Top 10 Stories of 2011: #1 New Microsoft social networking service discovered

Tulalip on Socl.com

The absolute biggest story of 2011 here on Fusible was the discovery of Microsoft’s new social network, which is now officially called So.cl (pronounced “social”).

The article racked up some nice social media statistics for a smaller tech news blog: over 600 tweets, nearly 500 Facebook Likes, and over 60 Inshares.  Most importantly, it became a Techmeme headline and landed Fusible.com for a short time in the Techmeme Top 50. 

A flood of news stories hit the net within hours of my discovery and Fusible had a mention in nearly every major technology news publication ranging from TechCrunch to Mashable and PC Magazine to MSNBC.  

When I first came across the site on the web address socl.com, I was doing some domain sales research for a story on social.com, which ended up being number five in the Top 10 stories of 2011 after I revealed that Salesforce.com was the buyer of the highest publicly reported sale of a domain for the year at $2.6 million. 

I was immediately struck by the landing page, because Microsoft had not officially announced any plans to launch a new social network, yet here was a site going by the name Tulalip that was owned by Microsoft.  I took a screenshot (as shown in the picture above), and it was lucky I did. Shortly after my story went viral, Microsoft took the site down and posted a message stating, “Thanks for stopping by.  Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest.”

In November, The Verge got an exclusive first look at the service, which was only available to a very limited audience. 

In December, I made Techmeme’s headlines once again, after I discovered you could try to access the private beta of the service, by visiting the domain hack so.cl, which Microsoft now uses as the official name.  

It was quite a year for Fusible.

In terms of traffic to the site, there was over 350,000 visits and over half a million page views.

–Web statistics provided by Google Analytics Dashboard Report (.PDF)

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