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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Social Media’s success is: technology + psychology

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“A lot of what we are doing is as much psychology and sociology as it is technology”

Mark Zuckerberg


Written by hbasset

September 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

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74% of Pharma companies have adopted Social Media…

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.. but could do it better… According a study by Cognizant.

For the pharmaceutical industry, social media can bridge the gap between companies and drug end users. As a direct consequence, approximately 74% of pharmaceutical companies have adopted social media platforms (… ). However, social media is only one key component in a communication strategy, and not a complete replacement. The level of adoption and maturity in implementation of social media is relatively low and inadequate in the pharmaceutical industry because of various factors. In particular, the regulatory environment in which the industry operates is a challenge. (…)

The article mentions different innovative ways to use this new channel.

  • Boehringer Ingelheim: The company’s Twitter feed is filled with articles and retweets about more than just prescription drugs with some high profile celebrity tweeters, such as Lance Armstrong and Stephen Fry. The content ranges from studies, articles, blogs and video interviews on YouTube promoted in twitter
  • Johnson and Johnson has created an active social presence that utilises a blog focused on stories of employees, wellness information, and corporate content. The blog contains robust content and is supplemented with YouTube and Facebook pages on corporate social responsibility initiatives and its involvement in social causes

Read the full story at:

Bhaskar Sambasivan. Is Pharma Getting the Best out of Social Media? Pharmaceutical technology Europe, 1 June 2012. Available from: [Accessed 13 June 2012]

The complete study at:

Written by hbasset

June 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm

US: medical students do not use cell phones or Facebook to engage with Libraries

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Even though there is a pervasive use of the Internet, cell phones and social networking, the majority of students surveyed do not readily identify them as a means to access databases, the library catalog, or to retrieve full-text articles on demand or on the go.

The results of this study provide ample evidence that many of our students are accessing the Internet using various devices. Ninety-seven percent of them access library resources remotely, mostly using their laptops and other computers. Only 17 percent of them use their cell phones to access library catalog and subscription databases resources remotely.

Salisbury, L. (et al.). Science and Technology Undergraduate Students’ Use of the Internet, Cell Phones and Social Networking Sites to Access Library Information. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Spring 2012. Available from: [Accessed 23rd of May 2012]

Written by hbasset

May 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

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Big Pharma: Social Media and camouflaged marketing

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An excellent study about how pharma companies use of the internet through direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements on the internet and internet based “social media”. To identify examples of fraudulent DTC marketing they used 4 major sources of information: scientific literature, gray literature, PubMed and the FDA website.

Some findings:

  • FaceBook: Pharmaceutical companies use this interface to promote drug sales. In July of 2010, the FDA issued a warning letter to Novartis for its Facebook advertising. Many companies removed their Facebook pages after August 2011, despite the fact that companies can delete these comments as soon as they are posted they were concerned that “open walls” would lead to the reporting of side effects, promotion of off-label use or inappropriate statements
  • Youtube:  A number of pharmaceutical companies have established YouTube channels for marketing purposes, including Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur… while the issues of advertising ethics and adherence to existing DTC advertisement standards are raised by these promotional outlets, of even greater concern are the unbranded (or covertly branded) YouTube channels that a number of pharmaceutical companies have introduced.
  • Twitter: Novo Nordisk uses the branded Tweet technic that does not mention drug benefits to maintain its status as a reminder advertisement. Web reminder ads do not have to provide any information on side effects.
  • Third-party endorsements: People are more likely to believe third party endorsements than identified corporate product advertising. To capitalize on this phenomenon companies have funded patient advocacy groups, disease specific expert panels and physician organizations to promote their drugs. Companies have transferred this clandestine marketing technique to the internet which is particularly well suited to support this subterfuge. Pharmaceutical companies have created websites for front organizations (labeled “Astroturf” sites – for fake grassroots) to promote their drugs. These pharmaceutical company-created websites appear to be unbiased sources of information.

Conclusion: ” Web 2.0 DTC is merely a subset of pharmaceutical marketing; however, as we have shown, it is more likely to be camouflaged, permits companies to directly gather data on patients, and changes rapidly. Internet DTC is difficult to monitor. (…) The majority of the public does not understand the possible side effects and ultimate purpose of DTC advertising; many believe that the mere presence of DTC advertising indicates that a drug is “perfectly safe.”

FDA has repeatedly cited pharmaceutical companies for illegal Web 2.0 marketing. Pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly called on the FDA to regulate web based marketing but the FDA has refused to issue any regulations. Thus Web 2.0 marketing remains an unregulated threat to public health and the general economy that must be addressed“.

Egilman, David & Druar, Nicholas M. 2012. Spin your science into gold: direct to consumer marketing within social media platforms. Work, Vol. 41, pp. 4494-4502. DOI: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0751-4494

Written by hbasset

April 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Will Linked-In outlive FaceBook?

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According Geoffrey James:

With all due respect to Facebook, paying $1 billion for Instagram smacks of desperation.

It’s as if CEO Mark Zuckerberg is terrified of becoming irrelevant and is willing to spend insane amounts of money in order for Facebook remain on the forefront of cool. (…)

That’s a hopeless quest, though.  Facebook may be many things, but it’s not cool any longer.  It lost that imprimatur back when it allowed corporate pages (yes, even yours) and advertising. (…)

More importantly, nobody seems to love Facebook any more.  People seem mostly tolerate it, because it’s convenient. And that’s why Facebook remains vulnerable.

Consumer-oriented social networking sites are like television networks: People will switch when there’s something better on another channel. (…)

That’s not true of LinkedIn, though.  LinkedIn is all about business and people’s resumes.  Because its scope is limited to fundamentally dull information, LinkedIn is simply not vulnerable to something “cooler.” (…)

That’s why I believe that LinkedIn will keep growing, becoming increasingly valuable and relevant–while Facebook will eventually be replaced by “cooler” technologies that appeal to a fundamentally fickle base of consumers. (…)

As a result, LinkedIn is building a loyal customer base, while Facebook is involved in an expensive and probably pointless quest to remain relevant.

James, Geofrrey. LinkedIn will outlive FaceBook. Here’s why. Inc, Apr. 13, 2012. Available from: [Accessed 13th April 2012]






Written by hbasset

April 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

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Social tools for US Libraries: an update

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Based on a new report by Joseph McKendrick.  The Digital Squeeze: Libraries at the Crossroads surveyed 730 public, academic, special, education, and government libraries in the US.

Librarians report a levelling off in the use of Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with customers and the use of wikis and blogs is declining.  However, more of them are using collaborative tools including the sharing of web pages, subject guides, and the use of document-sharing, photo and video sharing web apps.

Libraries, unsurprisingly, reported an increased demand for ebooks, wireless connectivity and other technology tools and services.  More than one-third of the respondents reported that they spent more money on information technology hardware, software, and related IT services over the past year. 

More libraries are moving to the cloud for operational support and content storage.  26% of them are already offering e-readers, with one respondent stating that this activity will be an area of ‘extreme growth’.


Skelton, Val. Libraries, the digital squeeze and ebooks. InformationToday Europe, 12th of April 2012. Available from: [Accessed 13th April 2012]

Written by hbasset

April 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Bad story: J&J unit closes a Facebook page

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According Pharmalot:

More than a year after launching its Psoriasis 360 page on Facebook, the Janssen UK unit of Johnson & Johnson is closing down due to a growing number of comments that had to be removed because specific drugs were mentioned or, in some cases, offensive language was used.  (…)

The move comes amid an ongoing debate over the extent to which the pharmaceutical industry can – and should – embrace Facebook and, in general, social media. Last year, Facebook no longer allowed drugmakers to disable posted comments

In fact, the Psoriasis 360 Facebook page was the first in the pharmaceutical industry to allow comments to appear before being vetted by a drugmaker (…)

Read further:

Silverman, Ed. J&J unit closes Facebook page due to comments. PharmaLot, 22nd of March 2012; Available from:





Written by hbasset

March 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry

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