The Nature of Scholarly Social Media Usage

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Nature have done some interesting research on scholars use of social media networks including the network of choice for them – ResearchGate.

On the more well known and used networks they quizzed over 300 regular using scholars for each analysis whereas with ResearchGate this moved up to just short of 1,600.

They also interviewed a lesser number of users of  and Mendeley.

From our, very uneducated & superficial review it is clear that a majority of scholars/researchers don’t use Facebook professionally and that Linkedin has the closest profile to ResearchGate. Twitter almost as one might expect is used to follow comment and discover.

ResearchGate which was founded a couple of years ago boasts about 4.5 million subscribers and currently joiners are arriving at the rate of 10k a day. This for such a specialist network is impressive. For comparative purposes has around 11 million users and Mendeley around 3 million. Mendeley incidentally are London based and are part of Elsevier.

Much additional and insightful analysis on the Nature site.

Time for a rethink

“My name is Trisha Prabhu, I’m 13 years old and a 8th grader at Scullen Middle School, Naperville, IL.” is the opening to the “About me” section on the Google Science Fair 2014 project Rethink: An Effective Way to Prevent Cyberbullying which has been accepted as one of this years finalists.

The proposed system looks remarkably simple as a concept and while “prevention” is possibly an aggressive objective – significant reduction of cyberbullying from her research looks like a raging certainty if the Rethink system is adopted by the main Social Media Networks.

As she says:

“According to American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry(cited in Bibliography/References), adolescents’ (12-18) brains function differently than adults when decision-making and problem solving

  • Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to act on impulse and are less likely to pause and think to consider the potential consequences of their actions before they act.
  • Given the tremendous brain activity occurring during the teenage years, it’s no wonder we find adolescents mystifying at this stage. Adolescents may have grown to the size of adults in body, but the interior infrastructure is far from complete.”

From her practical research she concludes that “Results proved that adolescents were 93.43% less willing to post mean/hurtful messages using a “Rethink” system”.

We are wholly in favour and hope that in time the major networks turn this this excellently researched concept in to an adopted application for their networks. Perhaps Google+ could be the first adopters!

Here’s a pdf of The summary of her project

Full details over at the Google Science Fair site

The Apple Brand Tells the Best Story

Aesop in association with One Poll have just released their 2014 Brand storytelling survey results in which they “… asked 2,000 consumers to identify brands against 9 key storytelling elements.”

They asked which of these brands:

  1. Do you consider to have a unique character/personality?
  2. Have a clear opinion?
  3. Has vision or purpose?
  4. Are you intrigued to know what they’ll do next?
  5. Tell a credible story?
  6. Create their own world?
  7. Produce content you want to share or talk about?
  8. Are entertaining?
  9. Are memorable?

We’ve done our usual extraction of our wide Tech sector brands and list the total top twenty one!

The Top Tech Twenty one 2013 Media Spend
Tech Overall Overall
NE – New entry
Source: Aesop, Brand storytelling survey 2014

Interestingly, to us, is the media spend info (we guess the blanks indicate the unavailability of information rather than a nil spend!

Surprisingly, to us, no appearance for Sky or Amazon. We recall incidentally that Sky also had well over £100 million in advertising spend.

Finally outside the tech sector we were interested to see the inclusion of the, now 4, main political parties (all are new entries) with UKIP leading the way in position 11 followed by Labour (72) Conservative (89) and Lib Dem (93) brands. We noted that none of them figured in the top 10 of the 5th element above but UKIP came in at # 2 on the 2nd element!

Survey download

Featuring Facebook and Twitter for all

Not to mention Google talk.

U2opia Mobile provides this service via its Fonetwish product using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol to allow unsmart phones to connect to specific internet services such as Twitter and Facebook tailored for small screen and text-only functionality.

It’s available in seven languages Albanian. Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Malay, and Swahili.

As the majority of mobiles around the world are less than smart there certainly is a big market for this offering and they appear to be doing rather well.

Founded by two Indian entrepreneurs Sumesh Menon and Ankit Nautiyal in 2010 they already claim over 20 million users in 36 countries around the globe. As an example of the potential in India alone, out of the 900 million-plus mobile subscribers, 550 million can access Fonetwish services.

U2opia the company has its roots with Sumesh’s favourite rock band!

Sources: U2opia, QUARTZ India

Socially Backward Brits

YouGov  have discovered that we Brits lag behind our US counterparts on the engagement front. Socially the gap on their chosen measures is greatest on “Constantly seeking out for opportunities to learn new things and develop skills” where the gap is 23%.

A redeeming feature which doesn’t appear on the graphic is that we lead on “using LinkedIn for professional networking”. We’re ahead by a whole 9% (UK 69% v’s US 60%).

Ian Neale, Associate Director at YouGov, says: ‘People in the US and UK have different attitudes towards their careers. The American approach is very much in keeping with their “up-and-at-’em” ethos while the British way is much more in keeping with a more reserved character. While it is debatable which path is best, it seems unarguable that Americans are far superior at harnessing the power of social media to benefit their careers and professionals in the UK could learn a lot from them. British employees’ use LinkedIn is a good starting point but they need to learn how to turn this into hard benefits for their work lives.’  

You can access the report Social Media @ Work on registration

Twitter’s Something Old Something New and a whole new you

Twitter yesterday released their latest updates for their web features and display format.

In their words the main new features are:

  • Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
  • Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
  • Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

A select few at this stage have already been converted as well as the new format and features applying to any new accounts. The rollout to the rest of the world will start “… In the coming weeks,”

One of the select few already updated is Michelle Obama or to be absolutely accurate the First Lady of the United States @flotus as her other, arguably main, account (measured on followers) of @michelleobama  will, like the rest of us have to wait a little longer!

Phlok to save the High Street

A new, to us, basically “shop  local” orientated online retail digital loyalty scheme together with a social media networking strategy called phlok  is already helping around 40 geographic clusters of largely independent retailers in England and Northern Ireland.

The scheme is yet again principally QR code based and your loyalty points are gathered, of course, courtesy of  a smartphone app and can be spent/used at participating retailers.

Yorkshire towns of Boroughbridge and Ilkley are the latest to get involved and apparently Wetherby is next!

We see that Boroughbridge have set up their own LoveBoroughbridge website in support of local business  together with associated social media accounts on twitter  and facebook


The retailers such as Attic Womenswear in Ilkley run by Sarah Lyle also participate heavily on the social media front with twitter  facebook instagram  and Pinterest   promoting her business.

We think this almost, community approach, with active social media activity could well be the future and every little loyalty bonus helps!

We’ll leave you with Sky News’s video with a couple of mini glitches along the way!


Imagine Millions of Free Embedded Images

Getty Images  yesterday announced the availability of a large number of their images on an embedded basis for use onblogs and some social media platforms (twitter & tumblr)

Their words are:

“Share images on blogs and social media

Getty Images is leading the way in creating a more visual world. Our new embed feature makes it easy, legal and free for anybody to share our images on websites, blogs and social media platforms.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Click an image’s embed icon (</>) from the search results or image detail page.
  2. In the embed window, copy the embed code.
  3. Paste the HTML code you copied into the source code of a website or blog where you want this image to appear.*
  4. Publish and share!

Search images available to embed

·       For full details on how embedded images may be used, please see our Terms of Use.”

We have done a little experimentation and would add:

  • Hover over the image to check if the embeddable icon is there, if not move on!
  • Click the image for both the social media & embed facilities.

As with YouTube social media images operate by way of a precomposed link.

This is an extract re usage from their terms of use.

“Embedded Viewer

Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetise its use without any compensation to you.”

Well done we say and even if, as other commentators have noted, it may lead Getty Images to include adverts at a later stage we have no objections.

One mini suggestion is that on their filtering search facility it would be nice to have embed, twitter and Tumblr categories!

We’ll leave you with an I image from their collection!

The EU app gap

A rather impressive report by Gigaom Research for the EU Commission concerning the European Union app Market – Sizing the EU app Economy (pdf)

In Gigaom’s words -  “This report focuses on sizing and qualifying the EU app ecosystem, with an eye toward revenue generation, jobs supported, and the bottlenecks still facing EU app developers.”

To support the revenue predictions they foresee employment growing from 1.8 million last year to around 4.8 million in 2018.

 The bottlenecks they envisage are as follows:

“Our surveys, interviews, and workshops all confirmed that EU developers face more business challenges than technical challenges. The independent developers told us low prices or free apps were the biggest problem (40 percent of respondents), though customer acquisition costs (30 percent of respondents) also ranked above access to capital or financing (14 percent of respondents).”

Talent is also a problem area.

“The business issues are reflected by the talent or HR bottlenecks shown by the surveys. Both types of company find it hard to compete with U.S. salaries for developers and wish there were more education and training programs to teach mobile and social networking developer skills. But even the startups acknowledged their own lack of business skills.”

The main takeaways from their research they reckon are:

  • A potential opportunity in third-party discovery platforms outside the Apple and Google app stores
  • A large opportunity in contract development, there’s a need for startups to connect with would‐be enterprise customers.
  • On the technology side, cross‐platform development tools and higher-level abstractions like HTML5 and methodologies like responsive design could alleviate incompatibilities.

Much more besides and we couldn’t help but notice a very active and informative Blog  over at Gigaom

1.25 million Complaints a year are made using Social Media in Britain

Ombudsman Services have recently released their Consumer Action Monitor (pdf) which basically looks at the volume of complaints we made last year in Britain.

Mighty interesting reading it makes in particular with regard to the (widely defined) technology sector we cover.

Of the overall complaints made 38% relate to  the tech sector and are concerning:

  • Telecoms: Internet/Broadband = 14%
  • Telecoms: Mobile = 10%
  • Online-only retail = 14%

Having been helpfully supplied with some additional data by Ombudsman Services we can exclusively reveal that over one and a quarter million complaints were raised using social media networks. We guess that twitter led the way.

It means that in percentage terms social media at 27% has already risen to second place of all third parties who are the recipients of complaints. Ombudsmen are #1 at 33%!

Quite logically the most common recipient of complaints was found to be the original supplier of the products or services but as their social media presences take centre stage it’s not impossible that this could change in future.

We look forward to their future monitors to see how pervasive social media becomes in the complaints sector!

Research: ICM carried out the research from 3-5 January 2014 from a representative adult (18+) sample involving 2,023 interviews. Both ICM and ourselves have used certain extrapolations based on an ONS GB audited adult population figure for 2011 of 47,536,000.