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Beyond "Web 2.0" as Buzzword: Engaging Users to Contribute Online
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Beyond "Web 2.0" as Buzzword: Engaging Users to Contribute Online


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How can we engage users in the biomedical academic community to engage online? Why is it important to us? What have we done at UCSF, and to the degree we've been successful, what were the guiding …

How can we engage users in the biomedical academic community to engage online? Why is it important to us? What have we done at UCSF, and to the degree we've been successful, what were the guiding principles?

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  • 1. Going Beyond “Web 2.0” as Buzzword - Engaging Users to Contribute OnlineManinder Kahlon*, Leslie Yuan, Rachael Sak, Kristine Moss, Cynthia Piontkowski, Sarah Paris, Eric Meeks, Katja Reuter*Presenter. CIO & Co-Director Consultation Services, CTSI, UCSF
  • 2. Context
    • When rolling out tools to our research communities, it is most important to have it already embedded with content, meaning & value
    • 3. However, our belief is that much of the potential of new tools, such as research networking tools, will be realized only when users contribute elements online. Much of the transformation in search and the consumption of knowledge via the Internet has been catalyzed by the ability to harness user-generated content.
  • Web 2.0 – Focus on User-Generated Content
    How do we move our academic/biomedical research user base into the world of the ‘wildly read-write web’?
    Thanks to Surfstyle for Image
  • 4. Getting Users to Contribute Online is Hard, and Even Successful Models Have Low Participation Rates
    78 million visitors monthly, 91,000 contributors
    0.1% of viewers are contributors
    Jan 2010,
    “Causes” application, Facebook
    25 million signed up for application, 185,000 donated
    0.7% of users actually donated to any of 179,000 nonprofits.
    Apr 2009,
    33:66:1 Rule?
    Crowdsourcing within the enterprise (IBM)
    Stewart, Lubensky & Huerta, 2010. “Crowdsourcing participation inequality: a SCOUT model for the enterprise domain” Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Human Computation
    90:9:1 RuleLurker : Intermittent Contributor : Heavy Contributor
  • 5. So why focus on user-generated content?
    Add nuance & detail to records about people, networks, resources, etc. This will greatly enhance search, discovery and networking tools
    • UCSF’s initiative: User generated content for research networking
    Enable scaling and transparency in knowledge production, dissemination, access and consumption. This will greatly enhance how ideas are generated, information shared, and projects defined.
    • UCSF’s initiative: User generated content in crowdsourcing ideas and collaboration
  • User Generated Content in Research Networking
    Updates & Activities
    Heather Fullerton is traveling to the AAN conference in Hawaii
    Donna Ferriero is at the School of Medicine today
    more >>
    Why User Generated Content?
    More granular description of people and networks to improve search, discovery & networking
    Customize & Correct Profile (edit pubs)
    Annotate Profile(I’m open to mentoring, my forward-looking interests are, people who’s work I’m interested in…)
    Enhance Profile by sharing additional content (e.g slides)
    Encourage usage of research networking tool as a platform to launch collaborative activities online
  • 6. Launching UCSF Profiles – What We Did
    4. Ongoing Promotion
    2. Soft Launch with 2500 faculty in database
    3. Launch - Promotion over 3 weeks
    1. Beta - Presentations to Leadership
    Aug -Sept 16th
    Sept 17th – Sept 28th
    Sept 29th - onward
    Dec 09-July10
    • article
    • 7. Provost Email
    • 8. iPad Sweepstakes – Add Narrative to Win
    • 9. Direct Mailing to all ~2500 faculty in db
    • 10. Messaging, Logo/Visuals, & Talking Points
  • Promotion had a transient and sustained impact on usage of the tool
    1 Visit = 1 session. Anyone returning to the site within 30 minutes is still counted as 1 visit. If someone returns after 30 mins, it’s counted as another visit
  • 11. Promotion had a sharp impact on editing of profiles
  • 12. Profiles are edited by all types of faculty
  • 13. Narratives edited most because sweepstakes required it. But once there, users edit other items.
  • 14. Increasing site visits doesn’t automatically increase the probability of users editing profiles
  • 15. Overall Strategy - Multiple Approaches
    Get the Word Out: Continued Promotion
    Sequence of talks; Ambassadors; Other traditional approaches
    Horizontal: Distribute access and increase cross-linking
    Feeds, Mini-Searches, integrate with other major ucsf websites
    Seed System: Launch promotion
    Incentivize to get people to use the tool once & edit profiles
    Vertical: Add domain-specific functionality and make participation a side effect
    Eg. Mentor-mentee matchmaking
    Push: Provide ways for updates to get to interested researchers
    Emails with new pubs for validation
  • 16. Crowdsource ideas for research enhancing projects that would be funded.
    For Yr 4 Funding
    Target: CTSI leadership – 35
    For CTSA ARRA proposals
    Target: CTSI leadership, affiliates, those active in our projects - 300
    For CTSA Renewal
    Target: UCSF academic community – 7500
    Crowdsourcing– What we did
  • 17. Crowdsourcing Tool – “Open Forums”
    Features (Built off Drupal Content Management System)
    • Submit ideas
    • 18. Comment on ideas
    • 19. Vote (Like or Dislike)
    • 20. Filter by Idea Topics
    • 21. Sort Ideas by popularity or commenting
    • 22. Receive E-mail Notifications for updates on ideas of interest
    • 23. Revise collaboratively to move idea forward
    • 24. View Idea Status
  • Open Forums – How We Did
    Unique Page Views = # of sessions during which the forum was viewed one or more times
  • 25. To the degree we’ve succeeded, this is why
    Ensure you know why you want users to contribute content
    Seed tools with high-value content
    Provide focused incentives that are very clear
    Get senior sponsorship and make that apparent to your user
    Fine-tune messaging to map onto the true benefit of the tool and to proactively deter negative associations
  • 26. Getting users to contribute online is worth it and it’s doable, but be realistic about what needs to happen to get it to work.
  • 27. Thanks to the Virtual Home team at CTSI, UCSF
    Special thanks to Katja Reuter, CTSI Communications Manager, who envisioned and implemented our promotions.