Researchers at Arizona State are working on “denoising” social media (fair warning, you’ll only want to wade through the entire study if you’re a real research wonk!)
These computer scientists and engineers are watching social media trends. The problem, as they see it, is that as more and more people begin using social media, managing our “friends” and other contacts becomes overwhelming. (Can I get an Amen?!)
They make the case that social networks are comprised of valuable friends, casual friends or event friends who deem to be treated differently. The tools they are developing are meant to remove the clutter, or as they refer to it, “denoise” the network.
Removing noisy links
In their own words, “we propose to denoise the individuals’ social networks by removing noisy links. The potential benefits include: First, managing contacts differently according to the closeness to an individual. For example, the method can be applied to group contacts automatically; and we can apply different privacy levels to groups for information sharing. Second, reducing noisy links in social networks could benefit a wide range of applications such as behavioral prediction, community detection, influence propagation, viral marketing, etc.”
What does that mean to us?
So what does that mean to those of us involved in engaging our hospital or clinic in the social network landscape? It means we have to design engagement strategies with the sole purpose of creating the highest value for our intended audience (whether it be physicians, patients or a geographic region).
Two key take-aways here–content and focus: No longer will messages being “pushed out” for the masses be tolerated (even if they are all on the same network). Content must be meaningful for the recipients to be heard “above the noise.”
Before you post that news release on the Facebook page or send a Twitter blast out on that next event (without a hashtag? Yikes!) … Ask yourself: am I creating value or am I creating noise? Because if your hospital continues to supply the noise, you face the risk of being among the first of your friends to be “denoised.”