I posted the following comment on twitter:

Is 1,020 people on TRIP the beginning of a useful social network? If so, how to proceed. If not, how big before a crtical mass?

To give some context the 1,020 people refer to those people who have signed up to My-TRIP. I also think using the term social network was wrong, too many associations.

That aside, I had three responses:

@markhawker: Depends what “links” you want to be made? i.e. what connects the nodes?

@CharlieNeck: we shall be the fellowship of the trip

@amcunningham: I think 100 early adopters of new trip may be useful people to know. What are your plans?

My initial post was just me thinking aloud. We’ve got > 2,100 people signed up, all with country identification, all saying what their clinical interests are and also what their profession is. As I see these accounts being set-up (I get an e-mail of each one) I just see lots of connections e.g. country connections, professional connections, speciality connections.

Can these connections be put to good use? Currently, these connections do not formally exist. No-one has requested that TRIP make the connections.

My own view is that users of TRIP are looking for information. If they cannot find the information can they ‘reach out’ via connections to try and obtain this information. Someone with a cardiology question could make a request for information to people with an interest in cardiology. Someone needs a geographically specific question e.g. what’s the best hospital for CABGs might ask cardiology interests in a particular country.

Is the above ambitious, not ambitious?

Might it be useful to offer:

  • People ‘like you’ are currently looking at these articles
  • People ‘like you’ who searched for asthma looked at these articles

I’m not convinced by the ‘like you’ notion or the usefulness of seeing what others are looking at.

I think this post demonstrates the very early stage of thinking on the matter. It might also highlight a lack of ambition. Either way, feel free to help give me a guiding hand!