This weekend’s ABC Grandstand segment discussed the new changes to Facebook as I talked Francis through their new Graph Search feature.

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The new graph search will see the name ‘Stalkbook’ being used when discussing the social networking platform. You can read about the new feature straight from Facebook in their introduction of graph search, as well as reading a step-by-step analysis of Graph Search’s capabilities by Search Engine Journal.

Until next time

Sean’s segment is on a break at the moment put check back for more segments throughout 2013. You can follow Francis Leach and ABC Grandstand on Twitter.

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Podcast transcription

Francis: Grandstand Talk, this is what we’ve got on this Saturday morning. Francis Leach here, we’d like to catch up with Sean Callanan from Sports Geek HQ to talk sport, digital media and social media as well. Sean, welcome back to the Grandstand Breakfast Studio. How are you mate?

Sean: Good, thanks. Thanks for having me.

Francis: Facebook. Stalkbook. It used to be called Stalkbook and now I think it’s official. It is.

Sean: Yeah, over the last couple of weeks, Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook launched a new product, they’re going to do something more mobile, they’re going to do this, that and the other and they launched Facebook Graph Search, the ability to search the Facebook ecosystem is probably a good way of putting it. The term Stalkbook has sort of come back. In its early days, Facebook was just profiles and walls and to communicate and to check out people, you would have to go to their wall and check out their wall and write on their wall. So it actually became a Stalkbook because if you liked someone, you would constantly be checking out their wall and watching their stuff. The feed has effectively taken that over and you get everything now in your feed. But Graph Search allows you search for anything that Facebook knows about in effect.

Francis: So you could sort of profile search someone, some would say, with relative ease?

Sean: Yeah, so I guess, first of all, the way Facebook sees it being useful, like ‘What restaurants are nearby have my friends been to a lot?’ That’s fair enough. Or ‘What movies have my friends seen?’ because Facebook is moving away from life and bringing you other adjectives of…

Francis: Ways of knowledge?

Sean: Yeah or ‘I’ve listened to,’ ‘I’ve read it,’ so rather than life, it’ll be like ‘I read this book. I’ve listened to this song. I’ve eaten this kind of food.’ They’re trying to get you to put more of your information into the system. But yeah, the Graph Search allows you to say, ‘What photos of mine did my friends comment on?’ and you can find the photos and that’s cool. Or ‘What places have my friends been to?’ Then when you start diving into it, you can say, ‘Find friends of my friends that like the same things I like,’ and again you might be like, ‘Oh cool, I’ve just found other supporters of football clubs I’m a supporter of,’ so it makes it very easy to find someone in Facebook. Previously you just had the name. So if you were looking up someone, if you were looking up Sean Callanan, you’d come up and you find all the Sean Callanan’s on Facebook and you’d have to sort of sift through it until you saw the avatar or you can see the name.

Francis: It was a bit of work.

Sean: It was a bit of work and whereas now, you can say, ‘People who went to school at…’ and put the school name in and it will list everyone who went to school. So those high school friends you thought you didn’t have to worry about anymore, they’ll come back. But also from an employment point of you, you can say, “People who work at…”

Francis: The ABC.

Sean: The ABC. So it’s currently in the process of being rolled out and I’ve signed up for the beta and gotten access to it, but yeah, I’ve already taken my teenage kids through it and said, ‘Look. This is what you’re employers are going to look for and they’re just going to go and they’re going to know how to find you and all the embarrassing photos, they’ll be able to find the photos that you’ve commented on. So they might not be your ones but you might see someone in an embarrassing photo that you’ve commented on it or liked it. They can see what groups you’ve been in.’

Francis: It’s once again a reminder that Facebook can be like pulling your pants down in the town square.

Sean: It can be, so you have really got to be aware from a personal point of view. Anything you do can be used against you in the court of Facebook. That’s pretty much how it’s going to be now so if you’re liking or connecting with suspect groups, from a sports point of view, journos have already spoken to a couple of coaches who are really scared. They know their players are using Facebook and using it to connect and I’ve always said that’s fine. You’ve got everyone else on Facebook, why shouldn’t an athlete, politician for instance, the election coming up, why shouldn’t they be on Facebook to see their friends and families? But if they join the wrong group or like or engage the wrong photo, it will be quite easy for the news men or me or anyone to do that piece of, ‘Oh look here, the players from X Club are partying at the Big Day Out.’ It might just be seeing them all standing, watching the latest band or something and it’s pretty innocent but we all know that the media can beat it up a little bit. So there is a concern there.

Francis: Is there a way to avoid being caught up in this? Do the user’s privacy settings deny people access to your information?

Sean: Yes and no. Previously they had privacy settings to not let anyone search for me and you could click that and people wouldn’t find you when they put your name in. Now, they will find you if they put your name and so one of the ways to fix this is to have a fan page and so someone puts your name in or a celebrity’s and they’ll find the fan page. The problem is there are so many other things that I can search on that aren’t blocked. I can search where you work, where you went to school, all of those kinds of things. It’s fairly easy to search your way around. Just warn people to check what they’re sharing and how far they’re sharing and when they’re sharing it.

Francis: And don’t share what you wouldn’t share with your nearest and dearest [Laughs].

Sean: Well previously it used to be ‘don’t befriend someone on Facebook who you think might sell your photos to New Idea for 100 dollars. Now it doesn’t matter because now New Idea can get it anyway.

Francis: They can get it for free. Thanks for coming in mate. Where can people find you and catch up with everything that’s happening up in the world of sport digital media and beyond?

Sean: They find me at @seancallanan or @sportsgeek

Francis: Sean Callanan in with us talking sport and social media.