Last week we wrote about the importance of creating a 360-degree view FOR customers of their information. The American Institute of Physics' UniPHY portal does that and more. If you are a professional physicist, one of the things you care about the most is your professional reputation as exemplified by the seminal research you have published. AIP provides each published author (their customers) with a view of all their published papers. But UniPHY doesn’t stop there; AIP's published authors can not only see their articles, they can see all their co-authors' articles, and all the other experts who have published on similar topics.
Further, API has taken a unique approach to social networking—one that seems well-suited to the behaviors and interests of their constituents: physicists, materials scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, and others engaged in the physical sciences. AIP has taken an existing implicit social network—people who collaborate and publish research together—and made it explicit.
There are a number of lessons to be learned from AIP’s experience launching and nurturing UniPHY:
• It pays to invest in creating a rigorous taxonomy.
• People care about people. People find each other much more fascinating than “things.”
• If people already have public personas and profiles, pulling that information together and presenting it in an easy-to-use manner is not likely to alienate them.
• Don’t underestimate customers’ pride of authorship and ownership.
• If you are in the publishing business, looking for new business models, consider offering free value-added services on top of your paid content.
• Be clear about which customer scenarios you’re designing for. If you design around customers’ critical activities, you are much more likely to be able to attract and grow a vibrant customer-centric ecosystem that will increase the value of your business!
AIP UniPHY: Creating a Professional Social Network
How the American Institute of Physics Is Creating Value Add for Its Members
By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO and Sr. Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, March 4, 2010