Wajam: Make Search Social

Even with a small, tightly knit group, it might often be overwhelming to catch up will all the tweets and updates across popular social networks lke Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. A lot of information go missing through the cracks and even if you are paying attention, it is hard to retain everything of use.

Three things that could benefit immensely from a tinge of social magic are search, discovery and ecommerce. A wave of startups have started working on this problem and a solution to this chaotic mess is on the way.With Wajam you can find what your friends share, when you need it. After the break let us learn how exactly to do that.

Overview

If you have used the Greasemonkey plugin for Firefox, you might understand what Wajam does easily. Even if you haven’t, it’s not a problem. When you search in a place like Google or Bing, Wajam shows you relevant results from your friends on top of your normal search engine results. With Wajam, you get a personalized social layer in your search engine, based on the people you know.

Overview

Overview

The magic of Wajam is not limited to just web search and it works in other places, too. Search on sites like Amazon, Ebay, Trip advisor, or Yelp and get recommendations based on what your friends have shared. Wajam is free to download and use.

Getting Started

Wajam Setup

Wajam Setup

You can get started with Wajam by downloading and installing a small exe for Windows or a plugin for Mac. I tried both versions and since installing a plugin on a Mac is fairly simple, let us take a look at how to set it up on a Windows PC. Thanks to the installer you will now have Wajam installed in your favorite browsers.

Use your existing Facebook or Twitter login to create an account in the web app. From the web app dashboard, you can manage the various aspects of the social graph. But first, let us dive into the searching aspect of the app.

Searching for Stuff

A Social Wajam Search

A Social Wajam Search

I performed a Google search and was pleasantly thrilled to see that the app worked as advertised. Sitting on top of the regular search results was the Wajam result. To start with, the app just displays only one result, that is clearly labeled and this keeps the regular search results unadulterated.

As you can see, relevant tweets, updates and links shared by my friends and people I follow are displayed. By default, the most relevant results are shown, but you can filter them out based on the type and chronology by using the Options link at the top. It’s a nifty idea to display the list of friends who have said relevant things about the subject even before loading the entire list. This way, you can skip some Wajam results if they are from a bot or a friend who isn’t in the know.

Friend of Friend Results

Friend of Friend Results

Find the number of results from your friends to be too low? Use the FoF link to see what the friends of your friends are talking about. The option to toggle between sources should be really helpful if you are witnessing way too results from a single source.

Amazon Search Results

Amazon Search Results

Wajam performed equally brilliant when I searched on Amazon too. Since I searched again for iPad, the results here were all same too, but my intention was totally different. When someone is visiting Amazon, there is a very high probability that they might end up buying what they are searching for. In future, Wajam team might consider filtering out generic search results to display buying recommendations when the user searching in Amazon (or any ecommerce platform they plan to add later).

Handling Feeds

Managing Social Feeds

Managing Social Feeds

Wajam does a bang up job helping you stay on top of your social feed. Instead of being a dumb social feed reader, the app shows only those updates that contain links and mentions of popular keywords. Each update is clearly labeled what it is about, saving you the hassle of opening links and finding out later. In future, I would love to have the option to mute some friends from my Facebook stream to further refine the results.

Final Thoughts

Wajam is by far the easiest way to get your friends’ knowledge, when you need it. I know people who are following some of their noisy friends just to ensure that their feelings aren’t hurt. An app like Wajam makes even those usually unimportant updates count.

I am curious as to why the developers of Wajam employ a starkly different tactic to install Wajam on a PC. Sure, the installer doesn’t come with bloatware and installs the plugin on both Firefox and Chrome in one go. However, you will have to restart the browsers to start using the plugin. Even in the case of Google Chrome, you need to restart the browser.

The Firefox plugin wasn’t installed properly due to some strange file system error. So, to avoid wasting a lot of time saving, closing and reopening all my sessions, I opted to check out Wajam from my Mac. That sums it all, as things stand, Wajam is a breeze to use on a Mac and needs a bit of work on a PC.

Share Your Thoughts!

Do you really care about having a social twist to everything we do online? Think Wajam has a better shot at putting your social graph to better use?


  • Abdul Qoyyuum

    You would think search engines like Google would’ve done that. But Wajam seems to take the lead here. I mean, the idea of cross-referencing between all social networks and search on a keyword is something I would love to have. Kinda similar to Rapportive app too.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow