Twitter is such a great medium to pull people in randomly, have a great conversation, and can lead to a lot of great collaboration online … and offline! It’s also just a fantastic way to discuss a topic with peers around the world.
I’ve taken part in several Twitter chats and am always blown away by the ability to make excellent professional and personal connections with people around the globe. The ease of gathering and sharing info and building a personal network around a topic is inviting and effective. I’ve learned more from resources shared on Twitter over the last several years than any other single source, so I believe strongly in the medium.
Twitter chats exist on hundreds of topics, so they all have their own unique feel. Chats are places where people go to feel connected, learn a thing or two, share their opinions, and feel like they belong. There’s not really a downside to popping into a chat every now and again, except that you may become addicted to quite a few throughout the month!
Meet My New Crush: #CureConnect Chat
#CureConnect chat is hosted by CURE Magazine and Oncology Nursing News. My good friends Lauren Green and Andrew Roth invited me to help them establish and moderate the chat. It’s the start of an exciting community for connecting and learning!
The goal of #CureConnect chat is to help advance social networking between oncology nurses, patients, caregivers, survivors, and advocates by providing a means to listen to one another, share combined knowledge, and create a repository of those conversations for anyone interested.
Why Do I Love This Chat?
First, patient voices are lifted up. I believe the biggest asset in #hcsm (healthcare social media) is the voice and empowerment that patients can get from social media that empower them offline. Caregivers are also given a stronger voice!
And nurses, the most trusted profession, have a chance to connect and curate evidence-based nursing practice and research! It’s a smart way for providers to connect and listen. The empathy, listening, and learning that providers of all disciplines are able to do online also translates offline.
As the #CureConnect chat community grows, I hope to see some “ah-ha” moments for participants:
- Patients finding another like-minded person to connect with or feeling empowered to question or drive their own care.
- Providers realizing that patients often have a different and valid perspective when approaching their care, and it’s worth not only listening but also asking questions of patients to learn.
- Representatives from healthcare organizations of all sizes learning how this all relates to the work that they’re trying to do.
You can accidentally participate in them. I’m constantly getting glimpses of various Twitter chats from those I know and follow who are participating in them.
People can easily come and go, choosing to take part or not without a long-term commitment. It’s a specific, tiny slice of time which occurs on a regular basis … weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Conversations are open and respectful. Although Twitter chats are structured around a few key questions, the chats themselves allow for the conversation to travel in several different directions and tangents almost simultaneously. You can be contributing to the main conversation, participating in a few deeper conversations with other individuals, and even chiming in on other side chats where necessary. The openness of Twitter also means that you interact with a diverse and dynamic array of perspectives on any given topic, with community builders from across the world.
It’s easy to get started. Participating in a twitter chat is easy—all you really need is access to the internet and a Twitter account. Twitter chats are quick, easy to jump in and out of, easy to connect with others on one topic or many, and everyone participates.
5 Quick Tips for Twitter Chats
Easy way to locate a healthcare Twitter chat? Check out our friends at Symplur.com who created the Healthcare Hashtag Project. You can find a great calendar of healthcare-related chats and conferences! And here’s a link to the transcript of the inaugural #CureConnect chat discussing some key takeaways from the recent ONS Annual Congress: https://t.co/LUZmoxTsPl.
Dive in and have fun. Don’t be overwhelmed by a fast-moving steam of tweets. Strike up a few conversations with others present and add them to your network. Share your thoughts by answering the questions posed. Your opinion is wanted and as valid as anyone else’s. We’re all here to learn from each other.
Make sure to introduce yourself! You’ll likely get a warm welcome if you let everyone know you’re new and checking it out. It’s always ok to lurk, but don’t be afraid to jump in and start talking!
Be prepared to multitask. All those conversations and side conversations can get hectic and hard to follow, so you need to be prepared for at least monitoring a few conversations in real time. Although at first it can seem daunting, with the proper prep, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Use a tool like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or tchat.io so you can see all of the tweets in one place and slow down the pace if you need to.
Make new connections! After the chat, take some time to review the chat transcript and engage with at least three new people by commenting on one of their posts and following them.
Join us for the next #CureConnect chat Tuesday, August 9 on Cancer and Work at 9 pm Eastern!
To join future #CureConnect chats, follow @OncNursingNews and @Cure_magazine.