Social Networking, Semantic Searching and Science « Dennis’ Blog

I recently ran into this article on Denni’s blog. It’s a very well written article.

Perhaps its my naivete but I think the answer to some parts of the questions (reproduced below) lies in looking at articles that have cited a given article (to look forward) and look at references within the article (to look back). With this information you might be able to deduce the research path, who has built upon your findings (if the article is yours) and what those findings were. Once you know the ‘who’ information, you can then possibly look up their author information to find out if they are ‘stars’ in that area.

I don’t think that alone answers it but the answers should lie hidden within information we already have in our current online publications and some of the concepts he describes within this entry. An excellent read without doubt.

Questions from the blog entry

1. “I’m researching topic X. What are the seminal papers in this area? Who are the primary researchers whose work I shoud read?”

2. “Ten years ago I published a paper on topic Y, then got distracted by grant funding in another area. I’d like to understand the full ‘intellectual lineage’ of this paper, now that others have had a chance to chew on it. What has it lead to? Have questions been answered? Have new ones emerged?”

3. “Who are the currently active researchers working on topics most closely related to my own research? Are there any bright new stars whose work I should keep an eye on?”

Read this at

Advertisements Finally Gets Some Respect from Yahoo – ReadWriteWeb

Some query types we can imagine being made possible by this integration are:

I do a news search for a topic like the Textron buy-out or golfer Ross Fisher two hot search terms today and BOSS + Delicious shows me which URLs in my list of search results have been tagged “analysis” the most, or “biography.”

Search an index of food blogs for recipes and tell me which of them have been bookmarked the most and have been tagged “Mediterranean” and “vegetarian.” The words Mediterranean and vegetarian may not appear anywhere in the text of the recipe, but human readers can recognize the recipe as fitting into both those categories and tag it as such when bookmarking it.

Look up the links that my blog commenters post along with their comments and show me the top tags that other people have used to categorize those links. Perhaps, more marketers than engineers commented on my last blog post. I’d like to know that. Perhaps, I’ve had an influx of teachers, preachers or veterinarians commenting on my blog lately. Who wouldn’t want to see that kind of data?


Why Web 2.0 is failing in Biology

Read the blog entry linked below… Some interesting points to note. Most of these are probably known but its good to hear it from somebody who has been in the field

Point 1:

“I can barely keep up with the literature in my field and with what my labmates are doing. Who has time to spend reading some grad student’s blog?”

The goal should be to create tools that save time and effort, not new ways of investing huge amounts of time and effort.

Point 2: Regarding use of online collaboration tool

1) Go to the computer, go to the Connotea site, sign up for a Connotea account, log-in, add the link to the paper that’s going to be discussed, add tags to the paper, e-mail those links out to members of the journal club. Members receive the e-mail, go to Connotea, create an account, log-in, go to the link they were sent, follow that link to the actual journal’s website, download the pdf, read, discuss.
2) Go to the computer, download the pdf for the paper, e-mail it to the members of the group, read, discuss.

You tell me which is a more efficient use of precious time.

Point 3: On leaving comments for articles published via collaboration site

there’s no incentive for leaving comments. Again, you’re dealing with a limited amount of time, so why spend it on something for which you receive no credit? Where’s the upside in leaving a comment on someone’s paper?

Point 4:

If you can make it easy for your readers to get the information they’re seeking (relevant to them), then you’re doing a high quality job for them, something they’re willing to pay for, even when there are free sources of less-well-organized information available.

Point 5:

most Web 2.0 sites aren’t useful until they’ve got a high level of participation. If the users are creating content, no users = no content. If there’s no content, no users are going to bother participating, rinse, lather, repeat, the circle goes around and around.

Point 6:

This becomes even further burdened by the proliferation of “me too” sites. Here you see nine different sites that all serve similar purposes. If I have limited time and each site requires a substantial time investment, how am I going to choose which one I’ll use when they all offer essentially the same thing? What happens instead is that most people choose not to choose and sit things out until a clear winner emerges. For those who do pick a site, the site they’ve chosen is only one of many, so it sees less traffic than if there were fewer available, which means less content, which means it’s less useful.

Point 7:

if I’ve already got a way to do something, it’s going to take a lot to make me change to a new way.

If you want me to switch, you have to not just be better, you have to be way better for me to make that effort.

Point 8:

Usability is often a huge barrier preventing new users from jumping in. Your tool has to be obvious, not only why you would use it, but how you would use it.

There are several other points… but here’s the final summary

via Bench Marks » Blog Archive » Why Web 2.0 is failing in Biology.

Measuring your Net Promoter Score

NPS is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories. “Promoters” are loyal enthusiasts who keep buying from a company and urge their friends to do the same. “Passives” are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who can be easily wooed by the competition. And “detractors” are unhappy customers trapped in a bad relationship. Customers can be categorized based on their answer to the ultimate question.

The best way to gauge the efficiency of a company’s growth engine is to take the percentage of customers who are promoters (P) and subtract the percentage who are detractors (D). This equation is how we calculate a Net Promoter Score for a company:

P – D = NPS

While easy to grasp, NPS metric represents a radical change in the way companies manage customer relationships and organize for growth. Rather than relying on notoriously ineffective customer satisfaction surveys, companies can use NPS to measure customer relationships as rigorously as they now measure profits. What’s more, NPS finally enables CEOs to hold employees accountable for treating customers right. It clarifies the link between the quality of a company’s customer relationships and its growth prospects.

via The Ultimate Question: Measuring your Net Promoter Score.

Peter Morville’s search design pattern

I think this an absolutely brilliant presentation from Peter Morville (blog).

Is Search Broker? Presentation from Endeca

This presentation is actually several months old but worth going over

Tag Galaxy

This is so cool just to play with. Doesn’t actually go anywhere but fun.

Tag Galaxy.