Posts tagged ‘social networks’

Unwinding the Art Behind the Science

Can online, social networks really help people stop smoking?

This is what 100 experts came together to discuss in a 2-day workshop in Washington, D.C. The result was a proposed research agenda on online social networks and smoking cessation. The group proposes 34 questions they deem most pressing in four categories: advancing theory, understanding fundamental mechanisms, intervention approaches, and evaluation.

This was 2010.

There is A Need

We are on the edge of 2013. And while the Web is ubiquitous–making qualms between offline and online approaches somewhat void when we should be looking at the overall customer experience…We’re still working to better understand many of the questions proposed:

  • How well do theoretical models of social influence translate between offline and online contexts?
  • How does information spread through an online social network? Are there identifiable patterns of information spread that can be leveraged in intervention research?
  • Can key participants in a network be identified and targeted to foster information diffusion or make it more efficient?
  • What are the drivers of the viral spread of an application, concept, or innovation through online networks?
  • What predicts engagement in an online social network?

All 34 questions themselves are invigorating. I encourage you to take them back to your team to fodder discussion and brainstorming. We need to be asking these questions. We need to test our ideas, explore what’s working and share it with our colleagues. But there’s a greater need.

You Can Help Solve It

As a practitioner, one item stood out among the research agenda. It’s worth filing in your back pocket and pulling out as evidence when you’re in one of those meetings:

“While there are ways in which offline and online behaviors overlap and can reciprocally inform models, mechanisms, implementation, and evaluation, there are also important differences that require critical thinking about online networks. There is a need to challenge and test the assumptions inherent in traditional models when developing, implementing, and evaluating online interventions.”

You are called to challenge traditional models–even tested ones. Rather, find inspirational models. Study them. Find what’s working. Lean on your training, work to better understand people and unwind the assumptions you bring to even the tiniest of tasks. If you’re a graphic designer for example, maybe you look into the psychology of color and how that impacts design and behavior. This is the art behind the science, so go grab your paintbrush.

What do you think about the proposed research agenda? What questions would you add?

Defining Health 2.0

According to a January 2008 study titled How America Searches, Health and Wellness:

  • In the past 12 months, 59% of adults reference the internet to find or access health and wellness information.
  • 67% of adult searchers use general search engines as an online tool or resource for health information and only 7% referred to online drug advertisements.
  • 36% of adult searchers use online health information to see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment

Because of statistics like those above, the concept of ‘Health 2.0’ has increased its usage and importance. Simply, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare. However, others see the movement of Health 2.0 as something much wider and farther reaching. Even Google image searching shows a variety of more complex definitions. I’d be interested to see how you all define it for yourselves or for your practice.

Examples of Health 2.0


  • , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
  •, allows patients to review their current doctor’s or a potential doctor’s reviews and ratings
  • DoubleCheckMD, allows consumers to check for potential drug interactions quickly and easily
  • American Well , creates a healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services


  • Wikipedia
  • FluWiki
  • WiserWiki, a medical and healthcare information wiki edited exclusively by physicians
  • Clinfo Wiki, a wiki devoted to clinical informatics
  • Ask Dr. Wiki, allows those with a medical background to publish review articles, clinical notes, pearls and/or medical images to the wiki. The main focus has been on Cardiology and Electrophysiology, but they have expanded to other areas.


  • DiabetesMine, a blog all about diabetes
  • HealthMatters (Healthline), a collection of weblogs by professionals, covering different aspects of health, wellness, treatments, and recent advances
  • WebMD, provides health and health-related information

Social Networks


  • ICYou, the source of healthcare videos and videos related to health information
  • Cleveland Clinic on Google Video
  • TauMed, a virtual health community where one can search and share information on a variety of health topics

Online Forums



Health 2.0 researchers warn that patients should be cautious about posting personal health-related information through unsecured social media as health insurance providers could gain access to this information, as well as potential employers.


Social Media combined with health information, patients and user-generated content can be used for:

  • User-generated health ratings for hospitals and doctors
  • Bridge the gap between doctor and patient
  • Bring communities together in new, innovative ways
  • Establishing patients as opinion leaders
  • Managing health and managing community health in new ways

For specific case studies and more information, view this report titled: The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.

Questions to Ponder

  • Is Health 2.0 helpful or harmful?
  • Is the content trustrworthy? Does it matter? Will consumers take the information at face value?
  • Why are patients labeled as consumers? What does this mean/say about how health 2.0 is being approached?
  • What are the ethical concerns?
  • What are the privacy concerns?

Can’t wait to read your insights in the comments. =)

Your Facebook Professionalism Policy: Balancing Your Relationships On and Off the Clock

For many Gen-Yers and young professionals, Facebook started out as a social network. Then, high-schoolers were allowed in. Now, understandably, more and more people are joining that range in age – and in relationship to you. Point in case:

  • My friend recently helped her mom create a Facebook account.
  • Another commented that all her co-workers want her to become a Facebook friend.
  • According to Quantcast, in July 208, 46% of Facebook users are 18-34.
  • in July 2007, ComScore reported a 181% growth of users ages 25-34, and a 98% growth in users 35+.

Thus, with Facebook going from social status —> professional network, it begs the question, what are the new the rules of thumb for one’s Facebook account? So I asked followers on Twitter. The results:

  1. All or nothing. One of the most popular answers was to go all access with everyone. This route shows to your co-workers and professional network that you own who you are. Nothing to hide. Some also responded that this helps increase the office culture and camaraderie.
  2. Oil and water don’t mix. It gets murky. Best to keep Facebook separate. One person commented that you can come to know too much about someone and that can distract from business.
  3. Go Half and Half. Others answered saying they prefer to keep professional work colleagues and co-workers at bay by using the ‘limited profile’ feature on Facebook. Or, setting privacy settings so only certain friends or groups can see certain applications, photos or the wall.
  4. Work It. Lee Aase, on his blog, Social Media University, suggest a shortcut. While waiting for Facebook to devise a way to better differentiate relationships with a system more sophisticated than the limited profile graph, Aase suggest creating a group for your professional contacts and name it “FirstName LastName Professional Contacts.” Aase explains further on his blog. Or, use Facebook’s friend lists to differentiate Aase also suggests.

No matter what you prefer, it’s best to adopt a strategy early, be wise, cautious and careful. Even those that believed in full access agreed that in the past year, they’ve tweaked their their own personal guidelines. i.e. Adopting the self-policy that one must meet someone in their professional network in person before they cozy up on Facebook.

For me, currently, I adopt a mix between the full access and the limited profile. This is largely for one reasons:

  • I want you to get to know me. I have nothing to hide. But, I’d prefer someone get to know me in person, before just reading my profile and making assumptions or place me into some category or description of who they think I might be. It’s one thing to know someone in the office, but it’s another to befriend a person.

Some other guidelines friends mentioned through my Twitter survey. Don’t post:

  • Inappropriate pictures (nudity, over-drinking, kissing, dancing, etc.)
  • Clean up those pictures from college frat days
  • Represent who you are, but be keen to what information sparks controversy
  • Don’t use foul language
  • Review your privacy settings
  • Understand what happens to your profile when you add an application
  • When you ‘become a fan’ or join a group, understand some may not get your inner circle’s inside jokes or may think you are endorsing certain ideas/services/products
  • If you wouldn’t show it to your mom, you probably don’t want your boss to see.
  • Don’t make your profiles busy or hard to read if you want to use it for networking.

What’s your Facebook Professionalism Policy? or, what do you think of mine?

photo credit: Flickr, Amit Gupta (from Newsweek article)

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Social Media and Innovation Combine to Launch 1st Non-Profit Christian Movie Studio Where You Decide

Who’s more influential – Washington D.C. or Hollywood?

Stay with me. Obviously, not all may agree on the content. But, this is worth taking a few minutes to review even if only:

  • You enjoy social media
  • You like learning about new business models
  • You have a heart for nonprofits
  • Want to learn more about the power a community can have
  • You want to know how all the above can combine to create CHANGE

IJNP, In Jesus’ Name Productions, launched last week during the Cannes Film Festival. It’s promotional video is below. It’s a bit long, but fast forward to the last minute, and you can get the *details.*

In sum:

IJNP desires to leverage social networks with the purpose of uniting Christians around the world to have a ‘say’ in the making of film. IJNP offers Christians to have an influential role in determining which movies the studio makes and/or partners with.

  • For $10/month (the price of a movie ticket), members can be a part of ‘participatory film making’ from beginning to end through IJNP’s soon to be launched member social network.
    • At 50k-100k members, movies on par with Hollywood can be made.
    • At a million members, summer blockbusters can be made.
  • IJNP will work with the best Christian filmmakers in the industry and has integrated a Christian Film making Apprentice Program.
  • IJNP’s Advisory Board currently has representatives from Campus Crusade for Christ, Hollywood Connect, Luis Palau Association and Youth For Christ.
  • More details on how a financial gift breaks down, IJNP’s elected advisory board, ‘participatory filmmaking,‘ and learning how to get involved, visit the newly launched website.

First thoughts? And, this is posted in terms of looking at the non-profit business model and the use of social media through social networks.

This should be interesting… =)