

Social Search: Deeper Facebook Integration Pushes Microsoft Past Google

Microsoft today announced a deeper integration of Facebook’s “like” data with its Bing search engine. This data now powers a number of new feature that don’t just make Bing’s social search competitive but actually better and more useful than Google’s current efforts in the social search arena. While Google is able to pull in data from Twitter and a number of other services (including its own recently launched +1 and public Facebook fan pages), Microsoft is the only major search engine with access to Facebook’s firehose. Thanks to this, Bing now shows you whenever a friend has ‘liked’ a page that appears on your search results page and pushes these results to the top of the page, too.

News

Improving Social Search by Getting Opinions About Opinions

When it comes to social search and social recommendations today, there is a lot of hype around the concept, but given that a user’s social graph is – almost by default – limited, there are major gaps in both accuracy and coverage when it comes to putting this concept into reality. While Google +1 and Bing’s implementation of Facebook ‘like’ data are trying to find ways around this, Microsoft researcher Mohammad Raza argues (PDF) that we need a smarter recommendation system that is based on the idea that “your friends know you and can best predict your taste” and that social search can be greatly improved upon with the help of prediction extraction.

News

Y Combinator's Hacker News Reaches 1 Million Pageviews Per Day

It’s not quite Reddit, which now sees 1 billion pageviews per month, but YCombinator’s Hacker News just announced that it now serves 1 million pages per day. Hacker News, which is a social news site that specializes in news stories related to technology startups, was founded by YCombinator founder Paul Graham in February 2007 and has quickly become on of the go-to sites for anybody who is interested in the world of tech startups.