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Dark social: should publishers be afraid of the dark?

13 Nov, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Have a look at any website’s analytics and ‘direct traffic’ will appear as a source alongside referrers such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. It is widely assumed that this ‘direct traffic’ is made up of users bookmarking the site or typing a site’s URL directly into a browser. However, will many readers really type out a long article URL? Isn’t it more likely that the link has been shared in a private network, such as instant messengers or email, rather than typed?

As email clients and instant messaging platforms such as Skype are not recognised as referrers, links clicked on within these networks have had referral data stripped and therefore show as ‘direct traffic’. Known as ‘dark social‘, this is the more mysterious type of traffic, where links are shared in a private yet social way.

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Going native: the right way forward for advertisers?

5 Nov, 13 | by Deji Sodipe, Digital Intern

Earlier this year we introduced the concept of native advertising, which in the context of the advertising world, is still a relatively new concept. In the space of a few years it has developed from a burgeoning and beneficial idea to what many believe will be the advertiser’s tool of the future. Initially picked up and tested by leading digital platforms, such as Google and Youtube, native ads are now a totally integrated part of online browsing.

Social networks in particular have assimilated native ads more than any other platforms, specifically with Facebook’s suggested posts and Twitter’s promoted tweets and users:

native1

native3

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Lightbeam for Firefox: find out who’s tracking you online

29 Oct, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

As the internet continues to evolve, issues surrounding privacy remain a common cause for concern. There is growing anxiety among internet users of how their online activities are tracked for commercial purposes. The business model behind this is generally to aggregate a large number of users in order to sell that audience’s aggregate attention, usually in the form of advertising.  After all, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

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Redefining impact – altmetrics now on journals from BMJ

21 Oct, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In growing numbers, scholars are moving their daily work to the Internet. Online reference managers, such as Zotero and Mendeley, have grown in popularity, the latter claiming to store over 470 million articles (substantially more than PubMed). In addition, as many as a third of scholars are on Twitter and a growing number cultivate scholarly blogs.

As a result of the increasing scholarly use of social tools like Twitter, Facebook and Mendeley, there is a need to track scholarly impact on the social web by creating new filters. The call for new metrics has been answered by a group of researchers who have dubbed the movement as  ‘altmetrics‘.

In support of this year’s theme for Open Access Week, ‘redefining impact’, BMJ has introduced the Altmetric widget across all articles published in BMJ’s portfolio of journals.*

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Google Hummingbird: should publishers be concerned?

14 Oct, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Last month, on the eve of its fifteenth birthday, Google revealed its first brand new search engine algorithm since 2001; Hummingbird.

Unsurprising, Google has not given away any specific details but it has revealed that Hummingbird is focused on ranking information based on a more intelligent understanding of search requests. As online data volumes increase, we are expected to type more and more words into Google Search to achieve greater accuracy of results. Often we are required to conduct multiple searches to find the correct information, which can be a frustrating and protracted process.

The reason for this inefficiency is that the Search results we currently receive reflect the matching combination of key words that a search phrase contains, rather than the true meaning of the sentence itself. Search results produced by Hummingbird, however, will reflect the full semantic meaning of longer search phrases, and should in theory produce more accurate results.

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Avoiding numerical-scoring analytical tools: Information without the aggravation

7 Oct, 13 | by Deji Sodipe, Digital Intern

 

In our first two posts on social media tools, we looked at Klout, and its competitors. We also discussed the merits of a score as a quantifiable means of demonstrating influence. With questions being raised over the necessity of ranking people and accusations being levelled over the extent to which people manipulate such systems to increase their scores, a rising number of people are avoiding such numerical scoring tools altogether.

However, the level of interest in the impact of our online interactions remains high. People and brands want to know more than just their level of influence. They want to have varied but detailed information on things such as what people are talking about, who’s talking about them and how much they’re being talked about. To cater for this, a number of services are providing alternate systems for delivering this information. This week we’ll be looking at a selection of analytical tools that look at activity on social media to give individuals and brands an idea of how far influence extends, without apportioning a rank or score. more…

Social media analytics: The metrics tools competing for your influence

30 Sep, 13 | by Deji Sodipe, Digital Intern

Looking at social media influence can be a tricky subject, not least because of the fact that there are so many services vying to provide this wealth of information. The sheer number of analytics tools available exemplifies how much of an increased role that social media influence plays in modern life. Last week we looked at the heavyweight analytical tool Klout. However, there are several other significant players in this market and a number of Klout’s competitors also use a numerical scoring model to quantify online influence. This week we’ll be looking specifically at some of these competitors and providing an overview of what they offer and how they work. more…

The backlash to Klout: How much value do we place on social media influence?

20 Sep, 13 | by Deji Sodipe, Digital Intern

When Klout launched in back in 2009, no one could have predicted the extent to which it would polarize public opinion. This analytical tool, which measures your ‘social influence’ by way of a numerical score, has proved to be the marmite of the social media world. Its staunch advocates devotedly post content to increase their ‘Klout score’ whilst its detractors question the validity of its scoring system. Whatever your opinion, it’s clear that social influence is something that is causing more and more people to sit up and pay attention to their online profiles.

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BMJ podcasts now on SoundCloud

13 Sep, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

We are excited to announce that all podcasts from The BMJ and our specialist journals are now available on SoundCloud.

The idea behind SoundCloud is similar to YouTube – anyone can post their audio and share it really easily online. Whether through widgets on blogs and websites, or via posts on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites, SoundCloud users can interact with what they are hearing better than ever before.

You can comment at a specific point in the track to add your thoughts to the discussion, share the podcast with your friends and followers, and see which podcasts or ‘sounds’ are most popular. Users can choose to listen online, or download apps to listen via their smartphones or tablets.

First launched in 2007, some 12 hours of audio are now uploaded to SoundCloud every minute. As of July 2013,  the social sound platform had over 200 million active users per month across the web and mobile. BMJ will be joining the likes of the Guardian, the BBC, NPG and many more who have already established a presence on the network.

http://podcasts.bmj.com

 

Will ‘portable peer review’ make science more efficient?

6 Sep, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

The academic publication process is not the most efficient of systems. Authors often go through several rounds of submission and rejection trying to find an appropriate publication venue. In fact, it takes on average nearly six months for a paper to reach publication from date of submission, during which time there is plenty of opportunity for competitors to publish similar results.

The reality is that before a paper is accepted by a journal, it is often rejected by one or more others. The reason for rejection need not be a methodological flaw – perhaps the research just isn’t innovative enough for the prestigious titles. During this time, each journal sends the paper for appraisal by experts in the relevant field; peer review. Endless cycles of repetitive review and requests for additional experiments from multiple journals does not necessarily make for efficient scientists, or efficient science.

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