In amongst the medical blogs that I’ve been following are a fair smattering of posts about the whole process of social media and the participation of medical professionals, and particularly physicians.
I have had enough people around me over the last 10 years or so trying to convince me of the negative aspects of the internet in general, and more recently social media specifically. From ‘a waste of time’ to ‘the work of the Devil’ and pretty much everything in between (with the exception, perhaps of internet shopping). On the other hand I’m inherently drawn to the potential of all this. There’s no doubt that a phenomenal amount of information is reaching the internet every minute. Some of this will be new and some rehashed. As far as health and healthcare is concerned some of it will be good information but a lot of it will be less good. Nevertheless, as this post outlines, there is no doubt that all of this information is having an increasing influence on the world of medicine. With all of that in mind David Harlow’s reference to the bank robber Willie Sutton is compelling – if still needing to be tempered with some sound advice as to how we might stay out of court!!
So the divergence of articles on medical participation is of great interest for someone like me who has clearly decided to dip a toe in, although I have to say does not really provide a great deal of solid reassurance that this is all a good idea!
This post is a starting point for those of you that might be interested in delving a little deeper into what this is all about. Those of you following my Tweets will see that I have posted all of these links but this is a fuller description.
For starters, I admit to only really even beginning to understand what social media actually is over the last few weeks so the insights of @Doctor_V on how we might interact with all of this was of great value ( http://33charts.com/2012/01/ladder-of-social-engagement.html ). If you have the time or inclination then dipping into the more detailed description of social technographics on which this is based will be of interest.
From there on it is a mixture of exhortations that we should all of us, yes all of us, start a blog in 2012, salutary tales from those whose fingers have been burned mixed with some healthy skepticism about where all this is leading and whether it will do any good.
If you are not put off after all of that then here is some practical advice about how to get on.
So TheLastGeneralCardiologist has taken the plunge – what will you do?