I spent time in San Francisco last week, which is always great in terms of Internet-related learning and inspiration. If you are motivated to learn more about the degree to which the digital economy permeates the region, spend a few moments reading the San Francisco Business Journal, then compare it to any other major city, like Philadelphia or Chicago. A disproportionate amount of the content in the San Francisco paper is Internet oriented.
Since a significant number of folks live in San Francisco, yet work in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, etc. many of the major entities, like Google have buses that pick up folks and transport them forty miles down the freeway to headquarters.
One of my takeaways from the trip was the potential impact that Facebook's new Graph Search functionality (which is currently in beta) will have on both users and advertisers. From a user's perspective, it will enable people to more effectively find individuals with like-minded interests. Read this article from Digital Trends to learn more about the nuances of how Graph Search works: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/hands-on-with-facebook-graph-search/.
While Graph Search may be a wonderful or invasive mechanism (depending on your perspective) for individuals looking to dig deeper into their network of friends (and friend's friends), think how incredible a tool it could become for businesses from an advertising perspective. Being able to precisely target individuals with certain attributes and who are expressing an interest in certain subjects, from fine dining, travel or even much more personal information about themselves may prove to be incredibly powerful. Check out this infographic on the PBS.org website: http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/orka.jpg.
If interested in learning more about Graph Search, check out Steven Levy's detailed article in Wired that provides great insights to the process leading up to the beta, Facebook's preemptive measures to fend off privacy concerns and the potential that it holds for advertisers: http://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/the-inside-story-of-graph-search-facebooks-weapon-to-challenge-google/all/.
MoreVisibility is watching the Facebook Graph Search beta very closely and will be advising clients accordingly. Please feel free to touch base at any time with questions or to discuss the potential opportunities for your company.