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#hcsmca by numbers: A 6-month report card

April 19, 2011

I hope you are as impressed as I am with this beautiful infographic by guest blogger Christine Crowley. Thank you Christine for collecting this data and telling the #hcsmca story by numbers.

By Christine Crowley (@pharmaengage)

March 31st marked the 6-month anniversary of #hcsmca.  In the first 184 days, more than 15,000 tweets were shared by 1005 unique Twitter accounts. These and other data are summarized in an infographic below.

Click to enlarge

For anyone who has attempted to collect and analyse data from Twitter, you will know this step is no small feat. However, thanks to two of my favourite Twitter based projects, the HealthCare Hashtag Project by the Fox ePractice, and the WhatTheHashtag? (just recently discontinued) by, as many as 14,699 unique #hcsmca-containing tweets were collected and imported into Excel for analysis, and the results graphed using Google docs. [Please note that I could not collect all 15,000 tweets from any one service and so I had to use both services to get the most complete data set possible, and even then, I was still short by 300 tweets, most likely due to limits on the API by Twitter.]

So what can we say about these data?

  • #hcsmca participants prefer to share during and surrounding weekly tweetchats (as many as 25 at the time of this analysis), demonstrating a high level of engagement during and value for these tweetchats by the participants.
  • As can be seen by the data, the #hcsmca hashtag was used more on Wednesdays than any other day of the week, and peak just before 10 am until just after 11 am PST – the day and time of most tweetchats.
  • An increase was also seen in the evening, most likely representing the monthly Thursday night tweetchats.
  • #hcsmca conversations are growing over time, which speaks to the great traction that this community has received and the community’s ability to continuously draw more participants.  A trendline in the graph of #hcsmca tweets over time showed an increase in the number #hcsmca tweets in 2011, a period that also saw a marked increase in the number of @hcsmca followers.
  • Community management is the ‘secret sauce’ behind the success of #hcsmca. It should come to no surprise that most #hcsmca tweets have been generated by @Colleen_Young, founder of #hcsmca. Armed with her personal and the @hcsmca Twitter accounts, Colleen nurtures, champions, and advocates for the #hcsmca community like none other. A recent tweet by @colin_hung says it all:

An #FF for @Colleen_Young a tireless #hcsmca champ. A warm online personality (even warmer in person). Looking fw to May 3rd tweetup!

Beyond an analysis of the data, the infographic underlines other qualitative aspects of our community:

  • #hcsmca membership is diverse: while a detailed analysis of the #hcsmca community members and @hcsmca followers is in progress, the top 10 #hcsmca users are communications and knowledge translation specialists, members of health care organizations, health IT advocates, and researchers/librarians
  • #hcsmca has hosted a variety of topics, with the first National meetup happening February past
  • #hcsmca tweetchats have been guest moderated 6 times: thanks @rjdfraser, @paulgallant, @kathykastner, @cmaer, @craigtyyz
  • #hcsmca has been referenced 10 times in blogposts, presentations – including a feature in The Globe and Mail

Please note. This summary represents information as up to March 31st only. So much already has happened in April –> to be included in the next update :-) I encourage and welcome your feedback, data analysis suggestions, or any other comments, or feel free to send me a tweet.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2011 10:28 am

    Great insight and analysis – so super cool!


  2. @NataleeCRA permalink
    April 19, 2011 1:30 pm

    fantastic compilation of data – quite fascinating and exciting to see the progression and interest – great job!


  3. @pharmaengage permalink
    April 19, 2011 4:38 pm

    Thank you Madonna and Natalee for your kind words. This represents my first experience blogging, guest blogging, analysing tweets, and creation of an infographic. I am extremely happy (and relieved!) you found it interesting… Thank you to Colleen for the opportunity to share with the #hcsmca community.


  4. April 20, 2011 6:25 am

    Thank you Colleen for creating the #hcsmca community. As a health services/healthcare advocate for Mental Health and Diabetes, #hcsmca is not only a relevant tool to reach like-minded professionals, it is a wonderful social interaction medium. Kudos to Christine for her graphical data analysis and summary.


    • April 20, 2011 9:00 am

      Welcome Eric. We’ve known right from day 1 that the community was strong and its potential limitless, but it’s great to have this data and pictorial representation to show. It’ll be interesting to compare to the next 6 months too.


    • @pharmaengage permalink
      April 20, 2011 11:30 am

      Thank you Eric for your kind words. Very much appreciated!


  5. Ann Fuller permalink
    April 20, 2011 8:41 am

    This is interesting data.

    What do you think contributed to the sharp increase in followers which started in January?


  6. April 20, 2011 10:23 pm

    Great job Christine! We are so often exposed to U.S. data that we tend to know their information more than our own. It’s great to see this Canadian snapshot.


    • @pharmaengage permalink
      April 21, 2011 9:45 am

      Thank you Nat for your interest and kind words. I noticed that you included #Canada and #infographic in your RT. Nice touch.


  7. @pharmaengage permalink
    April 21, 2011 9:43 am

    Thank you Ann for your interest and question. There is no definitive answer I can give you but I can offer some numbers and a bit of speculation.

    In January, the rate of increase in new followers of the @hcsmca account was less than one per day (one every other day). On Feb 3rd, as many as 39 new accounts followed @hcsmca and the number of followers increased at a rate of 3-5 followers per day thereafter and consistently until the end of March.

    Colleen has shared with me that she dedicated a fair amount of time to #hcsmca outreach at the end of January, both on and offline. Also, the #hcsmca tweetchat on Feb 2nd was particularly interesting and lively, and may have persuaded lurkers to follow @hcsmca. There may not have been a single event, but rather a series of actions that resulted, coincidentally, in a sudden increase in followers on one day.

    Subsequently, #hcsmca gained tremendous momentum throughout February and March, with the #hcsmca tweetup, reviews/interviews/mentions of #hcsmca and Colleen Young in blogposts, presentations, newspaper articles, and helps to explain the sustained and greater rate of increase in followers throughout February and March as compared to the preceeding period.

    We are in early days in terms of the growth and measurement of the #hcsmca community and @hcsmca account. It will be interesting to see how the community grows and evolves from here and how the numbers change as a result.



  1. #hcsmca’s 18-month Report Card « Colleen Young
  2. #hcsmca 2-year anniversary – what can our data tell us? « Colleen Young
  3. #hcsmca’s 2-year report card – Infographic « Colleen Young

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