Facebook Lexicon

Joshua showed me Facebook Lexicon today, which launched a few months ago but apparently I live under a rock. Lexicon is a feature that lets you see the relative frequencies of words that occur on Wall posts, and it’s really fun to play with.

For instance, comparing “blond” to “blonde”, it appears that the latter is far more popular:

Another interesting faceoff is “you” and “your” vs “u” and “ur”.   I predict some sort of apocalypse when “u” overtakes “you”.

Individual wall posts are basically throwaway messages, analogous to that whiteboard you had on the door of your dorm room.  Not terribly interesting, but being able to see this data in aggregate is much more interesting, especially since the throwaway nature of these posts means that people write in a way that is most natural to them.

I could imagine this being useful for SEO, creating online ad campaigns, or just general zeitgeist tracking.  For instance, looking at ‘obama’ and ‘mccain’ in Lexicon shows a real dropoff after the election, with McCain all but dying out and Obama maintaining a slow but steady trickle of wall posts.  I imagine we’ll see a spike as we approach the inauguration (yay!).

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