That's What We Said!
If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest news in Social Media, Facebook recently announced its new Graph Search feature. This tool enables you to find other people on Facebook who share similar interests as you do. This feature is not yet available to the public and is currently undergoing a beta period. Fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to try out Graph Search for myself and at first glance, it looks very impressive.
Firstly, let’s go over how Graph Search works. Graph Search pulls public information from user profiles. This can be anything from a user’s interests, likes, geographical location, education, work, and various other pieces of personal information. While playing with Graph Search, I’ve noticed that Graph Search works best when you generate searches based on a maximum of 5 or 6 variables. You might even be able to get away with 7 or 8 variables, but don’t expect too many results. So for example, an interest can be a variable, location can be a variable, age can be a variable, and gender can be a variable, etc. It also works best if you separate each variable with a separator phrase such as “and is” or “and are” or “and who like,” etc.
For example, I am a geek by heart and I love Star Wars. Loved it since I was a kid. Let’s say I wanted to do a search amongst my male friends who like Star Wars between the ages of 23 and 29. A valid and accurate search may be, “My male friends who like Star Wars and are between 23 and 29 years old.” (Variables: male, friend, Star Wars, 23, 29.) Sadly I only get 2 results. Let’s say I wanted to broaden my search and find other people (both male and female) who live near me who like Star Wars between the ages of 23 and 29, I could search for, “People who live nearby and who like Star Wars and are between the ages of 23 and 29.” (Variables: people, live nearby, Star Wars, 23, 29.) Lo and behold, slightly less than 100 search results.
It is important to note however, that search results are unique. What this means is, if someone performs the exact same search as you, their search results will differ greatly from yours. This is primarily because just as Graph Search pulls information from other user profiles, it also pulls information from your own profile to provide personalized results.
One thing I do like about Graph Search, when you obtain your search results, you gain access to a panel on the right side. This allows you to refine your search further without having to retype a new search query. On the other hand from a usability standpoint, I really wish this panel was made available from the moment you start typing. If you’re just starting to use Graph Search like I was, you have to sit down and figure out how Graph Search works. It’s not like Google where you can type just about anything you want and expect a result that is somewhat accurate to what you’re looking for. You have to go through the process of getting the syntax correct. I can understand it better if it gets to the point where people are used to Graph Searches’ search syntax, but until that point you have to design and develop your product so that anyone can use your feature.
Now lets do a little reverse engineering. We know what Graph Search is capable of and how it works; I believe it’s safe to say that everyone can now optimize their own user profiles to meet search criteria similar to that of SEO. As a result, it is possible to make yourself searchable and marketable through Facebook should you so desire. This can be applicable for a number of different things. You can optimize your Facebook profile for a job position you may be seeking. You can also optimize your Facebook profile as a free and alternative solution for online dating.
At first glance, Graph Search seems very promising, however deeper analysis shows that this tool can be used for other, not so pleasant purposes.
I read Sophos’ perspective of Graph Search from a security and privacy standpoint. Someone can search for, “people who live nearby who like one night stands.” Not only is it creepy, but it is also an invasion of personal privacy. On the other hand, those that appear in the search results are equally at fault. They chose to make this information public, which now becomes easily searchable by just about anyone.
Facebook reminds everyone that search results that appear in Graph Search still honor your privacy settings. You can always change your privacy settings by clicking on the gear icon on the top right corner of the menu bar and going to Privacy Settings. Go through all of the available options and make sure that nothing is set to Public. Graph Search will not pull any information that you specify as sensitive information. Of course if you want to avoid the issue all together, don’t mention anything personal at all.
The verdict? There are still a number of little nuances with Graph Search that could be improved for usability, but overall I’m impressed. As long as you don’t share anything private to both the public and to your friends and family, I think Graph Search can actually be a pretty cool tool to have.
If you’re interested in giving Graph Search a whirl, you can join the waiting list.
What do you think about Graph Search? Will you be using as part of your daily arsenal?
Your friendly neighborhood digital marketing firm, Hunch Free, Inc., has purchased a new spacious facility on 25 N. Main St. in Downtown Mount Clemens. Our President and head honcho, Jimmy Gwizdala, was drawn to the building’s vast development potential and architectural charm. Built in the early 1800’s, the building was originally three separate facilities. In 1966, the Law Firm of Glime Doaust purchased and connected all three buildings. During their ownership, they performed several high-end renovations and built custom furniture adding layers of character to the historic facility.
Today the building feels like you’re stepping into a time capsule, with retro furniture, burnt orange carpeting, and loads of cabinets filled with dusty law books. We intend to keep the vintage character of the building, juxtaposing its current outdated guise with a sleek, modern, industrial flavor. The ultimate goal is to create something novel and spectacular!
Jimmy has already begun directing major repairs to the historic building. He can be found tirelessly hunched over the floor plan working out different spatial scenarios and materializing new bold dreams for the space. He is planning to knock out walls and raise ceilings making the space collaborative and versatile. Drawing inspiration from The Repurposing Detroit movement, Jimmy plans to reuse fine wood from old structures to create custom furniture and fixtures giving the office an entirely new look.
Our team currently resides in the Former Secretary of State location on Cherry Street, less than a quarter mile from our new location. After completely renovating the Cherry Street location two years ago, we quickly outgrew it and anticipate a bright future in the new space. Senior management staff is giddy with excitement about the prospect of new, spacious offices. The new building not only provides much needed space, it also allows considerable room for future growth. We’ve leased out the lower level of the new space and plan to occupy the second floor within 6 months!
Stay tuned on Facebook for renovation updates and photos of the remodel!
Jumping into the world of typeface can be an adventurous yet humbling experience. So many fonts…so many possibilities to convey personality…so many chances to completely discredit any intelligent writing that may have taken place.
Here are a few tips to get you face time with a worthwhile typeface.
Your font choices should reflect the message you are hoping to deliver. Use your font to express emotion but remember to maintain your composure. For example, when typing up an invitation to your upcoming Halloween party, it would be appropriate to use something fun and spooky like Cracked in the header. But carrying that font into the body of the message may scare your partygoers into declining the invitation. Remember to use these intense fonts sparingly and underlay them with softer types to help drive message impact.
Remember that fonts have personality. Choosing the right type tends to be more of an art form than a science. Do you want your message to be the equivalent of a Hawaiian shirt with socks and sandals, unicorn pajamas, or a crisp business suit? Keeping your audience and intent in mind will help with this decision. For example, if you were looking to join a motorcycle group, which would you choose?
- Don’t use Papyrus just because your topic is “ancient” in some way, especially if it’s about Ancient Egypt.
- Don’t use Comic Sans just because your topic is humorous. (Better yet, don’t use Comic Sans at all)
- Don’t use Futura just because your topic deals with “the future”.