Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Magical Possibilities of Facebook Search

Recently, Facebook added me to the ranks of those who can use the beta version of Facebook Search.

I was skeptical. My first search for "friends who like cats" had momentary charm, but was not all that useful.

Instead of obvious questions, you need to ask questions that go to the notion of "the strength of weak ties."

"Friends of friends who grew up in my home town" is such a question.

I keyed in this question. Facebook responded with a few names. Among them was a gift.

This gift was to name someone whose parents lived four houses down the street from where I lived as a teenager. He had left town two years before we moved to that street. But, everyone knew he was the boy who went to go make movies in Hollywood.

In my youth, I was inspired seeing his name as the director of so many episodes of the leading television series of that era. One was the "Printer's Devil" episode of Twilight Zone, staring the great actor Burgess Meredith. I always thought this episode marked the peak for that landmark television series. He also directed the hallmark episode of the Waltons, "Grandma Comes Home."

For a youth, growing up in a small mid-western town, seeing the name Ralph Senensky listed as director in the credits for so many wonderful television programs and movies was my realization you could go other places and do interesting things.

Before last week, I had never been able to communicate with Ralph. But now I have, and have been able to tell him how much I admire his work. Ralph was an inspiration in many ways.

So thank you Facebook Search for finding Ralph. He is someone I was not looking for at the moment, but really needed to find.

This is a true story. It would make a great commercial, don't you think?

It underscores the importance of Facebook Search focusing on the contents of the social network service itself, rather than including Web contents in general. When on Facebook we want to know about our friends, broader returns from the Web will merely be seen as frustrating noise.

For additional perspective on the Psychology of Advertising, please see The Discipline of Account Planning.

  Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. As Dirty Harry would say, "John, you made my day!"