Results from our Social Media Survey

ResearchImpact has had a web presence since 2006 when we first launched our site Since then, we have made substantial changes to the site 2007 and 2009. We entered the Web 2.0 world with the launch of this blog in May of 2008 and then started using twitter (@researchimpact), delicious ( and O3 (, the online collaborative research platform developed by ORION in the spring of 2009.
We believe that social media or Web 2.0 tools are an important part of the research collaboration and KMb process and wanted to understand our community’s satisfaction with our online services, how they were using social media tools (ours and in general) and what features they would like to see us add in the future. So in November 2009, we conducted a survey asking our community to rate our online services and social media tools.
We invited everyone who receives our monthly email newsletter, anyone who had been to one of our KMb events, as well as anyone who had received one of our funding opportunities to take part in the survey (1151 people in total) and we received 99 responses. A report including all the responses is available here- Full Survey Results Report but here are some of the overall findings and suggestions that were made, as well as our plans to address some of the suggestions:
We asked 25 questions; the first set of questions focused on our web site, this blog, our monthly newsletter and twitter feed. We asked what people thought of of these tools and if they had any suggestions for improvement; and the second part of the survey asked questions about the use of common social media or Web 2.0 tools- which tools they use and which tools would they like us to start using.
Some Findings

  • The top two reasons for visiting our web site is to find information on knowledge mobilization and to learn about upcoming events
  • The majority of people who could rate the features on our web site were either satisfied or very satisfied with the features and no more than 5% of respondents found anything very unsatisfactory or unsatisfactory
  • The top three features people would like to see our on site are- Success Stories/examples of KM successes; a calendar of events (which we have added) and an Ask a Mobilizer feature, which could be a forum for questions to a KM researcher or practitioner
  • The majority of people (52.9%) were not aware that they could comment or ask a question on our blog postings and the majority of people (91.2%) have never left a comment on our blog. To leave us a comment, click on “Leave a Comment” at the top of this post
  • The majority of respondents (71%) were not on Twitter; 14.5 % were on Twitter but not following us; 8.7% were on Twitter and follow @researchimpact; and a final 5.8% did not know what Twitter was
  • Reading blogs and using Wikipedia, were the most common web 2.0 activities of our readers (40.6% read blogs on a monthly basis; and 54.5% used Wikipedia on a monthly basis).
  • The majority of people never used tools such as facebook (37.3%), Myspace (93.7%), flickr (62.9%), delicious (90.6%), ning (89.1%), friendfeed (93.8%) or Linkedin (60.7%). In addition, most people never wrote blogs (79%), commented on blogs (77.8%), read wikis other than Wikipedia (50.8%) or contributed to wikis other than Wikipedia (81.3%).
  • The top three picks for new tools to be added to the ResearchImpact web site were-Discussion forums; Collaboration tools such as document sharing, wiki; Connection tools such as database to find researchers, receptors, brokers, students
  • 80.7% of people said they use social media tools for both work and personal use

Web Site and Blog Story Suggestions
These are some of the suggestions we received and how we plan to answer your call:
1. Success stories/examples of KMb successes

  • In response to this request for more success stories and examples of KMb successes, we are currently working on adding more KMb stories to the KMb in Action section of our web site found at We anticipate adding three more stories to this section in May and then adding regular content here over the summer of 2010.

2. Calendar of events

3. Cross disciplinary examples

  • This is a topic we often address here on our blog. Two examples include our posts about  the research partnership between Stephen Gaetz, Faculty of Education, York University and Bernie Pauly, School of Nursing, University of Victoria (read it here) and the Aboriginal Policy Research Forum which brought together faculty members from four universities, as well as policy makers and citizens from across Canada (read it here).

4. International KMb stories and examples

  • We are planning to add a new regular series of posting to this blog called KMb World, which will feature stories and examples of KMb units and projects from across the world. We are currently in the process of soliciting stories and anticipate being able to share some of these stories in the coming months. If you know of someone undertaking key KMb work in other countries please let us know using the comment feature on this blog.

5. If I had a KMb wish… blog

  • This idea was suggested by one of the respondents and we plan to implement this in the near future.

6. Successful KMb strategies

  • We are developing a series of KMb tool kits which will cover a variety of KMb strategies that we use, such as how to develop research summaries, how to plan a KMb event, how to set up a social media strategy, etc. We plan to post this series of tool kits or “how-to’s” on the ResearchImpact web site in the coming months.

Over the last three years we have rolled out new web features at Congress. This year the theme of Congress is “Connected Understanding”. ResearchImpact will be rolling out some of these new features as we present at Congress 2010. Visit us if you’re in Montreal May 28-June 4!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey and please leave a comment if you have any more ideas or suggestions.