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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.


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.


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.


How to engage with the diverse community that is Reddit

30 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

An article in The BMJ on muscular strength in male adolescents and premature death received over 55,000 page views in December 2012. On closer inspection, we discovered that 66% of visits to that particular article had come from Reddit, the social content sharing and news aggregator site. In fact, after tracking down the article on, we found that the article had generated quite a flurry of conversation, with just under 300 comments.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a one off, especially given the relevance of the paper to the adolescent users of Reddit. However, another BMJ article seems to have provoked a similar reaction. This study focused on didgeridoo playing as an alternative treatment for sleep apnoea and received a significant 59% of its total traffic from


eLife Lens: new article layout making the most of the Web

16 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

There is general consensus in the publishing community that online documents have too long been like yesterday’s paper—flat, lifeless, inactive. For many years, we have been trying to move away from ‘paper under glass’ and reconceptualise scholarly output using the technologies available now.

Elsevier have invested significant time in their Article of the Future project, many have experimented with semantic publishing, and services such as Utopia Docs have attempted to breathe new life into PDFs. Now the innovative open access journal, eLife, has released a new tool in the hope of making articles easier to read online for researchers, authors and editors alike: eLife Lens.


Instagram: niche social network or brand platform?

9 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Even if you don’t use the online photo-sharing social networking service that is Instagram, you’ve probably encountered an Instagram image somewhere online. Instagram’s calling card is the photo filter; a digital layer that gives the appearance of professional editing to a standard photo.

With the new addition of video capability on Instagram in June, it’s a good time to talk about how companies are using this rapidly growing platform for business purposes. After all, Instagram already has a built-in audience with 130 million monthly active users, liking on average 1 billion photos each day.


Are brands the new publishers?

2 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Traditionally, brands have interrupted consumers to talk about their product. Whether we’re reading a magazine, watching TV,  or browsing online, the advert that inevitably appears is an unsolicited marketing message from a brand that we may or may not care about.

Consumer research often highlights that most of these marketing messages are indeed irrelevant to our interests and needs. Coupled with the increasing control a consumer has over the marketing they receive (opting-out of telemarketing and direct-mail; unsubscribing from email; skipping TV ads) this has become a cause for concern for brands.

The Red Bulletin from Red Bull


Is Google+ the party that people are showing up to fashionably late?

26 Jul, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

At the Figaro Digital Marketing Conference last week, Dan Patmore (Search Marketing Manager for Argos) shared his views on what trends and products digital marketers should be focusing on in the next 12 months. He pointed to insight, technological developments and the importance of the customer. He also (somewhat reluctantly) mentioned Google.

Dan described the launch of Google+  as “the party that nobody came to”.  In other words, there was a huge amount of hype, everybody got very excited, perhaps created an account, and then, nothing. He continued the analogy and surprised some people in the room (including myself) by saying that Google+ in 2013 may well be “the party that people are showing up for fashionably late.”

In January 2013, the Global Web Index revealed that Google+ had overtaken Twitter to become the second largest social network. Google+ now enjoys an impressive 359m monthly active users and brand interaction has apparently grown by 45.5% between Q2 2012 and Q1 2013.


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