Socl, Storify and

Socl, pronounced “social”, Microsoft’s new social network, which is still in beta, has just been opened to the public after being tried out by Microsoft employees and college students. It looks more like Pinterest than Facebook, says Mashable.

There is a difference, though. You see individual pictures on Pinterest while Socl is heavy on collages.You can add text to your posts, but you will be tempted to insert pictures – and lots of them – and videos, too, in your posts. The post editor will automatically assemble them into collages as you drag and drop the pictures, videos and texts into your posts.

It’s simple as that. All you have to do is sign in using your Facebook or Microsoft account. Then, if you want to create a post, you have to type into the box which says, “Type a topic to create a post.”

That’s why I was reminded of On, too, you create and publish “topics”. The “topics” became ongoing blogs as you add content, but that’s what they are called: “topics”. And publishing on is really simple. has a bookmarklet or web clipper with which you can clip interesting content from the web, just as you can, using Evernote. What makes different is that it turns the content into beautiful online posts. “Easily curate engaging magazines,” it says. When you use the bookmarklet to post any content from the web, it will automatically insert a snippet from the text and any accompanying picture into the post. It will also automatically link to the original article. Of course, you can write your own posts and publish your own pictures, but I have seen it mostly used for curation.

Here’s a beautiful example of what you can do with Singapore Memories and History.

Another – let’s say newsier – aggregator I like is Storify, where you can put together all the news, tweets, Facebook updates and videos on a particular topic in one “story”.  Here I used Storify to assemble some of the reports and comments on Socl.

Microsoft opens Socl network

Microsott opens the beta version of its social network, Socl, to the public. Here are some of the comments on it.

Storified by Abhijit · Fri, Dec 07 2012 01:16:32

Give the newly-redesigned Socl a spin now, and connect through your own beautifully-created collage posts @fuselabs Research
Microsoft opens own social network, Socl | PCWorld1 day ago … Microsoft Thursday unveiled Thursday Socl, a new social network that combines the graphics-heavy interface of Pinterest w…
Microsoft opens its own social network(CNN) — After a long period of closed beta testing, Microsoft made the beta version of its social network, Socl, available to everyone o…
Microsoft SOCL Videodailytut
Microsoft opens its Socl social-search site to any and all testersMicrosoft officials have described Socl as a kind of mash-up of social-networking and search that is designed to get the learning communi…
Microsoft opens social networking site SoclMicrosoft’s social network combines the graphics-heavy interface of Pinterest with Bing search functionalityKnowledge Home
Microsoft unlocks Socl, a puzzling social network that looks a lot like …2 days ago … Pronounced "social," Socl debuted to the public today with a fresh coat of paint, new features, and no clear p…
"MS’s Socl seems like a way to waste a few hours browsing random photos & links rather than communicating with friends"
New: Microsoft SOCL Pinterest meets mini-blogging – As if there weren’t enough social networking sites available o…

Socl is still in beta, so it’s too early to pass judgment on it. But it seems rather limited. When I tried to create a topic, I had to type it into the search box – and the search is powered by Bing. I couldn’t post whatever I liked, only what I got through Bing. I wanted to create a post on the Beatles, but the only YouTube videos I could use were the ones found by Bing. When I tried to add videos directly from YouTube by using their URLs, it didn’t work.

You can embed URLs on Storify. And you don’t have to search Bing to find things to publish on

Socl looks beautiful, but it’s just eye candy at the moment. I read it was meant to be an educational tool. What happened?