What is an internet geologist? (About me)

I was at a cocktail party, struggling to describe in just a few sentences what I do for a living, when my friend Paul Tarini broke in and said, “You’re an internet geologist. You study the rocks, you don’t judge them.” Exactly. I study patterns in the online landscape and provide data so people can make better decisions.

In practice, I am a health and technology storyteller and trend spotter. My research has been cited in business plans, grant proposals, and publications from JAMA to the Wall Street Journal since the year 2000. And I contribute to debates around the world about how data, social media, and technology can be used to support health. My work is enriched by the people I affectionately call the health geek tribe. I can’t imagine doing the work I do without the help of my community. So thanks for being here!

Here’s where I publish and hang out online:

PewInternet.org

E-patients.net

Twitter

Storify

If you have questions, please leave a comment or send me an email (susannahrfox at gmail dot com).

Please note: I’m happy to hear from people who have questions, ideas, stories, business plans, etc., but I rarely have time to engage in these wonderful “over the transom” inquiries, especially for free. When I do, I post my thoughts as a public Q&A. Check out those posts — and please join in the conversation!

If you are looking for a formal bio and head shot, here’s my Pew Research page.

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All the posts and pages on this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

11 thoughts on “What is an internet geologist? (About me)

  1. Perfect.

    I didn’t know Paul Tarini was the source of that phrase – thanks for sharing it!

    And, may I say, mazel tov.

    • Thanks, Dave! Yep, the site is live in beta (still need to add a few features) and one thing I’m very happy to share is the origin of the phrase I now use daily, thanks to Paul.

  2. Hey, how fabulous that I bumped into Ted Eytan’s tweet about your new blog — yay! Love the backstory for the “internet geologist” title. I am always struggling to explain to people concisely what I do — perhaps I should ask Paul Tarini to give me a moniker :)

    • You should ask him! Or Ted Eytan, who coined “community colleague.” Sometimes friends see us more clearly than we see ourselves.

  3. I was wondering how to explain all of what you do to the readers of my today’s post on rare diseases (Social media: best ally of patients with rare disease) as I quote you and Peer-to-Peer Health. Then, I decided to put a link to this post. Thank you Susannah for all the fine data you produce!

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