Digital Influence Weekly – Facebook Graph Search, Manti Te’o and LinkedIn Answers

Facebook Graph Search

I’ve never liked the idea of social search because of privacy and misinformation issues. Facebook is rolling out its new Graph Search allowing you to discover more about your friends. For instance, you can search “People who like surfing” and find friends and new connections who have publicly listed that information to be searched. I suggest you read this great post with industry leader thoughts on Graph Search. This is not a “Google killer.” It’s only able to pull information from what Facebook users add and what is made publicly available to search – and Facebook is NOT the whole internet. Think of this more like Foursquare where suggestions for where to go are based on where you’ve been and what your friends like.

However, I’ve never been a huge fan of search based on social networks. If Facebook bases search results on what you’ve posted or LIKED publicly, then results are sure to be skewed. How many times have you liked a Facebook Page to keep tabs on a political figure or organization you don’t agree with? Your name could appear in their search results giving a false impression of you.

Graph Search is only available to a select few right now so I imagine tweaks are being made and bugs are being worked out. Once we have access to it, we will provide our thoughts on how it can be ethically and tactically used for marketing and PR.

Manti Te’o and the Actual Fake Online Girlfriend

You may have heard recently about the Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and the girlfriend who died but later turned out to never have existed at all. It’s a weird and sad story of digital fakeouts which ended the only way these things do. The truth will always surface. The internet is a collection of information and truth seekers who do their job better than those who create the lies. Creating fake profiles to misguide others for any purpose destroys any credibility, good will and branding you had previously built with your target audience.

Additionally, Jeff Balke of the Houston Press makes a good point in his post on the matter to not dismiss the power and integrity of online news outlets as it was a blog which cracked the fake story everyone else fell for.

LinkedIn is Dropping Answers Feature

Question: Will I miss LinkedIn Answers when they are removed on January 31? Answer: No.

For many, LinkedIn Answers were to be avoided. As one article from the Texas Bar Journal stated a few years ago, attorneys who received enough positive engagements on an answer they provided would be labeled as an “expert” in that area. Being listed as an expert without board certification is to be avoided in advertisements even though LinkedIn profiles were not designated as an ad.

I never invested time in them, but you may have. Please let us know if you ever used LinkedIn Answers and if you benefited participating in them.