Towards a model of understanding social search
Search engine researchers typically depict search as the solitary activity of an individual searcher. In contrast, results from our critical-incident survey of 150 users on Amazon's Mechanical Turk service suggest that social interactions play an important role throughout the search process.
Our main contribution is that we have integrated models from previous work in sensemaking and information seeking behavior to present a canonical social model of user activities before, during, and after search, suggesting where in the search process both explicitly and implicitly shared information may be valuable to individual searchers.
Evans, B. M.; Chi, E. H. Towards a model of understanding social search. 2008 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2008); 2008 November 8-12; San Diego, CA. NY: ACM; 2008; 485-494.