1. If you’re new here, scroll down for the pictures. They’re still there.

    If you’re looking to write an article, scroll further down for the FAQ, which answers nearly all the questions that journalists send!

    If you’d like to talk to me, hire me, or get me to speak at a conference — I’m damn good at this “making web stuff” lark, and I’m not bad at teaching it — my details are here.

    What A Difference A Day Makes

    24 hours since launch. More than a quarter of a million visitors. Articles in The Guardian, Forbes, Slate, TechCrunch, Mashable, Gawker, the Huffington Post, and — easily sending more traffic than any of them — Le Monde. The front page of Hacker News for most of the day, too, plus pieces on Kottke and my old flame Metafilter. Dozens more besides. A couple of lovely radio interviews, and (depending on tomorrow’s news agenda) perhaps a TV interview too.

    All for half a dozen amusing screenshots.

    The Public Speaks

    Only a few submissions, alas - presumably because not many people have Graph Search - and they’ve almost all been “People who like X and Y, where X and Y are amusingly contradictory things”. I’m trying to avoid posting many of those: the key is in the complexity.

    If you plan to continue this somewhere, don’t look for people who like both Superbowl teams: look for “Rangers fans who are family members of Celtic fans”. (There are two, or sometimes five, depending on how Facebook responds.)

    These People Aren’t Stupid

    Maybe people will get a bit more savvy as a result of this; most likely, they won’t. The people showing up here aren’t stupid: they just don’t have the knowledge required to be safe. If I took my car to a garage for a tune-up, a disreputable mechanic could fleece me for unwanted repairs and I’d never know it: that doesn’t make me stupid, it just means my knowledge is in other areas.

    Graph Search jokes are a good way of startling people into checking their privacy settings — but most people will never actually be affected by accidentally making data ‘public’. (Of course, for the unlucky ones, it won’t be a gamble worth taking.)

    Most of the danger online comes not from strangers making half-assed joke searches: it comes from people who know you. A lot of the public data fails what I call the ‘bitter ex test’: can someone who hates you ruin your life with that information?

    And so, the Point’s Been Made

    I could drag this out for days, watching an ever-dwindling stream of people be mildly titillated. Or I could bow out now. As the old saying goes: always leave ‘em wanting more.

    In a few months, Graph Search will have rolled out to everyone, and this’ll be normal. This site will just be an archive of how we reacted when Graph Search was released and, wow, didn’t we overreact back then?

    I don’t know. Did we?

    My name’s Tom. You can reach me here, or on Twitter. Good night, and good luck.

     
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