[Research] Studies of our communities


(Colleen Young) #1

I’d like to start a new thread to gather research that has been done on the communities we manage.

From 2010 to 2016, I managed a community of practice on Twitter called #hcsmca (Health Care Social Media Canada). During its tenure, several researchers took interest in the community and 2 papers were written about it. The research provided interesting insight into the community, and I thought these may be of interest to others here on Feverbee. I also added the relevant blog synopsis for each paper if you don’t have the time to read the full studies.

The first one was a social network analysis of one month’s activities.
Gruzd A, Haythornthwaite C, Enabling Community Through Social Media, J Med Internet Res, 2013;15(10):e248
URL: http://www.jmir.org/2013/10/e248/
Blog post: https://cyhealthcommunications.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/hcsmca-a-social-network-analysis-of-our-community/

The second was an exploration of motivation in online communities. The researcher conducted interviews with 23 members.
Gilbert S, Learning in a Twitter-based community of practice: an exploration of knowledge exchange as a motivation for participation in #hcsmca, Information, Communication & Society. 2016; 19, (9)
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1186715?journalCode=rics20&
Blog post: https://cyhealthcommunications.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/what-motivates-people-to-participate-in-online-communities-hcsmca-study/

Besides that obvious insight into the community that these studies afforded me, they also helped deepen the community’s sense of community. Given that we were a community of practice, the members were eager to contribute to the growing literature examining online community, social media, health and learning.

What research publications do you have to share?


(Sarah Hawk) #2

And so if you’re young and vibrant and well dressed and you have great shoes, you’re going to get a different response than if you’re older and maybe a little stooped and your shoes are ugly…So I like that that’s not what happens so much [online].

I love the honesty of this comment. Community evens the playing field.


(Colleen Young) #3

So true @hawk. People of all healthcare “ranks” participated in #hcsmca - patients, nurses, physicians, government leaders and critics, researchers, caregivers, marketers, communicators, educators, designers, professors, policy makers, etc. The community valued the message over the “lineage” of the speaker. I think the character limit of Twitter was helpful in this regard, but it was very much the culture of the community.


(Sarah Hawk) #4

I hear you on that. If you have to be brief, the barrier to entry is lower because you worry less about how carefully you craft your message. Perhaps I should impose a word limit here. :wink: