Do I want to search my life?
This week Facebook started testing and rolling out Graph Search. Adding functionality to the search bar, it is designed to help you uncover information within your social network. You can search for something as simple as 'photos of my friends', or get more complicated and look for 'photos of my friends at Glastonbury 2005'.
Basically, Graph Search means you'll find it easier to check what you and your social network have been up to. Hmmm. The initial reaction has been muted. Gartner analyst Ray Valdes commented: "Very well-connected individuals have a rich treasure trove of data that they can mine, but the average person's storehouse of data is much sparser and has less relevance to these queries." Which is consultant-speak for: most people aren't that interesting.
And that's just it. Unless you're a teenager with gazillions of friends, Graph Search is unlikely to turn up much that is compelling. And there are other implications…
Will it narrow my horizons?
Like most people, I search to discover things I didn't know or hadn't thought of, seen or heard of before. That's why I like the possibility of input from everyone else on the internet – not just my social network.
Will it reveal too much about who I really am?
Almost a philosophical question, but one that could have a big impact on your career. Will people judge you by how interesting you seem, or what interests you have, or by the things you got up to in the past? I know what I did in Glastonbury 2005, and I'd rather you didn't. Which brings us neatly to the issue of privacy…
Do I want my friends to know what I've been searching for and, more importantly, do I want them to be able to search me more easily?
Graph Search will uncover more information about you, so your privacy settings will become even more important. It's probably a good idea to review your settings and: 1) make sure you're sharing with friends only; 2) check what photos you have on Facebook; 3) have another look at what you've 'liked'. Some of your jokier decisions may come to back to haunt you. Yep, better take another look at those privacy settings...