Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Bing have created an odd joint venture to help get the Bing search engine more use–at Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) expense. Bing results will be married with related posts from user Facebook accounts along with personal data from Twitter. Somehow, the way the opinions of friends and family members will influence the value of the search results. It is actually possible to see how the system would distort them, or at least make them less objective, thus undermining part of the beauty of search. The Microsoft team described the new product this way:
Now it’s possible to do more than find pages with search. You are able to share nearly everything you do, including where you are and who you are, in real-time. From rich multimedia content to real-time streams to social conversations to applications that let you take action in the real world, digital connections are created that present the opportunity to do something. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to rethink how search should work. Suddenly an index of documents that does not embrace these changes is insufficient.
“Insufficient” only so far as what people say about data brought back by algorithms matters