How Mailchimp uses network analysis

An example of Mailchimp mailing list clustering by readership overlap — “Fantasy sports! Guns! And flowers, for what I can only assume are apologies for doing something stupid with the first two.”

I sometimes forget what a powerful tool network analysis is. Mailchimp, a popular email newsletter provider, used several standard network analysis tools to look at subscribers to mailing lists using their platform, to calculate similarities between both subscribers and lists.

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Social Networks for Academics Proliferate, Despite Some Scholars Doubts

Here’s an article with an overview of online products out there for research social networking;  the big gap in the article is that no institutional products are included such as Profiles, VIVO, etc. This is noted in one of the comments at the end, by Titus Schleyer.

That aside, there are interesting opinions in this piece, a few clipped below, and perhaps pointing to the current status of the space,  where the sweet spot has not yet been found.  

“After six years of running Zotero, it’s not clear that there is a whole lot of social value to academic social networks,” says Sean Takats, the site’s director, who is an assistant professor of history at George Mason University. “Everyone uses Twitter, which is an easy way to pop up on other people’s radar screens without having to formally join a network.” 

Scholars aren’t interested in sharing original ideas on such sites, [Christopher Blanchard, an adjunct professor of community and regional planning at Boise State University] now believes, “because they’re afraid they’ll be ripped off” and because they simply don’t have the time.

“We have thousands of new discussions taking place every day—scientists helping scientists without getting anything for it,” [Dr. Madisch, of ResearchGate] says. “Three years ago, people were smiling at me and saying that scientists aren’t social. They won’t share information. They were wrong.”

Social Networks for Academics Proliferate, Despite Some Scholars Doubts – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

AMIA 2012 Joint Summit: a report back in tweets

Eric, Leslie, and I from CTSI at UCSF’s Virtual Home team spent the past three days at the AMIA 2012 Joint Summit in San Francisco.

Here’s some of what was happening on the researcher networking, social networking, knowledge representation fronts, and public search front, via Twitter:

Other tweets that caught my eye from the rest of the conference:

Social Media Week, February 2012

Organizers host the five-day conference (February 13-17, 2012) simultaneously in London, Berlin, New York, Toronto, San Francisco and São Paulo. 

The event will explore the impact that social media has on culture, business communications and society at large.

Among the topics:

  • Mining Social Media for Consumer Insight
  • Dashboards and Metrics
  • Topical Influencers: Who Are They and How Do We Reach Them?
  • Creating Social Utilities That People Will Actually Use

More at http://socialmediaweek.org/

Using Research Networking Effectively in Academia: UCSF-CTSI Team Presents On National AMIA Panel

Three of us from the Virtual Home team at CTSI went to this year’s AMIA (American Medical Informatics Assoc) meeting in DC and presented on a panel with Griffin Weber of Harvard University. The panel was called “Four Steps to Using Research Networking Effectively at Your Institution”

Griffin spoke on cutting edge features of research networking tools, such as linked open data and social network analysis.

Eric Meeks of UCSF spoke on standard APIs, such as OpenSocial, to leverage a community of developers, I spoke about incentivize usage and understand your audience, and to round it out, Brian Turner spoke about using data, tools and strangers to improve user interfaces.

The panel presentation was a 90 minute break out session and we were happy to have a good turnout and an engaged audience. I think that the work that UCSF has put into the ‘social engineering’ of the tool has really paid off. Our usage and engagement numbers are on the rise and comparatively speaking, Griffin mentioned that our traffic is about 5-times that of what Harvard Profiles is currently getting.

In addition, Eric also had a poster session at the meeting!

The UCSF presentations will be up on Slideshare, available on the CTSI channel and via our individual UCSF profiles:

http://profiles.ucsf.edu/ProfileDetails.aspx?From=SE&Person=5333232
http://profiles.ucsf.edu/ProfileDetails.aspx?From=SE&Person=4621800
http://profiles.ucsf.edu/ProfileDetails.aspx?From=SE&Person=5333232

Notes from the 2011 Medicine 2.0 Summit at Stanford

Some argue that as technology advances it turns into a barrier and prevents essential human interactions, such as at the bedside. Even though this is a concern that we need to address, the Medicine 2.0 Summit 2011 provided a lot of examples that showed how technology can turn into a powerful mediator.

For those interested who did not get the chance to attend the event, here is a list of the main topics and initiatives presented that use social media, mobile computing applications, as well as Web 2.0 in healthcare and medicine to create new ways for people to connect. Please feel free to add your impressions and ideas of the summit and conference. Thanks!

1. If you are interested in learning from ePatients on how to build and leverage communities of practice and participatory medicine, you might want to explore the following blogs and platforms: 

  • Amy Tenderich’s blog Diabetesmine.com,
  • SmartMobs, authored by Howard Reingold, who was diagnosed with colon cancer and shared his experience on a blog called Howard’s Butt
  • PatientsLikeMe, where more than 115,000 members with over 1,000 conditions share their experiences to see what interventions are working for others

2. Patients have been connecting for some time. However, how can we help connect physicians and patients in a meaningful way? During the session “The Healthcare Transformers”, the panelists presented their views on personalizing healthcare and new ways for physicians and patients to communicate. 

  • Jay Parkinson, founder of HelloHealth and Futurewell, shared his passion about using creative design to improve health — and a few critical lessons learned (including” innovation is lonely” and “colleagues are critics”) as he and colleagues opened a “virtual clinic”, a “web-based patient communication, practice management and electronic health record in one solution”.
  • Lee Aase from the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media gave a very entertaining talk on social media in the spirit of “Suus non ut Difficile” (It’s not that hard).  See one of their latest success stories: “When Patients Band Together – Using Social Networks To Spur Research for Rare Diseases”. They are very proactive about arming their health care professionals with the right tools to leverage social media for their successful communication. They even started a “Social Media Residency”. Aase also introduced the Social Media University, Global (SMUG), a post-secondary educational institution dedicated to providing practical, hands-on training in social media to lifelong learners.
  • Bryan Vartabedian, pediatric gastroenterologist, writes an interesting blog 33charts  about “the convergence of social media and medicine”.
  • Wendy Sue Swanson, practicing pediatrician, mother, and author of SeattleMamaDoc, walks a fine line and shares resources and methods that she learns from her patients, friends and family, both in and out of the field of medicine. She applies the concept of storytelling to achieve her goal of helping parents decipher some of the current medical news.
  • Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap , who we wrote about in our earlier post, presented his solution to ending health care communication in silos. Some of the latest updates include 1) peer review features which will help give great questions more weight in the HealthTap environment, 2) offering a mobile solution, and 3) allowing participating doctors to be notified of questions coming from local patients.

3. “The Knowledge Revolution”: If you are interested in using innovations in Medical Education, you might find the following projects of interest:

  • Bertalan Mesko from Webicina.com provides curated medical social media resources in over 80 medical topics in over 17 languages to help patients and medical professionals access the most relevant social media content in their own languages on a customizable, easy-to-use platform for free.
  • Parvati Dev from Clinispace presented their virtual, 3D virtual training environment for healthcare professionals where learners can practice on realistic virtual medical scenarios and recover safely from errors.

4. The panel on  “The Interconnected Life” discussed social tools and platforms such as Epocrates, Google Correlate, which finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends, and Quora.

5. During the panel “The New Scientist”, Michael Conlon presented VIVO , an “open source semantic web application”, a tool that is – like Profiles, Loci and others –  used or being implemented by universities across the nation to enable and support scientific collaborations and expertise discovery. 

  • Jan Reichelt, Co-Founder and President at Mendeley, talked about how the tool, a free reference manager and academic social network, helps investigators organize their research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.
  • Peter Bienfield from PlosOne reminded us that most of the 1.5 Million papers published every year are still “closed access”. However, as established publishers experiment with “open access”, e.g.,  Sage Open , BMJ Open , Biology Open ,and Scientific Reports ,  they validate the model…
  • And, David Pescovitz explained how he is looking for “signals” to identify far-out ideas. He is editor for Boing Boing and MAKE as well as research director with the Institute for the Future.

6. Dennis Boyle, IDEO Founding Member and Partner, gave an interesting closing keynote on “design thinking” and “a human-centered approach to innovation.” He highlighted some of their recent projects… worth exploring….

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