Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

Social Networking

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Ed Bennett runs a website to track how hospitals in the United States use social media. He and his team have identified 3,952 social networking sites coordinated by 1,188 hospitals. The breakdown is revealing:


While I had expected a large presence on Facebook and Twitter, the prominence of Foursquare surprised me. This service allows users with mobile devices to “check in” at a particular location.

The analysis of social networking can go even deeper. While Bennett calculates the presence of a Facebook page, for instance, UbiCare explores how much the target audience engages with the site. To achieve a high engagement score, a hospital typically adds over 7 posts a week.

While hospitals tend to target their communications at an external audience, faculty developers can learn from their techniques to reach internal stakeholders.

Tweeting Peer Review

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

NASA called a press conference in December to announce a major new discovery. Researchers had documented a new strain of bacteria that uses arsenic rather than phosphorus as one of its biological building blocks. The press speculated on what this find could mean for extraterrestrial life and interviewed the paper's authors. At the same time, scientists were scrutinizing the paper on-line.

According to an article in Nature, the place of peer review is migrating from the safe sanctums of journal editors' meetings to the unregulated world of the Internet. Through blogging, Twitter, and on-line comments, the review of science continues even after a study is published. And the pace is much faster.

The change heralds some potential positives for scientists. A website called Faculty of 1000 organizes post-publication peer review along a kind of Amazon rating system for articles. These scores may help faculty demonstrate excellence when going up for promotion. The next step seems to be a more open process of pre-publication peer review. Editors and authors, however, will resist that change in hopes of preserving at least one place where review is rigorous and controlled.