Did LinkedIn Just Become the New King of Social Search?
If first impressions are any indication, this could be a game-changer in the world of social search. Think of it like Twitter search on steroids. It combines the incredibly detailed information available in LinkedIn profiles with the vast amount of information surging through Twitter to provide a treasure trove of targeted data--free and searchable. It might provide more insight than even Google has managed so far. Just take a look at the dashboard:
It's simple enough to grasp. In the center we have the search box and feed, where Signal pulls in all the data pumped into LinkedIn, including Twitter feeds from users with connected accounts (which is, I expect, most people), based on your search query or filter. On the right side, it's Signal's version of trending topics--but in this case, trending links. Think New Digg style, but based on the results that come up for whatever you search for.
This leads me to the final column, on the left: "Filter By". This is where Signal really shines. You can filter any search, or just filter the overall stream without a search query. You can filter based on:
- Network - From only you to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-order connections, or everyone.
- Industry - Just like it sounds. Choose from any industry category on LinkedIn to target your search.
- Company - Choose any of the companies they suggest, or type one not on their list. Any company in the world seems to be pretty much fair game as long as they're registered on LinkedIn.
- Time Posted - Again pretty obvious, gives you search results within the last minute, hour, day, week, or two weeks.
- Region - Pick a city. Any city. Have fun.
- School - Just want to see results from your alma mater? Narrow it down here.
- Tags - Choose from a selection of the most popular hashtags based on your search query.
Also worth noting is that you can select multiple options for any of these categories. So, for example, say you want to search for the term "journalism" among only 1st and 2nd-order connections who work in the electronics industry, have posted in the past hour, live on the West Coast, went to your alma mater or Stanford University... well, you get the idea. It's incredible versatile and powerful.
Right now Signal is only being offered as a limited beta, but once it's widely available, this could make some serious waves. Check it out.