#nsmnss: the story of a network

Updates: Dec 2013: tweetchat on defining #some: Storify | Huma Bird analysis…August 2013: see paper (26 pages, PDF) on developing the network; the section on the community of practice looks particularly interesting

On 23 April the NSMNSS network held a digital debate, the last I think of a series of events before funding runs out in May. I’ve written four posts about #nsmnss, and following the blog and Twitter stream has played a key role in my learning about research methods in relation to social media over the last year – thanks to the team!

The ‘one year on’ presentation gives some insights into the success of the network and its activities. In terms of statistics, there are now 451 fully signed up members (35% non-UK) with 77 in the Methodspace group, and @nsmnss has 1000+ followers (with 900+ tweets).

I particularly liked the way the network played around with the full spectrum of f2f and virtual events (two conferences, four knowledge exchange seminars with around 25 participants each, three online seminars, seven Twitter chats), for example holding tweetchats prior to f2f events. Plus the videos shown at the digital debate were from the previous week’s conference. This hybrid/flipped events model could work well in other fora.

It is hoped to sustain the network after funding runs out – this presumably has the biggest impact on f2f events, but in the era of social media it should be feasible to carry on some activities. A poll is calling for volunteers to get involved in projects, take responsibility for organising Twitter chats, develop resources or deliver training. A test of the strength of the network!

A range of platforms was used – perhaps too many (home page vs blog vs Methodspace anyone?). One way of streamlining activities would be to slim these down and perhaps change the ratio of curation to content – another task which could be done by v0lunteers, assuming the Twitter account is to carry on.

Finally, the dog food question: is any social network analysis or other research planned as part of the network evaluation?

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