We’ve written about how to use social networking websites for jury selection and marketing (see right column under Articles) and Facebook has now made it even easier to hunt down its members and their posts.
Conceptually, Facebook has been a “closed circuit” social networking site where users limit who can view their profiles and posts. The idea is you keep it to a close circle of friends. On the other hand, Twitter has been an “open circuit” social networking site where your posts go out into the twittersphere for friends, people you don’t know, neighbors, and prying lawyers to read. Thus, Facebook has become a rock-solid means to communicate among friends while Twitter has become a way to communicate with the world. Stated differently, and at the risk of overthinking this issue, Facebook makes connections based upon people, Twitter makes connections based upon topics.
Back to the changes at Facebook. They’ve changed the general search query (top right corner of your facebook page) so that you can run your search term for everything on their site as well as subcategories like people, pages, groups, etc. The change was announced (and perhaps better described), here on Facebook blog’s August 10 post. We also came across this Florida-related post on the topic at Examiner.com, which is likewise a good description of the changes.
This does not mean that you now have access to Facebook user’s profiles, walls or other information. By default, a user’s profile and other information is restricted. However, this is an easier way to find users in the first place as well as see other Facebook “events” involving your search term. Arguably, this could be a babystep towards Facebook becoming more open and searchable. Meanwhile, don’t think lawyers are alone in searching Facebook…
Thanks to our friends at TechCrunch for the scoop, here.