SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Blog

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A barrier to dissemination of research is that it depends on the end-user searching for or ‘pulling’ relevant knowledge from the literature base. Social media instead ‘pushes’ relevant knowledge straight to the end-user, via blogs and sites such as Facebook and Twitter. That social media is very effective at improving dissemination seems well accepted, but, remarkably, there is no evidence to support this claim. We aimed to quantify the impact of social media release on views and downloads of articles in the clinical pain sciences. Sixteen PLOS ONE articles were blogged and released via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and ResearchBlogging.org on one of two randomly selected dates. The other date served as a control. The primary outcomes were the rate of HTML views and PDF downloads of the article, over a seven-day period. The critical result was an increase in both outcome variables in the week after the blog post and social media release. The mean ± SD rate of HTML views in the week after the social media release was 18±18 per day, whereas the rate during the other three weeks was no more than 6±3 per day. The mean ± SD rate of PDF downloads in the week after the social media release was 4±4 per day, whereas the rate during the other three weeks was less than 1±1 per day (p<0.05 for all comparisons). However, none of the recognized measures of social media reach, engagement or virality related to either outcome variable, nor to citation count one year later (p>0.3 for all). We conclude that social media release of a research article in the clinical pain sciences increases the number of people who view or download that article, but conventional social media metrics are unrelated to the effect.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Web 2.0, Social information processing, Social network service, Mass media, Social media, Blog, Public Library of Science

15

Blogging is a form of online journaling that has been increasingly used to document an attempt in weight loss. Despite the prevalence of weight loss bloggers, few studies have examined this population. We examined characteristics of weight loss bloggers and their blogs, including blogging habits, reasons for blogging, like and dislikes of blogging, and associations between blogging activity and weight loss. Participants (N = 194, 92.3 % female, mean age = 35) were recruited from Twitter and Facebook to complete an online survey. Participants reported an average weight loss of 42.3 pounds since starting to blog about their weight loss attempt. Blogging duration significantly predicted greater weight loss during blogging (β = -3.65, t(185) = -2.97, p = .003). Findings suggest that bloggers are generally successful with their weight loss attempt. Future research should explore what determines weight loss success/failure in bloggers and whether individuals desiring to lose weight would benefit from blogging.

Concepts: Obesity, Web 2.0, Microblogging, Blog, Engadget, Blogs, Blogosphere, David Saranga

15

With the proliferation of social networks and blogs, the Internet is increasingly being used to disseminate personal health information rather than just as a source of information. In this paper we exploit the wealth of user-generated data, available through the micro-blogging service Twitter, to estimate and track the incidence of health conditions in society. The method is based on two stages: we start by extracting possibly relevant tweets using a set of specially crafted regular expressions, and then classify these initial messages using machine learning methods. Furthermore, we selected relevant features to improve the results and the execution times. To test the method, we considered four health states or conditions, namely flu, depression, pregnancy and eating disorders, and two locations, Portugal and Spain. We present the results obtained and demonstrate that the detection results and the performance of the method are improved after feature selection. The results are promising, with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve between 0.7 and 0.9, and f-measure values around 0.8 and 0.9. This fact indicates that such approach provides a feasible solution for measuring and tracking the evolution of health states within the society.

Concepts: Nutrition, Sociology, Machine learning, Learning, Receiver operating characteristic, Web 2.0, Twitter, Blog

11

To improve the effectiveness of alcohol harm reduction mass media campaigns, this study aimed to (1) identify existing advertisements (ads) with greatest potential to motivate reduced alcohol consumption, (2) assess consistency across audience subgroups in ad effectiveness and (3) identify ad features associated with effectiveness.

Concepts: Alcohol, Advertising, Newspaper, Public relations, Mass media, Propaganda, Broadcasting, Blog

9

Abstract Despite evidence that anger is routinely expressed over the Internet via weblogs, social networking Web sites, and other venues, no published research has explored the way in which anger is experienced and expressed online. Consequently, we know very little about how anger is experienced in such settings. Two studies were conducted to explore how people experience and express their anger on a particular type of Web site, known as a rant-site. Study 1 surveyed rant-site visitors to better understand the perceived value of the Web sites and found that while they become relaxed immediately after posting, they also experience more anger than most and express their anger in maladaptive ways. Study 2 explored the emotional impact of reading and writing rants and found that for most participants, reading and writing rants were associated with negative shifts in mood.

Concepts: Concepts in metaphysics, Knowledge, World Wide Web, Website, Publishing, Internet, MySpace, Blog

8

Why do some people report more personal improvement from their regret experiences than others? Three studies examined whether self-compassion promotes personal improvement derived from recalled regret experiences. In Study 1, we coded anonymous regret descriptions posted on a blog website. People who spontaneously described their regret with greater self-compassion were also judged as having expressed more personal improvement. In Study 2, higher trait self-compassion predicted greater self-reported and observer-rated personal improvement derived from recalled regret experiences. In Study 3, people induced to take a self-compassionate perspective toward a recalled regret experience reported greater acceptance, forgiveness, and personal improvement. A multiple mediation analysis comparing acceptance and forgiveness showed self-compassion led to greater personal improvement, in part, through heightened acceptance. Furthermore, self-compassion’s effects on personal improvement were distinct from self-esteem and were not explained by adaptive emotional responses. Overall, the results suggest that self-compassion spurs positive adjustment in the face of regrets.

Concepts: Personality psychology, Report, Experience, Emotion, Face, Perspective, Trait theory, Blog

8

Blogs, or websites containing online personal journals, are a form of popular personal communication with immense potential for health promotion.

Concepts: Experiment, World Wide Web, Public relations, Blog

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BACKGROUND: In their 2005 study, Adamic and Glance coined the memorable phrase ‘divided they blog’, referring to a trend of cyberbalkanization in the political blogosphere, with liberal and conservative blogs tending to link to other blogs with a similar political slant, and not to one another. As political discussion and activity increasingly moves online, the power of framing political discourses is shifting from mass media to social media. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Continued examination of political interactions online is critical, and we extend this line of research by examining the activities of political users within the Wikipedia community. First, we examined how users in Wikipedia choose to display their political affiliation. Next, we analyzed the patterns of cross-party interaction and community participation among those users proclaiming a political affiliation. In contrast to previous analyses of other social media, we did not find strong trends indicating a preference to interact with members of the same political party within the Wikipedia community. CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that users who proclaim their political affiliation within the community tend to proclaim their identity as a ‘Wikipedian’ even more loudly. It seems that the shared identity of ‘being Wikipedian’ may be strong enough to triumph over other potentially divisive facets of personal identity, such as political affiliation.

Concepts: Web 2.0, Social information processing, User-generated content, Political party, Blog, Wikipedia

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Web 2.0 internet technology has great potential in promoting physical activity. This trial investigated the effectiveness of a Web 2.0-based intervention on physical activity behaviour, and the impact on website usage and engagement.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, World Wide Web, Website, Web 2.0, Internet, Social network service, Blog, Wikipedia

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YouTube has become one of the largest websites on the Internet. Among its many genres, both professional and amateur science communicators compete for audience attention. This article provides the first overview of science communication on YouTube and examines content factors that affect the popularity of science communication videos on the site. A content analysis of 390 videos from 39 YouTube channels was conducted. Although professionally generated content is superior in number, user-generated content was significantly more popular. Furthermore, videos that had consistent science communicators were more popular than those without a regular communicator. This study represents an important first step to understand content factors, which increases the channel and video popularity of science communication on YouTube.

Concepts: Professional, Website, Web 2.0, Internet, User-generated content, YouTube, Amateur, Blog