The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis

The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis

In our previous post we looked at the growth of patient-centric conversations on Twitter visually identified in our healthcare dataset as green nodes. This time, we’re going to zoom in on one of those green nodes to take a closer look at the dynamic nature of these communities.

What you will see in the video below is a dynamic network centrality analysis of the conversations within the #rheum community during the month of August this year. During the first few seconds you will see the whole month’s conversations all together, giving you a quick glimpse of how vast, complex and beautiful these communities are.

After this glimpse you will see all the conversations dynamically over time as they happen. In the video, one second represents about six hours. A pink node represents a member of this community as they are participating in the conversations or are being pulled into the conversations by being referenced or mentioned. The larger the node, the more central or influential that member is to this community. A green link between two pink nodes signifies a conversation, a direct interaction between the two as they happen. The thicker the link, the stronger the conversation or interaction is between them.

One community, many conversations – learning from network centrality analysis

Like many other real-life communities, there can be many member and participants, but in any given time period, some are more central than others. You may call them influencers, instigators, perhaps even thought-leaders, or they just happen to be part of the topic for the day.

Several of these people can be identified in this visual, and one of the main individuals from this time-period is clearly @rawarrior (Kelly Young). Kelly is an amazing person, an epatient, and a moderator of the wonderful Rheumatoid Arthritis / Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease weekly #rheum tweet chat.

Another familiar name shows up with a great intensity but only for a short time. As it happened, @mayoclinic (Mayo Clinic) published results from a research study relevant to the #rheum community during this month. From the network centrality analysis you can see how @mayoclinic is pulled into the conversation by a large number of people. Interestingly, we can observe that those same people are not the “regulars” of the #rheum community. A simple cluster analysis would probably identify several sub-cultures within this community, the “mayo”-group being one of them.

 

Creating meaning and structure within the noise

We raised the question in our previous post: why would patients want to use Twitter – a social network devoid of privacy? Although the network centrality analysis recorded in this video is pure math and numbers, we can still observe how dynamic, organic and real the interactions are in this community.

Of all the various patient community options online, does Twitter have certain attributes that better resemble some real-world communities? One could perhaps suggest that many are attracted by the “real-timeness” of Twitter as a publishing and communication platform (Book<Journal<Article<Blog<Tweet). We could also suggest that Twitter has strong “organic” features. Twitter is in one sense an unstructured madness. But just like in the chaos of real life, people create meaning and structure within the noise. Rules are few and are made up as you go. Communities are created in a spur of the moment. Some last, others fade away.

What more can we learn about the members of these communities? In our next post, we will look closer at the participants of one of these patient-centric Twitter communities by attempting to reduce some of the complexity in this network centrality analysis with further segmentation.

About the Author

Audun Utengen, MBA – @audvinJob to be done: Connect the dots in Healthcare Social Media with Data, Analytics, People. I'm a simplifier at @symplur. +

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  1. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxDecember 17th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/weM6iOmv #hcsm #epatient

  2. @westr
    Robert West PhD – @westrDecember 17th, 2012

    Network Analysis of Twitter Patient Communities: #Rheum http://t.co/zmQNGIqs @rawarrior @SocialMediaShan @hurtblogger #pm101 #hcsm v @audvin

  3. @healthcarenovel
    Robert Green – @healthcarenovelDecember 17th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/weM6iOmv #hcsm #epatient

  4. @emily_nicholas8
    Emily Nicholas – @emily_nicholas8December 17th, 2012

    "@westr: Network Analysis of Twitter Patient Communities: #Rheum http://t.co/b6XDklrT #hcsm"@PatientsAssocCa

  5. @symplur
    Symplur – @symplurDecember 17th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/BB2Q8DaR #hcsm #hcsmca #hcsmanz

  6. @dottor_t
    Al – @dottor_tDecember 17th, 2012

    Network Analysis of Twitter Patient Communities: #Rheum http://t.co/zmQNGIqs @rawarrior @SocialMediaShan @hurtblogger #pm101 #hcsm v @audvin

  7. @markharmel
    Mark Harmel – @markharmelDecember 17th, 2012

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  8. @dreamingspires
    Heidi Allen – @dreamingspiresDecember 17th, 2012

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  9. @croakeyblog
    Melissa Sweet – @croakeyblogDecember 17th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/Gvx8BOOr via @symplur

  10. @hcnsw
    Health Consumers NSW – @hcnswDecember 17th, 2012

    MT via @croakeyblog: The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/GCB2H7KV via @symplur

  11. @raw4ra
    RAW – @raw4raDecember 18th, 2012

    Amazing Visual! // The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/SVIrPBUd via @symplur

  12. @ericrumsey
    Eric Rumsey – @ericrumseyDecember 18th, 2012

    Network Analysis of A Twitter Patient Community – #Rheum & @rawarrior, by @audvin http://t.co/ZRQoBQdx – MT @westr

  13. @ghlforg
    GHLF – @ghlforgDecember 18th, 2012

    Network Analysis of A Twitter Patient Community – #Rheum & @rawarrior, by @audvin http://t.co/ZRQoBQdx – MT @westr

  14. @socialmediashan
    Shannon Ragland – @socialmediashanDecember 18th, 2012

    Network Analysis of Twitter Patient Communities: #Rheum http://t.co/zmQNGIqs @rawarrior @SocialMediaShan @hurtblogger #pm101 #hcsm v @audvin

  15. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

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  16. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

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  17. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

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  18. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis via @Symplur http://t.co/inA5DYtp

  19. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

    '…Twitter has strong “organic” features. Twitter is in one sense an unstructured madness.' – @Audvin via @Symplur http://t.co/H1mfKz2Y

  20. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

    '…Twitter has strong “organic” features. Twitter is in one sense an unstructured madness.' – @Audvin via @Symplur http://t.co/H1mfKz2Y

  21. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

    "Twitter…unstructured madness. But just like in chaos of real life, people create meaning &structure w/in the noise" http://t.co/uTCio1bm

  22. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

    "Twitter…unstructured madness. But just like in chaos of real life, people create meaning &structure w/in the noise" http://t.co/uTCio1bm

  23. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 18th, 2012

    "Rules are few & are made up as you go. Communities are created in a spur of the moment. Some last, others fade away." http://t.co/DObuH2lf

  24. @cfhi_fcass
    CFHI-FCASS – @cfhi_fcassDecember 18th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/WmbeaPE2 via @symplur

  25. @amiainformatics
    AMIA – @amiainformaticsDecember 18th, 2012

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  26. @kevin4quality
    Kevin Smith – @kevin4qualityDecember 18th, 2012

    Okay this is cool. RT @symplur: The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/tTMwEjoB #hcsm #hcsmca

  27. @mha
    MS Hospital Assoc. – @mhaDecember 18th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/u4H8QoYk

  28. @amankhanna
    Dr. Aman Khanna – @amankhannaDecember 18th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/u4H8QoYk

  29. @thehealthmaven
    LeAnna J. Carey – @thehealthmavenDecember 19th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/hX7Rt1QL #hcsm #hcsmeu

  30. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 19th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis via @symplur http://t.co/inA5DYtp

  31. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 19th, 2012

    '…Twitter has strong “organic” features. Twitter is in one sense an unstructured madness.' – @audvin via @symplur http://t.co/CSuiewR0

  32. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 19th, 2012

    "Twitter…unstructured madness. But just like in chaos of real life, people create meaning &structure w/in the noise" http://t.co/kL1P6yfO

  33. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 19th, 2012

    "Rules are few & are made up as you go. Communities are created in a spur of the moment. Some last, others fade away." http://t.co/61yDaNji

  34. @alexyperifanos
    Alexandra Yperifanos – @alexyperifanosDecember 20th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/BB2Q8DaR #hcsm #hcsmca #hcsmanz

  35. @nashbeth
    Beth Nash – @nashbethDecember 20th, 2012

    RT @symplur: The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/YggDyquG #hcsm #hcsmca #hcsmanz

  36. @dkennerson
    DKennerson – @dkennersonDecember 20th, 2012

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  37. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 20th, 2012

    The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis via @symplur http://t.co/inA5DYtp

  38. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 20th, 2012

    '…Twitter has strong “organic” features. Twitter is in one sense an unstructured madness.' – @audvin via @symplur http://t.co/h8fRvXYD

  39. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 20th, 2012

    "Twitter…unstructured madness. But just like in chaos of real life, people create meaning &structure w/in the noise" http://t.co/JK9wjmr9

  40. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 20th, 2012

    "Rules are few & are made up as you go. Communities are created in a spur of the moment. Some last, others fade away." http://t.co/8lPlY6WY

  41. @formanite90
    Mian Hassan Nawaz – @formanite90December 20th, 2012

    "Rules are few & are made up as you go. Communities are created in a spur of the moment. Some last, others fade away." http://t.co/8lPlY6WY

  42. @ullarudsander
    Ulla Rudsander – @ullarudsanderDecember 20th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/hX7Rt1QL #hcsm #hcsmeu

  43. @keznoo
    Kerrie Noonan – @keznooDecember 21st, 2012

    RT @nashbeth: RT @symplur: The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/njTN2FLY #hcsm #hcsmca…

  44. @rawarrior
    Kelly Young – @rawarriorDecember 25th, 2012

    A short video on how patient communities communicate. Featuring our #rheum community!! Each second is 6 hrs real… http://t.co/2SDBA0fe

  45. @eneevs
    E Neevs – @eneevsDecember 25th, 2012

    A short video on how patient communities communicate. Featuring our #rheum community!! Each second is 6 hrs real… http://t.co/2SDBA0fe

  46. @tlmpsy
    Tracy – @tlmpsyDecember 26th, 2012

    A short video on how patient communities communicate. Featuring our #rheum community!! Each second is 6 hrs real… http://t.co/2SDBA0fe

  47. @egoss911
    Emily Goss – @egoss911December 26th, 2012

    A short video on how patient communities communicate. Featuring our #rheum community!! Each second is 6 hrs real… http://t.co/2SDBA0fe

  48. @sillyprofessor
    Ingalill Atala – @sillyprofessorDecember 26th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/KM7PMa1g via @symplur

  49. @vaggos666
    Vangelis Sakkalis – @vaggos666December 26th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/TPyhW6Bu via @symplur

  50. @drdeweyjones
    Dr. Dewey Jones IV – @drdeweyjonesDecember 26th, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community http://t.co/KyoOHOsr

  51. @ginarclark
    Gina Reneé – @ginarclarkDecember 27th, 2012

    A short video on how patient communities communicate. Featuring our #rheum community!! Each second is 6 hrs real… http://t.co/2SDBA0fe

  52. @mdwebpro
    MDWebPro – @mdwebproDecember 27th, 2012

    Brilliant post. RT @ullarudsander: RT @audvin: The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community. http://t.co/6LdHg36R #hcsm #hcsmeu

  53. @audvin
    Audun Utengen – @audvinDecember 28th, 2012

    What does a Tweet Chat look like? (data visualization) http://t.co/S9PeBXEk #hcsm #rheum #hcsmeu

  54. @tonyhart87
    Tony A. Hart – @tonyhart87December 28th, 2012

    Best #hcsm Tweet Today | MT @audvin: What does a Tweet Chat look like? (data visual) http://t.co/X1L7j1xL #hcsmeu

  55. @rawarrior
    Kelly Young – @rawarriorDecember 29th, 2012

    RT @audvin: What does a Tweet Chat look like? (data visualization) http://t.co/5X2nhhlF #hcsm #rheum #hcsmeu

  56. @pharmaguapa
    Alexandra Fulford – @pharmaguapaDecember 29th, 2012

    fascinating RT @rawarrior: RT @audvin: What does a Tweet Chat look like? (data visualization) http://t.co/Xfc1uOIQ #hcsm #rheum #hcsmeu

  57. @rohal
    rob halkes – @rohalDecember 29th, 2012

    RT @rawarrior: RT @audvin: What does a Tweet Chat look like? (data visualization) http://t.co/qF42imOO #hcsm #rheum #hcsmeu #socpharm

  58. @screwpilecomm
    Screwpile Comm. – @screwpilecommDecember 30th, 2012

    Cool visual of Twitter conversaions. | The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/HrBblQhn

  59. @m_fkf
    Michael – @m_fkfDecember 31st, 2012

    #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/b1dMnPwG v @mtmdphd #hcsm #hcsmca

  60. @joebabaian
    Joseph Babaian – @joebabaianDecember 31st, 2012

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/GC2hzPW9 via @symplur

  61. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 31st, 2012

    #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/b1dMnPwG v @mtmdphd #hcsm #hcsmca

  62. @briansmcgowan
    Brian S. McGowan PhD – @briansmcgowanDecember 31st, 2012

    "@m_fkf: #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/YyO8wjMP v @mtmdphd " #socialQI

  63. @bridgeshealthca
    Michelle Lemme – @bridgeshealthcaDecember 31st, 2012

    RT @m_fkf: #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/ihFHTsSx v @mtmdphd #hcsm #hcsmca

  64. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdDecember 31st, 2012

    RT @m_fkf: #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/ihFHTsSx v @mtmdphd #hcsm #hcsmca

  65. @m_fkf
    Michael – @m_fkfDecember 31st, 2012

    "@m_fkf: #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/YyO8wjMP v @mtmdphd " #socialQI

  66. @eugeniosantoro
    Eugenio Santoro – @eugeniosantoroJanuary 1st, 2013

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/VLFJBeYA via @symplur

  67. @jim_rawson_md
    Jim Rawson MD – @jim_rawson_mdJanuary 1st, 2013

    Dynamics of Twitter #Patient Community http://t.co/t3vT8vHk One person can make a difference. Nice job @rawarrior #HCSM #socialmedia

  68. @garrychoy
    Garry Choy MD – @garrychoyJanuary 1st, 2013

    Dynamics of Twitter #Patient Community http://t.co/t3vT8vHk One person can make a difference. Nice job @rawarrior #HCSM #socialmedia

  69. @sylviamarketer
    Sylvia Sbert – @sylviamarketerJanuary 2nd, 2013

    RT @pharmaguapa The Dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community
    http://t.co/b3DZQO3G

  70. @ottawacop
    OttawaCoP – @ottawacopJanuary 3rd, 2013

    "@m_fkf: #Healthcare Twitter communities: "Creating meaning and structure within the noise" http://t.co/YyO8wjMP v @mtmdphd " #socialQI

  71. @misswysocki
    Monika Wysocki – @misswysockiJanuary 3rd, 2013

    Dynamics of a twitter patient community – Check out the #dataviz of interactions #hcsm http://t.co/lbh6JlHS via @symplur

  72. @rawarrior
    Kelly Young – @rawarriorJanuary 4th, 2013

    RT @Jim_Rawson_MD Dynamics of Twitter #Patient Community http://t.co/hkl8IBPk One person can make a difference. Nice job @rawarrior #HCSM

  73. @terezhumphrey
    Therese Humphrey – @terezhumphreyJanuary 4th, 2013

    RT @Jim_Rawson_MD Dynamics of Twitter #Patient Community http://t.co/hkl8IBPk One person can make a difference. Nice job @rawarrior #HCSM

  74. @audvin
    Audun Utengen – @audvinJanuary 4th, 2013

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/E8EnOzlD #hcsm #hcsmeu

  75. @dcthmpsn
    David Thompson – @dcthmpsnJanuary 5th, 2013

    The dynamics of a Twitter Patient Community – Network Centrality Analysis http://t.co/E8EnOzlD #hcsm #hcsmeu