Google Social Search is now available in Google Labs. Danny Sullivan has the most in-depth coverage out there but it’s worth turning on yourself because you’re going to be the best judge of how well this feature performs for you.
Be sure to dig deeper than the default two results Google throws timidly down at the bottom of your search results. Click Show Options and click on the Social category in your sidebar. Check out the results you get for People and you’ll get a feel for the power of this feature.
You have the full index of Google quickly filtered by names that should be familiar to you. In a stroke of genius, Google has re-labeled this extended network your, “social circle” which a much better label than “friends” (which didn’t sound right) or “social graph” which no one really understood.
The screenshot above is my aha moment – I had no idea that Caterina ever was in Finland and certainly didn’t know that she took the time to blog about suggestions of things to do in Helsinki. This is a post from 2003 which most certainly have been lost to the sands of time if it were not for this feature which surfaced this gem in just a few clicks.
And now for a feature request. As you can see, this is a great feature for retrospective searches which makes the foggy past plainly visible. What about adding an RSS subscribe option so that you could apply these searches to the prospective future?
It would be great to know when any of my extended social circle also wrote about my adopted hometown. I suppose it would be easy enough to script something but why not build it in?