Ever go shopping and see something and think "I have no idea what I'd do with that, but I have to have it?" It happens to me all the time, and almost always in one of two areas: food and tech. Take for instance this Star Trek USS Enterprise pizza cutter- I have to have it! I'm nothing if not predictable. This week, I was blown away when I learned about what the folks at Expert Labs have come up with. They are calling it ThinkUp. In their words:

ThinkUp is a free installable web application that captures the insights and expertise of your social network by collecting and organizing replies to your conversations on Twitter, Facebook and (soon!) other networks.

I grabbed a copy of the code and installed ThinkUp on my hosted webserver - in fact, you can see it here. Like a left handed garlic peeler that doubles as a beer opener you pick up in the check out line, ThinkUp is one of those things that is both immediately full of possibility and confusion at the same time. ThinkUp connects to your twitter account(s), and Facebook account and begins backing up your conversations. Via a sleek web interface, it presents all kinds of data and analtics back to you. ThinkUp shows:

  • Your most replied-to posts
  • a breakdown of clients
  • your most re-tweeted posts
  • Threaded conversations that you have had
  • Links the people you are following have tweeted
  • photos from the people you are following

And much more. Like I said, I've just begun to scratch the surface.

What makes this Healthcare and HCSM related? Nothing special other than it is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Providers should consider installing ThinkUp for two reasons: Firstly it backs up your twitter stream. There are plenty of other great ways to do that, including Backupify, although TweetUp lets you own that data on your own server. Secondly, it helps you produce some dynamite metrics easily - replies, retweets, popular tweets, etc. It makes showing the effectiveness of your posts quite easy.

There are some not so obvious examples as well. For instance, ThinkUp shows your percentage of "conversationalist" vs "broadcaster". Maybe it is time to stop telling and start listening...and responding.

ThinkUp helps you track your conversations and replies. When you ask a question, particularly if you have an engaged set of followers, you often get answers in an asynchronous timeline. That is to say, replies may trickle in over time. ThinkUp remembers your query and presents all the replies in an easy to digest view.

Your experience with the setup process will depend on your comfort level of installing web applications. If you have ever set up a WordPress site on a hosting account, you'll have no problem. If the idea of installing software on a web server sounds daunting, then you may want to wait for hosted ThinkUp providers to pop-up - and that is sure to happen.

If you want to see the user's public dashboard, feel free to check out my install. Or, grab the code and get your HCSM nerd on!