When we were first planning NephJC we discussed the idea on twitter. One of the comments stuck with us. 

This was like bulletin board material to us. Taunts from athletic  rivals that serve to inspire rather than demean the competition. I'm sure Jacqueline did not intend to be anything but candid and honest, but it was a challenge that we wanted to pass.

Well last week we took a look at our track record.

We have running around 20 participants per session with just a few clunkers. Looking at the last 4 sessions one could be fooled into thinking we are gaining momentum. We'll see. Number of tweets in a 1 hour chat seems to float consistently around 250. Update, NephJC #13 had 25 participants, increasing our streak of improved participation to 5 sessions.

When we compared ourselves to some other nephrology events we initially were delighted. Joel Tweeted

After Topf published that tweet we thought about #NephPearls a hashtag popularized by Edgar Lerma and even considered looking it up but assumed that it couldn't be as popular as #NephJC. Of course Matt Sparks then tweeted their numbers:

So NephPearls has half as many tweets but a broader base of tweeters with nearly 100 more participants than #NephJC. We were both surprised because we really thought #NephPearls was a one man effort. Topf's retort.

But that opened the door to the obvious question of how does someone interpret these analytics? What does it mean that NephJC has more tweets than Kidney Week? Is it only because the hashtag has been a bi-weekly endeavor for 160 days rather than the 7 days of Renal Week? How critical to the success of NephPearls was Lerma? How much of the twitter traffic for @NephJC comes from the NephJC founders (@kidney_boy and @Hswapnil)? So I went to Symplur and cranked the numbers. I threw in two other popular and related hashtags, #Nephrology and #UroJC, for comparison. Here is what I found:

So NephJC is very prolific with the most tweets, but near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to number of participants. Digging a little deeper we mapped out the top 10 most prolific tweeters for each hashtag (bar chart) and what percentage of the total output that represented (pie chart).

We were really excited when we saw the number of tweets and the size of the audience but after looking a little deeper, NephJC looks like a pretty small group of people intensely tweeting. Of course this is only one metric judge the concept and we are proud of a lot of what NephJC has accomplished. We would like a broader audience going forward and part of that is getting more of the nephrology community to use twitter. We see the upcoming Kidney Week to be an excellent opportunity to broaden the pool.

Topf will be speaking on social media in a Special Session in room 201-C on Thursday at 10 AM. He will be joined by social media rockstars: Bryan Vartabedian, Margaret Chisolm, and Sarah E. Kucharski. The session will be moderated by Matthew Sparks and Kenar Jhaveri.

Both of us will be producing Saturday's NephJC live. An ancillary program at the Double Tree at 12:45. You will need to get some lunch, might as well hang with the NephJC crew, listen to and discuss some new nephrology data. We will be catering a meal. We will have speakers. We will be giving social media awards for the best Tweeting, the best Storify and the best blog post written for or about Kidney Week 2014.

More details are forthcoming.


Joel Topf and Swapnil Hiremath