Facebook Graph Search and User Profiling – Web Journal – Feb 15-21st 2013

I have been intrigued with the new capabilities of Facebook Graph Search and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think this is going to be where the next future of search is going to come from, because the basic search algorithms that Google popularized have gone about as far as they can.  Fundamentally, Search needs to be re-invented, and Facebook has begun to do that.

Here’s a couple of visualizations I created lately – these come out of my work at Rutgers University – but they go beyond it , even.


Source: WebMetricsGuru INC –  4 Communities at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

I was able to use the Facebook Graph Search and find the Brand pages that were most liked by Painters vs. Musicians vs. Actors and then Dancers who are studying at MGSA.  Graph search made it easy to do this, and I could have gone much, much deeper than I went (and maybe I will sometime soon, stay tuned).

It was all fine to create a map of 4 communities, but what about the sub-communities of say … musicians that study classical instruments at Mason Gross?  What might I come up with?  The Graph Search came up with something that Google search, in a million years, could never produce, though if we all went over to Google Plus, as they hope, they could come up with some nice circles visualizations, but they would not be the same thing as what Facebook produced for me .


Source: WebMetricsGuru INC –  6 Sub Communities at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

I went a little further and did some profiling – here’s an example of what that looks like for the Pianist sub community at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Source: WebMetricsGuru INC –  Pianists  at MGSA,  Rutgers University

I’ll admit, the profiling part is the area I’m probably not the best at – I am pretty good at managing to get the platforms to do what I want to do, or tell you why they can’t (my book on Social Media Analytics) but I’m not the best at translating the cultural signals of contemporary commercial and artistic  brands into the deep psychological underpinnings that drive human behavior.   I had help from my friend Joann Lefebvre for the first of the 6 slides I made.

What John Mayer and The Beatles have in common with a person’s disposition to risk taking is the subject of much philosophical discussion (ha), but once the cultural signals connected to the Brands (that spend so much money crafting them in the first place), a student of human psychology can connect the dots together and uncover the psychological drives that distinguish how people behave and why.

And the Graph Search will get better and better, while Google Search algorithm is about as mature as it’s ever going to get (that’s why they are pushing so hard to move into Social with Google Plus – perhaps they will succeed only because Google is too big to fail, but they may not succeed as much as they won’t fail).

You can read the whole presentation here but I decided not to allow it to be downloaded.


Web Journal

  • One of the most useful posts I’ve read in a long time - I have to try these apps out, maybe one at a time.
  • Software eating jobs – and insightful post at Tech Crunch – the  idea of “software eating the world and its jobs” is something I, and many others have thought about for a while. A interesting and sobering read that I largely agree with. The middle class is being “hollowed out”, and we need to broaden our horizons to figure out how live and thrive in the new economies that being created out of technologies rather than scarcity – which is no longer the main drivers of pricing.
  • The Real Battle of Dell - Dell is going obsolete. Interesting that innovation and R&D spending is pegged at 10% – 50% of all revenue spent for Start-ups – and Dell is anything but a start-up.  The writer compares Dell to the “Invisible Man” – or would that be Michael Dell and the Dell computers no one gives a damn about anymore.
  • A look inside Obama’s White House – I had this as a promoted post on Facebook for about 3 days  – I think the White House interview is telling in that social media has evolved and now people need deeper engagement – creative + storytelling that I alluded to at the Socialbakers event 2 weeks ago.
  • Social Media as Modern Sorcery – The title pulled me in – the writer claims that Social media in developing countries today provides some of the soothing elements of Sinhalese sorcery. When products the consumer has paid for do not work, frustration is a likely result.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Facebook Graph Search and User Profiling – Web Journal – Feb 15-21st 2013”

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