Nikhil Gangaraju : sorry for the delayed response! I've known about data.gov for a while but haven't explored it much recently. It would be interesting to see mechanisms being developed to fold in social media and also combining data sets from other international development bodies. Do you know of any other ID bodies looking into opening their data?
@Lauren Kaplan: sorry for the late response! Absolutely there is concern about social stigma- so in the short term, I think for a model like this to be effective there would need to be buy-in from local clinics and hospitals. In the long term, educating people on how and why these diseases flourish will help in combating the stigma. I'd have to do more research, but perhaps there are lessons to be learned from how society adopted better hygiene practices or how eradication methods of other diseases like polio were moved forward.
Hi Lauren Kaplan , that's a really good point. One potential way would be to look at historical data and analyze seasonal patterns from previous years (for example, we know that flu tends to happen in the fall and winter) to gain a general picture of when and where keys words/phrases are being used.
Also, thanks for the article. I hadn't come across that piece of literature. I think social media will be a very effective tool moving forward and it's interesting to see that the research community is looking into how it can be used more effectively.