Overview of recent survey of scientists’ use of social media.
BioInformatics LLC conducted a survey in November 2007 that found some interesting trends:
- 77% of life scientists participate in some type of social media
- 50% see blogs, discussion groups, online communities, and social networking as beneficial to sharing ideas with colleagues
- 85% see social media affecting their decision-making
- Discussion groups and message boards are still the most-used types of sites, but online communities are gaining fast
- User-generated content is not completely trusted for product information, but it is more trusted than information in printed trade magazines, editorial web sites, or online portals
ElsevierÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s survey went a little further than the earlier survey, asking respondents to name sites. This generated a Top 11 list of social media sites in the sciences:
- Nature Network (36%)
- BioMed Experts (35%)
- Facebook (35%)
- MySpace (34%)
- LinkedIn (33%)
- ResearcherID (19%)
- CiteULike (18%)
- 2collab (18%)
- del.icio.us (15%)
- Connotea (14%)
- Digg (14%)
One of my normal conceits around what works and what doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œworkflow.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Things should fit into a userÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s workflow.
What is surprising to me is that social media designed specifically to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsocializeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â traditional workflow functions arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t used as much. In fact, Connotea, 2collab, and ResearcherID rank lower than most.
These results actually make me question the workflow mental model. Nature Network isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t about workflow. BioMed Experts is about browsing social networks and connecting, so isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t much about workflow. Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn? I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t care how much you force-fit those into workflows, they arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t about work. (LinkedIn can be about finding a job, but not about doing a current job.) Each one is about social connections.
Twitterers Stage Mock Martian Invasion a la ‘War of the Worlds’
This is interesting and creative. I wonder if a similar tactic could be used for PSYOP/deception purposes–i.e. have a bunch of folks working together to spread news of fake events for the purpose of inducing panic or some other effect. If I were less of a good guy, how could I use this for nefarious purposes? Hmmm….
A spontaneous re-enactment of Orson Welles’ 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast unfolded Friday on microblogging site Twitter.
Hundreds of tweets detailed a mock Martian invasion, with reports both panic-stricken and humorous.
smoldering hunks of buildings, cars and people lay strewn about,” wrote one user, joshlewis. “The
tripods have left the Warehouse District in ruins.”
Another, iancanfield, wrote: “The freeways are packed! I’ve heard from a few stuck on 252 and 94, they are sitting ducks.”
Twitter has been used to comment on national events and disseminate crucial information quickly during natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes.
To distinguish the apocalyptic messages from the rest of the
updates flowing through the site — and to prevent igniting the kind of
confusion and panic caused by Welles’ historic broadcast —
participants are adding the tag
“#wotw2” to the ends of their fictional accounts.