A Global Discussion in Urology
International Urology Journal Club on Twitter (#urojc) is about to begin its “Second Season”. The 48-hour asynchronous discussion began last November with a small group of urologists from a handful of countries. Since that time, the monthly discussion has steadily grown in participants and number of countries represented.
As #urojc begins its second year, I thought it might be interesting to find a way to summarize the discussions from “Season One”. I asked my friend Audun Utengen (@audvin) at Symplur to come up with some ideas. Symplur analytics provide a variety of data about hashtags and chats including transcripts and the people influencing a chat. It’s a great place to learn more about the community.
Visualizing the Data
A word bubble chart is an interesting, and arguably fun, way to view data. For those unfamiliar with word bubble charts, they represent how frequently a specific word is used by the size of the bubble. When I first took a look at this chart, I was struck by how many of the words were positive. The chart turned out to be a tool to remind me of the many positive relationships and interactions I had been able to experience because of #urojc over the course of the past year.
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts” – William Bruce Cameron
A Different Way of Viewing #UROJC
Analytics, it seems, are present in almost every aspect of social media. Analytics are interesting and captivating and can be quite helpful for research purposes. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, depending upon one’s point of view, analytics in of of themselves don’t capture the entire story.
On one hand, the value of a twitter chat can be analytically measured in the discussion and the cross pollination of ideas that result from the discussion. On the other hand, one can argue that the true value of a twitter chat is in the the friendships and collaborations that are fostered because of the discussion. As I reflect back on the first year of #urojc, I believe that it is these intangibles, which are difficult if not impossible to measure, that have arguably mattered the most.