A few posts ago, I mentioned Attila’s analysis of Nature Network. I was pleasantly surprised by the statistics – early growth is around 100-150 new users a week.

I say “surprised” because not much seems to be happening there when I log in. That may be a reflection of my interests, but I think NN needs to work harder to become a true social network. I think one problem is that currently, there’s a lot of onus on users to create content and not a lot in the way of features. You create an account, add some people to your network, perhaps create or post to a forum and that’s about it. Users might ask – how is this network advantageous to me? Is it bringing me into contact with people and issues that interest me, or are we all just waiting around for something to happen? Why would I blog at NN, for instance, when I can set up a free blog without approval at many other sites, tailored to bloggers and rant away to my hearts’ content? Clearly the users need to participate, by posting, creating tags and so on, but some automation that facilitates networking would be welcome. It shouldn’t be too hard to supply suggestions based on my publications, for instance, or highlight conferences in my region.

It’s still early days, so let’s hope that NN have the resources that they need to grow and provide.

2 thoughts on “Networks

  1. My first beef with the Nature Network profile page, was that I had to type all the info for each of my publications, even though there is a PubMed ID field. Couldn’t the information be autofilled from the PMID? Maybe an integrated PubMed search field? Certainly this would require a ton of web programming and design, and would likely only be used once by each NN user. However, I think something along those lines would reduce the barrier to entry for new users. I was annoyed by the tedious copying and pasting of information for each publication, that should have been available with only the PMID for reference.

    I guess most people don’t know what a PMID is, though.

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