The Social Media Index was moved from BoringEM to ALiEM on the morning of Thursday, November 21st. The increased exposure for my previously obscure little prototype got it a lot of attention. By that afternoon Dr. Scott Weingart (@EMCrit) had weighed in with an audio response critical of the index and requested that EMCrit be removed. This set off a lively discussion on Twitter as a good chunk of the FOAM community got in on this important discussion.
This is why an index for FOAM will help learners, educators, and researchers:
This was partly in response to Dr. Weingart’s audio response:
Two Goals for the Social Media Index
As mentioned in my audio response, the two goals I had for the index were to start a conversation and to measure the impact of FOAM in a way that is useful for FOAM learners, educators, and researchers.
Goal 1: This was met during the Twitter conversation three days ago. If you missed it, Tessa Davis (@TessaRDavis) and Teresa Chan (@TChanMD) did a spectacular job of curating the discussion into some consensus points posted today: Lessons Learned from an Impromptu Twitter Consensus Conference on Blog Design.
Goal 2: Some members of the FOAM community argue that the second goal is either not worthwhile or not being met by the index. While I disagree, I do think there is room for improvement. In particular, I think Dr. Weingart’s criticism of the index for using ordinal variables was spot on. I took that feedback into account and revised the index as outlined today on the Social Media Index page.
I expect that in the coming days the FOAM community will continue to weigh in on this topic and we will come up with a standard way to respond to requests to “opt-out” of the index. We look forward to everyone’s responses as we continue to move FOAM forward.