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The Social MEDia Course: Microblogging in Medicine

From Twitter to Tumblr in Medicine

Bertalan Mesko, MD

on 3 October 2015

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Transcript of The Social MEDia Course: Microblogging in Medicine

Microblogging in Medicine
Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD
Medical Futurist
Brought to you by
Take home messages
Microblogging allows fast conversations
Know your goals, define target audience and share useful content consistently
Either it's Twitter, Friendfeed or Tumblr, this is just about a dynamic form of communication
Even if it is about fast, dynamic conversations, making new professional contacts and crowdsourcing information,
it does not substitute real life conversation.
Thank you for the attention!
Send suggestions
Take the test
See other courses
Social media (especially microblogging) is changing medical communication
Conan O'Brien didn't have healthcare coverage after leaving NBC
That time he sent a message to his followers on Twitter
He also attached this image
A doctor from the US replied to him via Twitter
It was fairly expected to see a new communication channel
rising in the early days of social media
Which is...
send short messages
happening now!
The concept of micro-messages is not so new
"The user writes a brief message on a continuous strip of paper and drops a coin in the slot. The inscription moves up behind a glass panel where it remains in public view for at least two hours."
Let's start tweeting
One of the best examples is Twitter.com
Twitter settings
The basics
How to post a message
(max. 140 characters)
How to post a public reply
How to post a private message
D NAME ...your message...
@NAME ...your message...
How to follow an account
New expressions
To tweet
: Sending a Twitter message
: Twitter users
: Apps and tools related to Twitter
Twitchat or tweetchat
: A scheduled group discussion on Twitter
: Users suggest following others by using the #ff hashtag
: Expressions used to tag messages with (e.g. #meded for medical education)
When you're registered, how can you find relevant topics?
Search for topics on twitter.com/search
Or search for hashtags
Trending topics are available on Twitter.com
Things most people are talking about right now
Alternative: Twitscoop.com
Let's find relevant Twitterers
Try to make contacts directly on Twitter by providing interesting and useful pieces of information, links and ideas
Find people by searching for your field of interest and relevant hashtags
If you find people who you want to follow, see who they are following
How to tweet a link, image or video?
Make URLs shorter with bit.ly, ow.ly and other services
Or simply just drag the link of the picture, video or website you want to share into your Twitter message box
Twitpic helps sharing pictures
Tweetdeck helps organize everything
Customized papers can be made by using Twitter hashtags or search queries
Age doesn't matter
Is Twitter a waste of time?
It can be:
But this is just a new form of communication
In many many cases, it is of course not a waste of time
It helps information spread
as it happens
Hospitals are using it more and more frequently
And it grows really fast
Medical examples
When the father moves away from the pregnant wife but doesn't want to lose connection, he designs a sensor that sends Twitter messages to him when "kickbee" gives a kick
Henry Ford Hospital (USA) performed live tweeting during operations
Diagnosis found through crowdsourcing on Twitter
Pharma can see who tweets about the drug they take and with what attitude
Finding clinical trials on Twitter
Patients tweet during medical procedures
And they use Twitter in emergency situations
What kind of medical accounts can you expect to see on Twitter?
Other microblogging platforms?
There are medical microblogs on Tumblr
In the Russian Silicon Valley
"Facebook is where you lie to people you know. Twitter is where you're honest to strangers."
Healthcare Hashtags
Twitter is also used in public health
Twitter Revealed Epidemic Two Weeks Before Health Officials [STUDY]
How Twitter Tracks the Spread of Disease in Real Time
Despite what people generally think
Microblogging has been used in medical communication for years
London, England
There are also services for this purpose
Any stakeholders from any areas
It's very simple to share or reshare posts, images and videos
The idea was born at a meeting of people working at a podcasting company called Odeo, Inc. in South Park, San Francisco.
Jack Dorsey: “I want to have a dispatch service that connects us on our phones using text.”
The first message in 2006
The first main page
5 reasons why I've been using Twitter

What do you do when you have a specific question, but do not know who might have the answer?

You spend time and efforts building a network and, build trust with the members of this network and then when you have a question, drop it into the network. My experience is that generally in a few minutes, I get my answer.

I used it once for crowdsourcing a diagnosis that generated an Al Jazeera interview and a New York Times report.
Let the community filter news for me

I have been building my Twitter network for years. When I check my Twitter stream and also a few hashtags such as #hcsm #meded or #hitsm, I know I will come across that day’s most important news probably relevant and interesting for me. I don’t have to scroll over all my favourite sites, just check the Twitter stream.
Share news

I post quite often about the news and articles related to social media and medicine. I help the community in this filtering process and try to find the best pieces of information for them. Otherwise, how could I expect them to do the same for me?
Get in touch

Getting in touch with people from around the world takes time when you have many contacts and friends. Moreover, I believe the easiest way nowadays to contact conference organizers or editors of medical journals and companies is Twitter, this is a fast, but still very personal channel.
Get feedback

I work on many projects so I need feedback. And as I know I have people in my network from a lot of areas with expertise and broad perspectives, I love getting feedback from them and fortunately I do get a lot.
How to tweet as a medical professional?
Communicate just like in real life
Write as your patients are reading your tweets
Comply with HIPAA
List your full name, short biography and contact information
Use a real picture (transparency is key)
No bad language! No alcohol and personal details!
500 million page views a day

15B+ page views month

Growing at 30% a month

Posts are about 50GB a day.

Follower list updates are about 2.7TB a day.
Tumblr Statistics
You can organize tweetchats
To initiate discussions and meet new people in your field of interest
By Andrew Spong
(see hand out)
How to cite a tweet in an academic paper?
By the Modern Language Association
Full transcript