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New Facebook fan pages for all journals

5 Nov, 10 | by BMJ

We’re pleased to announce that individual Facebook fan pages are now live for all our specialist journals. Click on the links below and become a fan of your favourite journal! Please scroll down the page for more information on the functionality and value that these pages offer.

What are Facebook fan pages?

In their own words, “Facebook created Pages when we noticed that people were trying to connect with brands and famous artists in ways that didn’t quite work on Facebook…Not only can you connect with your favourite artists and businesses, but now you also can show your friends what you care about and recommend by adding Pages to your personal profile.”

When a user becomes a fan of a particular brand, publication, film, or person, updates from that page will appear in their ‘News Feed’ and may be shared with their friends. It’s possible to see which pages a user is following via the ‘Info’ tab on their profile.

What are the value of these pages?

Facebook Pages can be thought of in much the same way as normal profiles on the site – they have the ability to have friends, add pictures, and contain walls that fans can post on. Pages communicate by ‘updates’ which show on the update tab or a person’s wall if they’re a fan and have allowed the page to show updates. Other key features for businesses include:

  • Pages don’t list the names of administrators, and are thought of as a person, almost like a corporate entity is considered a ‘person’ under the law.
  • Pages are indexed by external search engines such as Google, just like a public profile.
  • Pages can create content that comes from the Page itself, so that content doesn’t have to be linked to a particular person’s account.
  • Page admins can send updates to fans through the Page, and these updates will appear in the ‘Updates’ section of fans’ inboxes. There is no limit on how many fans you may send an update to, or how many total fans a Page can have.

What are social news websites?

29 Oct, 10 | by BMJ

Social news websites are communities that encourage their users to submit news stories, articles and media (images/videos) and share them with other users or the general public. Depending on various factors, such as the number of user votes for each item, some of these articles will be given more prominence on the website.

Social news sites generally function via a wisdom of the crowds principle; groups of individuals with different points of views are able to collectively determine the value or importance of content disseminated through the community. The users are offered the editorial power to influence the visibility of content.

Different types of social news websites

Social news websites can be separated into wide-focus or narrow-focus communities. Some of them only cater to a niche audience and others cover just about every possible topic in a bid to appeal to a mass audience.

Digg is the most popular example of a social news website and it’s probably the most well known as well. It initially started as a community with a strong technological focus, before expanding its topics to include politics, science and other types of news. Other popular social news websites which cover a wide range of topics include Reddit and Mixx. Examples of social news websites with a more narrow focus include Showhype (entertainment) and Sphinn (Internet marketing/SEO).

How do social news websites work?

For all social news sites, content submitted by users is filtered by an internal algorithm that automatically determines the popularity of each story. This algorithm may involve various other factors apart from absolute votes: the discussion surrounding the story and the relationship between users (friends or not) may also be taken into account.

All our journal articles contain Digg and Reddit icons in the right-hand column (see screenshot below). If you find a particular article of interest, simply click on one of these icons and you’ll be taken to the social news website where you will be asked for a brief description of the item you’re linking to. Remember, the key to a successful submission is interesting content and a descriptive title.

Our blogs also contain Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon links (see just below under ‘Share this post’). So if you find this post of any use, do have a go at recommending it to others!

Is Facebook suitable for business?

22 Oct, 10 | by BMJ

The world has never been so connected as it is today. The internet has reduced the usual ‘six degrees of separation’ to just one or two. Colleagues can interact with friends and family, old friends get introduced to new friends, and family members can keep in touch with all of your associates. Nowhere does this kind of social activity occur more than on Facebook. After all, Facebook is not just for keeping tabs on friends and filling out quizzes – it can also be used as an effective business tool.

Facebook and networking

Facebook is what you make of it. It can be a serious professional tool, a place for fun and entertainment, or a combination of both. Ultimately, you have control over what you add to your profile and with whom you share it. As more and more ‘adult-users’ join Facebook, the possibility for connecting to others with similar professional interests increases.

Many professional and academic organisations have a presence on Facebook and the roles they play on the social networking platform are as varied as their types.  While some serve to organise individuals from a large geographic area (alumni groups), others are location specific (Association of Women Journalists in Chicago) or event specific (charity walks).

According to Facebook, 85% of college students use Facebook. Following the saying ‘meet them where they are’, database developers and other educators are creating academic and scholarly applications for Facebook. For example, PubMed Search allows users to search PubMed within Facebook, share articles with friends and save them to their account for future reference.

Is this really a suitable and sustainable source of business opportunities?

Social networks can be a great way to extend branding and create a community around an organisation.  Facebook groups and pages provide an identifiable canvas for users. They can be marketed with ease, and they can create a ‘human’ touch to a product. Taking a laid back or personal approach to a Facebook business profile could help generate unsolicited interest.

However, there are inherent dangers with taking a more relaxed approach to marketing. Organisations should always remember not to mix personal and professional views and to restrict the amount of data which is shared with external applications.

For those of you who are new to social networking and would like some background information, the video below provides a useful introduction:

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