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RebelMouse vs. Storify – what’s the difference?

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

I’ve already blogged about RebelMouse, the self-proclaimed “social front page”, that pulls in user content from social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Until it was created,  social data had no central hub and tended to get drowned out and lost as soon as it was published. RebelMouse filled a gap in the market by providing one central location to capture a user’s online output. However, RebelMouse is no longer the only product in this space. Storify launched its redesign last week and many have commented on its similarities.


Total-Impact: tool for researchers combines traditional and alternative metrics

24 Feb, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

“As the volume of academic literature explodes, scholars rely on filters to select the most relevant and significant sources from the rest,” the altmetrics manifesto argues. “Unfortunately, scholarship’s three main filters for importance are failing.” Peer review “has served scholarship well” but has become slow and unwieldy and rewards conventional thinking. Citation-counting measures such as the h-index take too long to accumulate. And the impact factor of journals gets misapplied as a way to assess an individual researcher’s performance, which it wasn’t designed to do.

There are various tools that provide an easy interface for finding out readership metrics for a researcher. Until recently, none of these allowed users to choose what is included or enabled non-traditional artefacts to be combined with traditional ones. This is where Total-Impact, a new offering from the altmetric community, comes in. more…

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.


Twimpact factors: can tweets really predict citations?

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

A new paper is kicking up a storm in the world of altmetrics (a community that seeks to incorporate social coverage in the assessment of scholarly impact). Analysing the relationship between social metrics and more traditional measures, the study by Gunther Eysenbach in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) concludes that highly tweeted papers are more likely to become highly cited.

Not surprisingly, the article, Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact,” has been tweeted 575 times, and if Eysenbach’s findings prove true, should receive a fair number of citations.


Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle – the finalists

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

PLoS and Mendeley recently closed their Binary Battle contest to build the best apps that make science more open using PLoS and/or Mendeley’s APIs (Application Programming Interface). There are some big names on the judging panel, such as Tim O’Reilly (coined the term ‘Web 2.0’), James Powell (CTO of Thomson Reuters) and Werner Vogels (CTO of  The entries have been whittled down to 11 finalists and the winner will be announced on 30th November 2011. Read on for details of some of these finalists or go here a full list: more…

Twitter Journal Club: yet another ‘revolution’ in scientific communication?

15 Jul, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

A junior doctor in the West Midlands and a medical student at Cambridge University have kicked off a new movement in the medical community by launching the first ever Twitter Journal Club. Heralded as a ‘revolution’ in scientific communication, it has enjoyed positive coverage from publishers and practitioners alike (e.g it was mentioned today at the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting). Now in its seventh week, the initiative has amassed over 950 followers on Twitter and last Sunday generated 448 tweets during a discussion of the following BMJ paper:  Effect of β blockers in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a retrospective cohort study


Widening the Social Web: Google +1 and Facebook ‘Like’

3 Jun, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Google started rolling out the ‘+1’ recommend button across its own portfolio and third-party web sites just a day after Twitter unveiled its new ‘follow’ button. Both releases are being viewed as direct competitors to Facebook’s popular ‘like’ button.

Central to an effort by companies to stake out their claim in the social-networking domain and encourage ordinary ‘surfers’ to be more engaged with their products, the tools also facilitate the collection of detailed user behaviour data and have obvious benefits for online advertising. The suite of Web 2.0 buttons featured on most websites has grown steadily over the past few years (you may well have noticed) and sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit are long-term residents. But the success of Facebook’s ‘like’ button has spurred others to get in on the game. Afterall, it is said to appear on more than a third of the 1,000 most popular websites and apparently the average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic. more…

Facebook and Google predict the future of internet marketing

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

The annual Technology for Marketing and Advertising exhibition took place this week at London’s Earls Court, bringing together some of the UK’s leading Internet marketing innovators. Amongst more than 200 exhibitors, keynote speakers included Facebook’s UK commercial director, Stephen Haines, and Nic Cumisky, Google’s Senior Industry Manager.

Impressive statistics

The keynote speeches were dominated by startling statistics.

  • 124 years of Angry Birds are played every week.
  • 40 % of all Tweets are from mobile devices.
  • There were 2.4 billion UK internet visits to social networks in January 2011.
  • Facebook is now the second most visited site in UK (after Google) – every 6th page viewed in the UK is on Facebook.
  • On Christmas Day 2010, Facebook traffic exceeded Google traffic for the first time ever.
  • On average, we pass 3,254 pieces of personal information into databases each week.

Interesting trends

Microsoft and Experian teamed up to discuss a number of trends that are sweeping the online realm. Social networking users have now surpassed email users. Demographically, younger internet users often only use email when communicating with adults. When speaking with their peers, they prefer to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Robin Goad from Experian Hitwise (a proprietary software that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use to analyse website logs created on their network) revealed clear profiling patterns in social media usage. By cross-referencing this information with Experian’s Mosaic consumer classification data, they were able to identify a trend for more affluent members of society to use Twitter, whereas Facebook is much more mainstream and skews towards the upper working class.

Emerging technologies to keep an eye on

  • NFC (Near Field Communication) chips were described by Google as ‘bluetooth on steroids’. NFC allows a device, usually a mobile phone, to collect data from another device or NFC tag at close range. In many ways, it’s like a contactless payment card that is integrated into a phone. In other ways, it’s similar to Bluetooth, except that instead of programming two devices to work together, they can simply touch to establish a connection.
  • QR codes can be scanned and read by anyone with a smartphone, just by clicking their camera. By scanning the codes, you can access images, websites and text. QR codes allow for more data than the standard 10-digit bar code and scanning requires less effort than typing a URL. Click here to view some novel uses of this technology.
  • i-Ads – AXA have recently released the first i-Ad, which integrates newspaper advertising with an iPhone. The video below explains the process in more detail, but the gist is that you come upon an engaging picture in print and are asked to place your iPhone on a blank space on the page which brings the story to life, and keeps eyeballs on the i-Ad for a full minute.

  • Third life – It is becoming increasingly hard to determine what is offline and online. Google and many others are in the process of seamlessly combining the real world and the online world into something entirely different. Industry experts predict that we will soon experience an indistinguishable mashing of our real physical first life and our second virtual life into a ‘Third Life’. Both General Motors and Ford are integrating augmented reality technology into their windshields so that GPS directions will be layered on to the road in front of you, along with directions to your local Burger King or HSBC branch. A car has even been released with voice-activated Facebook newsfeed updates: watch a demonstration in the advert below.

New style Facebook fan pages (and social media links on journal sites)

18 Feb, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Facebook has once again been busy redesigning its site, this time focusing on the fan pages used by brands, organisations and specialist medical journals! The Facebook page makeover essentially makes Facebook’s public pages look more like personal profiles, which themselves were redesigned about two months ago .

So what’s new?

Facebook pages, like their profile counterparts, now show a line of photos at the top of their main wall (see screenshot below). For pages, these photos include any images posted by the page owner.

Aside from that, page elements are shifted around a bit: the navigation area, which allows you to toggle through different tabs, is now on the left-hand column of the page instead of the top. The other update Facebook is adding is an “Everyone” filter that brings the most interesting and engaging posts from a page’s community to the top of the page.

The posts displayed on the wall are now filtered through an algorithmic process similar to what’s done in the “Top News” option on the main Facebook stream. Previously, posts were shown in a purely chronological order.  This makes it easier for users and admins to easily find the most “liked” and commented-on conversations on a particular page. The new Facebook Pages are also smart enough to filter out posts that are not in a language you speak.

New social media links on our journal sites

By coincidence, new Facebook and Twitter links have also gone live on each of our journal websites. As mentioned in a previous post, each of our journals has a dedicated Twitter account and Facebook fan page, where users can keep up to date with the latest Editor’s choice and Unlocked articles, podcasts, blogs and mentions in the press. These accounts are now directly linked to from the right-hand column of each journal website (see below).

Users can either navigate to an individual journal website to access the Facebook and Twitter pages, or they can use this central list of all journal social media accounts:

Blog site launched for BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care

17 Dec, 10 | by BMJ

The BMJ Group’s first dedicated palliative and supportive care journal went live online this week, in preparation for the impending launch in April next year. Check out the new blog site here – and show your support by following the journal on Twitter and Facebook.

Introducing BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care

BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care is our newest, peer-reviewed journal with international reach. It aims to link many disciplines and specialties throughout the world; promoting an exchange of evidence based research and innovative practice by publishing high quality transitional research, clinical trials, epidemiology, behavioural sciences, health service research, reviews, and comment.

Following the launch in 2011, BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care will be published quarterly in print and continuously online. It will aim to target not only doctors, but different categories of clinician and healthcare workers associated with palliative medicine, specialist or generalist palliative care, supportive care, psychosocial-oncology and end-of-life care.

The journal’s broad scope makes it a relevant and important resource for palliative care specialists, as well as doctors and nurses in medical and surgical specialties including cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, oncology, paediatrics, primary care, psychiatry, psychology, renal medicine, respiratory medicine.

A world-class editorial team, which will be lead by Dr Bill Noble, Macmillan senior lecturer in palliative medicine at the University of Sheffield and honorary consultant physician in palliative medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will ensure a high standard of practice-changing research and education.

The new BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care website – scheduled to coincide with the first edition – will play an important role in the overall journal and feature all content ahead of print, as well as offering regular news updates, podcasts, blogs, polls, and eventually, interactive educational features.

Look out for more posts and updates on the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care blog in the build up to the official launch of the journal at COMPASS, April 2011.

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