Gini Dietrich

New Social Media Tools: Graph Search, Delicious, and Branch

By: Gini Dietrich | January 16, 2013 | 

Big news at Facebook yesterday, huh?

I’m not going to dissect Graph Search for you. There are a gazillion blog posts already written about it. The best I’ve seen (so far) is one from Christopher Penn titled, “Five Tips for Facebook Graph Search Optimization.”

I suggest checking it out because he makes some interesting points about how Facebook now competes with Google (although Google is about what and Facebook now is about who) and how search engine optimization will change.

Lots and lots of speculation about it and lots of information about it. Just do a search for “graph search” and you’ll find more than you need.

We’ll cover it here after we’ve had a chance to use it and see what works and what doesn’t work.

But Facebook isn’t the only technology launching something new. Delicious and Branch both announced big changes.

Delicious Changes

Delicious has had a rough year, but it looks like it’s back. I began using it when it was de.lic.ious, but stopped last year when it switched ownership and I lost all of the bookmarks I had organized neatly to share, particularly when I speak.

It was frustrating and I was disappointed, but it might be worth taking another look.

They launched an iPhone app last month and they have a fancy new design. And they have a few new features, according to their blog:

  • An omnibox search bar to conveniently search across keywords, tags, usernames, your network and even tag bundles!
  • Enhanced profile pages with names and personal bios added to make it easier to find friends and create a personalized link-sharing network of your own.
  • Single-page viewing experience to speed up navigation across your links and to supercharge content discovery.
  • Keyboard shortcuts to get you where you want to go faster than ever.

If you use Evernote, I’m not sure you’ll have a use for this, but for those who want a social experience around the things you clip, save, and bookmark, check it out!

Branch and In-Depth Conversations

The last new platform to take a look at is Branch. No, not BranchOut, that irritating networking tool from Facebook, but Branch.

It is a pretty cool way to extend your Twitter conversations about particular points in an article, blog post, video, podcast, or even book.

I liken it to this: For those of you that use an eReader, you might have noticed you can highlight certain passages in books and read the notes that others have written as they read.

With Branch, you can highlight particular sentences, paragraphs, or quotes in the things you’re reading online and share those on Twitter (instead of the entire thing). Not limited to 140 characters, you can get in-depth about the debate, conversation, or advice around the things that interest you.

But Gini, you might ask, why wouldn’t I just blog if I want to have conversations like that?

You must certainly can! But Branch makes it easy if you don’t have a blog, don’t want to spend the time on a blog post around one particular point, or want to have a conversation with just one person – or a handful of people.

There are tons of ways you can use it – half-baked ideas, longer conversations, debates, crowdsourcing, and more – and I recommend you get in there to test it out.

It just takes a username and password (email address too, I think) and then you can see what you think. Go on. Take five minutes and do it. You can even tweet something to me, if you just wanting to try it.

So there you have it. Lots of news this week. Lots of things to consider. Go forth and prosper!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Hi Gini,
    I use both Evernote and Delicious. I used Ma.gnolia for my bookmarks for years (beautiful interface and great social features) until it crashed, then moved to Delicious.  At this time, I’ll be keeping my bookmarks in Delicious, with the hope they will add more social features, similar to what Ma.gnolia had years ago.

    • @redcrew I hope they’ll add some features like Diigo has…it sounds like it’s simliar to ma.gnolia.

      • @ginidietrich  I looked at Diigo and Pinboard a couple years ago when Yahoo announced it was closing Delicious. At that time, neither fit the bulk of my requirements. Sounds like I’ll need to take a second look at Diigo.

  • What a great post today, @ginidietrich . I was tracking (of course) the changes to Facebook but had not been aware of the updates to delicious or the existence of branch. Great to find new or newly revised tools! I’m still wrapping my mind around graph search and its implications, I must confess. I’m not eager to give up or replace or even augment Delicious. I too lost boatloads of bookmarks when de.lic.ious changed. In the interim I’ve found Evernote so…

    • @allenmireles As long as you have Evernote (cough, @belllindsay , cough), I’m good!

  • Long live Evernote. You’ll have to pry that one from my cold, dead hands. 🙂

    • @jasonkonopinski I love that they keep adding new features. They’re very savvy.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski I now have Evernote. I’m nothing if not easily motivated by threats.

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich If only one of us had written an eBook on Evernote…..

  • belllindsay

    My first gut reaction is “Gah!! More things!!” – but I really need something like Delicious (or Evernote, if @jasonkonopinski ‘s comment is anything to go by!) – and I’ll definitely take a look at Branch.

    • @belllindsay If you just listen to what I say, your life would be much easier. 🙂

      • belllindsay

        @jasonkonopinski So you keep telling me.

        • HowieG

          @belllindsay  @jasonkonopinski but jason talked you into working with @ginidietrich vs that sweet front office job for the chicago cubs

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich I would move to Chicago.

        • @belllindsay  @HowieG  @ginidietrich Me. Too.

    • @belllindsay  How do you not use Evernote?

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich I have no idea. 😉

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich She never listens.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich True.

        • @jasonkonopinski  Not true. She listens all the time. But then she ends her listening with things such as, “Yes, master.” I’m surprised she didn’t say that here. @belllindsay

  • Thanks for the heads up about Branch. I hadn’t heard of it before and will check it out.It will be interesting to see how Facebook Graph Search impacts our search (and our sharing habits). Us Canadians probably won’t be able to experience it’s capabilities for months.I’ve been using Evernote as a replacement for Delicious (although I haven’t completely given up on it yet). Now that Evernote has made it easier to clip PDFs it’s that much more useful for me although I’m not entirely sold.

    • @EdenSpodek I’ll tell you what…when I get Graph Search, I’ll be sure and rub it in as long as you don’t have it. Sound good?

  • So many social networks, so little time! But seriously, If I see one more blog post about Graph Search I’m going to throw my computer out of the window.

    • @yvettepistorio I totally want to see video of you in full-on rage quit.

      • HowieG

        @jasonkonopinski  @yvettepistorio what is a graph?

      • @jasonkonopinski Hahahaha!! Oh it would be a sight to see, let me tell you. Me in a rage usually ends badly!

    • @yvettepistorio Thank heaven I didn’t write about it!

      • @ginidietrich I’m very happy you didn’t…I knew i liked working for you for a reason!

  • Another day, another doll…er I mean social tool. Oh Facebook, you never fail to delight me.
    I was halfheartedly used Diigo for awhile, but I’ve fallen off bookmarking things. I may have to take another look.
    The Branch idea is cool. There are all sorts of things I see that aren’t necessarily a fit for my blog, but I’d love to comment on in a little more length. This would do that for me. Neat!

    • @katskrieger Exactly how you could use Branch! Very good idea!

  • I used to use Delicious, as well. But then I moved to Evernote and GetPocket to save the stuff I want to look at later. I’m not going back to Delicious.
    Another social media tool to keep an eye out for is Medium. Essentially, you write something, post it to the site, and the amount of activity on the post (recommendations to others, feedback to the creator, etc.) determines how high it rises on the site. It’s exactly how Reddit operates.

    • @bradmarley Interesting someone would want to compete with Reddit. I’ll check it out!

  • Uhhh Gini, I come to your blog to read the news… not click on someone else’s link to read about it 😛 Although I guess you did kinda say you’d write about it after you learned  more so I’ll give you a pass… this time!  But I still don’t get where I do this facebook search.  Is it in the top box where you type peoples names?

    • @TonyBennett From what I understand, yes that’s where it is. I just tested it and I don’t have it yet. I guess I’m not as a big a deal as I think I am.

      • @ginidietrich you’re a big deal to me, that’s what’s important

  • HowieG

    Is it true Spin Sucks is migrating to Branch? I saw a Tweet from the Bieber Feed about this rumor.
    I guess my feeling for Facebook is we have no idea how much content exists that will be useful. Obviously I post nothing on Facebook so my content in general won’t turn up much in search. But even if just two of your friends checked into a restaurant you are interested in and actually wrote something about it vs just checking in, probably outweigh 30 Yelp! reviews.
    Will be interesting to see how well it works. Currently open graph off of facebook hasn’t gained much traction in terms of number who Like/Tweet/etc from those buttons is very very low vs readership. Yet to take this action is so easy. So curious how much content exists to offset a yelp or google search from my friends network.

    • @HowieG This, right here, is why I decided to wait and write about it later (that and so @yvettepistorio doesn’t throw her computer out the window). I want to see how it works and whether or not it’s useful.

  • Google: “We search the world.”
    Facebook: “We search for updates on cats.”
    Google: “Uh… good for you!”

    • @Danny Brown You mean Google wouldn’t be jealous of being able to search for updates on cats!?!? On a more serious note, I do think it’s funny the fight between Page and Zuck. They both wish they had companies that do what the other does.

      • @ginidietrich The big difference is, Google’s making money for their clients. Facebook? Not so much. Google is definitely pissed with Facebook’s walled garden approach, and i can’t help but feel Zuckerberg is jealous they have the scale of Google but not the business respect. Hey ho.

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  • I use to use Delicious to curate all my research and now, believe it or not, I use my Pinterest boards to keep all my research links in one place. I just started to dip into Evernote so I can’t really add to the conversation. MAYBE you can do one of your cool stuff and tips/tricks about Evernote post into your blogging pipeline?

  • I’m a big of fan of Evernote for this (and so many other things). Branch looks interesting, thanks for the heads up. I hope I can find some time to play with it. I’m just so busy with the new MySpace.

    • @IanGordon Come clean…are you really trying it out??

      • @ginidietrich Busted. I’m not actually.  Personally, I couldn’t get past Timberlake staring at me and for work, a mostly entertainment/music based platform isn’t where the clients I am currently focusing on should be spending time. So for now, I’ll watch and see what happens there.

        • @IanGordon Darn! I want to find someone who is using it. Everyone feels the same way you do, no matter how much we love Justin Timberlake.

  • Great, more social media crap to learn. 🙂

    • @barrettrossie Some of it is organization crap.

    • @geoffliving posted today about the choices we have to make, and that organizational/automation tools can only put off the choices for so long… have you two ever thought about collaborating?

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  • I’ve been intrigued by Branch, but haven’t used it yet. Have you checked out Tracky? It’s a Vegas startup ( prsarahevans is on board) and I’ve been experimenting with it to organize my editorial calendar and certain types of perennial blog posts.

  • I tried Branch, but 0 people were talking to me and I gave up. Not much of a social network if you can’t talk to anyone *lol* I dropped it, but overall it is a great idea.
    I always thought it was very possible to have a blog in 140char that exists on Twitter. It pretty much as all the features of blog. Well the most important one, the ability to embed media. Twitter’s adoption of video, images, and now giving previews of text is a real boon for them.

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