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Social networking

ResearchGate: an alternative to traditional publishing?

22 Aug, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

ResearchGate, a Q&A site that soon became known as ‘Facebook for scientists‘, has announced its intention to function as a publishing platform for scientific researchers and offer an alternative measure of reputation in that community.

Started in 2008 with few features, ResearchGate was reshaped with feedback from scientists and has attracted several million dollars in venture capital from some of the original investors of Twitter, eBay and Facebook. According to the website, more than 1.9 million scientists currently share papers, publish data and engage in discussions on its platform. Now an ‘RG Score’ has been designed to make those interactions visible and quantifiable.


A new species of lab website?

5 Jul, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In response to static, neglected lab websites that have become the norm, a Princeton scientist (Ethan O. Perlstein) has personally invested in the design of a site that will inspire fellow academics to openly share their research. In addition, with his academic appointment coming to an end, is a great way to establish a personal brand.


How to Get More Likes, Comments and Shares on Facebook

20 Jun, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

For those looking improve engagement with their Facebook posts, it seems that adding more pictures and speaking in the first person is a good place to start. Social media ‘scientist’ Dan Zarrella has tracked and analysed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-liked Facebook pages. He has created an infographic (see below) showing what kind of posts perform best on Facebook in terms of likes, shares and comments.

Photos perform best across the board, followed by text and video, according to the data. News links bring in the lowest number of likes, shares and comments. In opposition to Twitter, posts with a high number of self-referential words such as “I” and “me” get more likes .  “It’s also important to be passionate, not neutral,” which means that both positive and negative posts tend to do well. more…

LinkedIn establishes itself as marketing platform for brands

18 May, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

As part of the longstanding strategy to position LinkedIn as a marketing platform for brands, a new program has been released that lets brands embed a “follow company” button from the social network on their homepages. The option is similar to Liking a brand on Facebook or following them on Twitter. Followers will receive automatic updates from the brand through their LinkedIn feeds.


BMJ Editorial Retreat 2012: Post publication peer review, Twitter Journal Club and the future of social networking

30 Mar, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

A host of journal editors and industry experts descended upon BMA House yesterday to discuss the latest techniques and developments in reader engagement. Highlights included a lively debate on post-publication peer review, an inspiring presentation by Twitter Journal Club founder Natalie Silvey (@silv24), encouraging advice on developing a comprehensive journal web presence by Karim Khan, and predictions for the future of social networking by Tad Campion, senior deputy editor and online editor of NEJM.

Given the central theme of social media throughout the day, perhaps the most fitting way to capture the event is by following the surrounding conversation on Twitter. According to TweetReach, the stream below reached in excess of 27,000 users – quite an achievement!

Pinterest: is it really just cupcakes and kittens?

9 Mar, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

The image-sharing site Pinterest has enjoyed dramatic growth since its launch in February 2010. The service’s user base has grown rapidly, from 1.6 million visitors in September 2011 to 11.1 million visitors in February 2012. According to comScore, it has become the the “fastest standalone website to surpass the 10 million mark”. Not only does Pinterest drive more traffic to retail sites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, it also drives more traffic to blogs than Twitter. Analytics also show that when it comes to engagement, Pinterest is second only to Facebook — its users spend, on average, 89 minutes per month on the social network.

However, there’s still a healthily high percentage of people who have heard nothing about Pinterest. So, what’s all the fuss about? And is it really dominated by images of cute kittens and elaborately conceived cupcakes?


Yet another version of Twitter: branded pages introduced

13 Jan, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Twitter received a major update in December and is gradually rolling out a brand-new look with a host of new features. The update is arguably the most comprehensive and wide-ranging change since the microblogging service was launched in 2006.


Google+ Pages finally unveiled for brands

11 Nov, 11 | by BMJ

Google+ Pages were announced on Monday, allowing companies of all sizes to post updates about themselves and their products or services. Similar to Facebook, people who follow a Google+ Page can comment on or share the company’s posts, creating running conversation threads. However, businesses can also set up Hangouts where they can chat directly with potential customers.


Tracking scholarly impact on the social web: altmetrics

4 Nov, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Tim Berners-Lee created the Web as a scholarly communication tool but some argue that the Web has revolutionised everything but scholarly communication. One of the major adherents of this view is Jason Priem, co-founder of the altmetrics project, whose website states:

In the 17th century, scholar-publishers created the first scientific journals, revolutionising the communication and practice of scholarship. Today, we’re at the beginning of a second revolution, as academia slowly awakens to the transformative potential of the Web.

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 120 million articles (substantially more than PubMed). As many as a third of scholars are on Twitter and a growing number cultivate scholarly blogs. more…

What do Facebook’s “new breed of apps” mean for publishers?

14 Oct, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

The Guardian and Independent recently became the first UK newspapers to launch new style Facebook apps.  These are a “new class of apps”, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and “have the ability not only to change the way we think about news but have the ability to change the way the whole news industry works”. They encourage “frictionless experiences”, where users opt in once and avoid being repeatedly asked to agree to allow their friends to see which articles they are reading, enabling “realtime serendipity”, as Zuckerberg put it.

“As we worked with different news organisations there were two camps: people that wanted to bring the social experience onto their sites, like Yahoo [News] and the Independent; and those that wanted the social news experience on Facebook, like Guardian, the Washington Post and the Daily,” director of Facebook’s platform partnerships Christian Hernandez stated. more…

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