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Posts tagged ‘twitter’

How to start on Twitter: A Nephrologist’s Perfect Tutorial!

Twitter is my favorite tool serving as a channel between my mind and the minds of several thousands of like-minded people every day. It takes time to learn how to use it properly but it is absolutely worth the effort.

Now, Joel Topf, nephrologists created a fantastic tutorial about how and where to start! Don’t miss it!

ScreenShot

Social Media in Clinical Practice: The Handbook

Springer published my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, almost a year ago and since then, I have received an amazing number of photos about people holding the book, social media posts and e-mails from readers who found my handbook to be very helpful in their professional lives. While the content is fortunately still up-to-date, it seems the turn-around time for a new book is about one year as lately, the number of messages has dramatically increased.

Medical professionals worldwide shared their insights, experience and suggestions about using social media resources in medicine using my book’s examples. Therefore, I’d like to ask anyone who likes to discuss such topics to use the #hcsm hashtag on Twitter or contact me directly, I’m always happy to initiate new discussions.

Here you can check out the detailed descriptions of all the chapters.

Dr Mesko_Social Media in Clinical Practice Cover

How I Completely Re-Wired My Digital Life: 16 Tips

I’ve been massively active online for at least 10 years therefore I have built networks focusing on my favorite topics leading to a point where I invest my time into human intelligence instead of checking hundreds of article titles every day. Although, as others, I often face the problem of being efficient time-wise online as receiving thousands of social media messages a day makes it a real challenge.

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Now I share with you the experience I’ve had in the last 6 months as during that time I have completely re-wired how I use the internet for professional purposes and how I manage my digital life.

Dealing with e-mails: I have to deal with about 200 e-mails a day, the majority of them requiring action from me. I tag e-mails massively in Google Mail and have been teaching Gmail how to categorize my e-mails automatically (important ones, promotions, social media related e-mails, etc.). While some of my colleagues quit using e-mail, I think this is still my information HQ and the official communication channel to me. But I don’t start the morning any more by checking e-mails. Instead, I start the day with reading a chapter in a book. It gives me a great start, plus as my brain is the most active in the early hours, I can learn a lot. After that, I deal with e-mails at specific time periods, otherwise I couldn’t focus properly.

Facebook: I use Facebook for professional purposes and before this time, Facebook was proven to be absolutely useless. But I changed my strategy and unfollowed (hiding their posts from my stream) cc. 1400 out of my 1600 followers. At the same time, I started following about 100 pages focusing on social media and the future of medicine. It means now my Facebook stream is almost free of noise but full of useful information.

Google+: The main streams of my Google+ network are very much hectic, but the communities of Google+ focusing on my areas such as the future, medicine and social media are priceless. Those are the most curated information streams I check every day.

Twitter: This is my key and fastest communication channel. In my experience, people using Twitter can be approached much easier through their Twitter account than via e-mail. As Twitter messages should only contain real information (no garnish), I can respond in seconds. I use Tweetdeck for organizing my streams and get the most important filtered news out of my focused groups easily. Symplur helped me organize topics with new hashtags such as #medicalfuture or #HCSMcourse.

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

Linkedin: This is my most professional channel. I’ve been working on improving my profile there for years which resulted in an “All-Star” profile as ranked by LinkedIn. I paid for the premium service showing me those who check my profile and might be potential clients. It also puts my profile high up in search results. It is connected to my blog automatically.

Blogging: This is one of the activities I enjoy the most even after 7 years (have written over 5000 blog entries). To be honest, I still use bookmarks for storing the topics I would like to write about and dedicate at least 5 hours a week to blogging. Whatever project I come up with, I can reach thousands of very relevant people with only one blog entry. My blog is a golden mine for me.

The Ultimate Online Resource: I thought I had so many online channels I needed a professional website serving as an umbrella above all those channels. Medicalfuturist.com now shows all my active channels featuring Scienceroll.com and Twitter.com/Berci; and the Medical Futurist Newsletter let me build a network of people interested in the future of medicine. This is now my digital public HQ.

Organizing short- and long-term tasks: One of the toughest challenges I face is organizing the many tasks, projects and jobs I have. The reason why is that although I have thousands of meetings a year and travel a lot, I don’t work in an office and don’t have access to an intellectually rich community in my everyday life. Therefore I have to create this ambiance around me. I use a Google Document with color codes and different sections showing me the tasks of today, of tomorrow, of this week and of this month. Every 4 weeks, I sit down and analyze the long-term goals (months-years) and assign new tasks to my everyday life. This is crucial in order to put effort into things that really matter. This system now makes sure I keep being motivated without artificial or external inputs.

Just before deadline

Bookmarks: When you save tens of thousands of links, a traditional bookmark is not enough any more. The links I might need later are saved and categorized by bit.ly (as I shorten almost all the links I share). By creating bundles, it lets me organize these links in a convenient way.

Web browser: About 2 years ago, I switched from Firefox to Google Chrome and I have no idea why I didn’t start using it earlier. All the devices I use (PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone) have Chrome and it automatically synchronizes my settings, bookmarks and browser history. It makes my life easier.

Automatic updates: There are pieces of information I need to collect through non-structured channels such as search engines. As I don’t have to go back and search for the same things again and again, I use Google Alerts for getting updates about certain topics; and use Pubmed.com‘s Save Search function to get peer-reviewed papers automatically focusing on my areas.

Feedly: While some people think RSS is so web 2.0-ish, I couldn’t live without it as my information resources would be hectic while I need a very much structured way of following resources. Feedly lets me organize websites into categories and now I follow 430 resources easily.

Improving cognitive skills: I’m a huge fan of life-long learning as I believe improving my cognitive skills should be a priority at any point in my life. When I came across Lumosity, I knew I found what I’d been looking for. I’ve been using it for 5 months and I can feel how better I’m at different tasks that require good memory, speed, flexibility or other skills. It only takes 5 minutes a day. When I have to wait somewhere, I grab my phone and use Dr. Newton, a game for improving cognitive skills therefore I always try to do something useful for my brain.

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Focus: Dealing with hundreds of messages and thousands of pieces of information is one thing, but the projects I work on require real focus. In order to make it easier for myself, I use time frames for different tasks (such as checking e-mails or using Twitter) every day and keep other timeframes free for tasks that require real focus. Focus@Will has been proven to facilitate this for me.

Learning new things: No matter, how limited my free time is, I must constantly try to learn new things. As I have wanted to learn to speak Spanish for years, I decided to download Duolingo and follow its instructions as it teaches languages in a gamified and interesting way. I love it.

Physical activities: I cannot work efficiently without living a healthly life and being physically active. I use the wearable Shine to make sure I exercise enough every single day and do include the exercises I have to do every day in my Google Document. I realized I really accomplish things and tasks that are in my time-management Google Document and adding the details of doing physical activities as such tasks to that as well turned out to be a great solution for motivating myself.

I hope this experience of over 6 months will help you be more efficient and successful in your personal and digital lives as well!

Social Media in Clinical Practice: Chapter 7, The Role of Twitter and Microblogging in Medicine

When I realized Springer made the individual chapters of my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, available, I thought it would be useful for future readers to get some insights about each chapter one by one.

Here is the short summary of what you can read about and an excerpt of the seventh chapter, The Role of Twitter and Microblogging in Medicine:

As social media became widely popular through blogging and community sites, there was a clear need for a communication channel or platform that is fast, interactive and archived. The concept of using such a communication platform was new as it was introduced in a train station in London, UK in 1935. The user wrote a brief message on a continuous strip of paper and dropped a coin in the slot. The inscription moved up behind a glass panel where it remained in public view for at least 2 h. The concept of microblogging is similar.

Topics covered:

  • Features that make a quality account
  • Communication on Twitter
  • Organizing Tweetchats
  • The First Steps After Creating an Account
  • Practical Details of Using Twitter
  • Potential Uses of Twitter in Medicine and Healthcare
  • Examples of the different types of Twitter accounts
  • Other Microblogging Platforms

978-1-4471-4305-5

Chapters that have already been covered:

Being Productive Online: Time-Management Lifehacks

Recently, Ves Dimov at Clinical Cases and Images has come up with a great post on How to deal with the information overload from blogs, RSS and Twitter so I thought I would share my thoughts with you about time-management lifehacks.

The main concept is to centralize the flow of information into one or two sites. For me, these are GMail and Google Reader. It means I can control anything I’m interested in by visiting these places online.

How to keep up with Twitter?

I follow more than 1000 users and have more than 1500 followers, so I receive thousands of tweets every day. Here are a few things that save me time and effort.

  • I use Tweetdeck and created several groups on Tweetdeck that let me filter useful information (e.g. Health 2.0, genetics, bloggers groups, etc.).

tweetdeck

  • I check Friendfeed Best of the day because it will filter the best discussions for me (though not all of my Twitter contacts are on Friendfeed).

ff-best

  • Microplaza automatically filters the most interesting discussions and links mentioned in my Twitter community. I get the updates through RSS so it’s quite easy to see what I miss when I’m not online.

microplaza

How to follow the content you want to track?

  • Google Alerts helps me track the content that is published about me, my blog or my service online.

alerts

  • Twilerts and Tweetbeep do the same but via Twitter. Whenever a Twitterer mentions my name, blogs, favourite search terms, I will be notified via e-mail.

tweetbeep

How to write posts fast on your blog?

I often use the Quickpress function on WordPress that lets me write a post from the admin dashboard in just seconds. I always have  a huge backlog on Scienceroll so I created clearly defined directories in Firefox bookmarks and tag all the links I save there. It helps me organize the thousands of bookmarks I have and I always get a clear picture of what I should write about.

quickpress

As I’m working on different computers, Foxmarks synchronizes my bookmarks automatically.

foxmarks

How to work on Wikipedia?

As an administrator, I have some duties, so I built a long watchlist to keep track of the changes in the entries I’m interested in. I also use Huggle to fight vandalism. With Huggle, reverting hundreds of vandalisms and notify vandals on their talk pages take only minutes and a few clicks.

How to use RSS?

I created categories based on priorities in Google Reader. I always know which category of feeds to check depending on how much time I have and whether I’m looking for blog topics or just interesting pieces of information.

google-reader-categories

I also receive the updates of my favourite Youtube channels, Pubmed search terms and Del.icio.us tags.

And you may also find the slideshow from Joshua Schwimmer interesting

If you have more tips on how to be productive online, please let me know.

Quality of Medical Information Online: A Twitter Discussion

I had a nice discussion today with a few Twitterers including Jay Parkinson about the quality of online medical information. It started when I mentioned many great medical blogs are not accredited by HONcode, the Health On The Net Foundation, which is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve online health information quality. I try to summerize the keypoints of the discussion.

Pros:

healthdirectory

berci-quality

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abelphramboy

Trisha

Cons:

chilmark

dmitriy

jayparkinson

bydls

Then I found a publication, Indicators of Accuracy of Consumer Health Information on the Internet that states:

One hundred Web pages were identified and characterized as “more accurate” or “less accurate.” Three indicators correlated with accuracy: displaying the HONcode logo, having an organization domain, and displaying a copyright. Many proposed indicators taken from published guidelines did not correlate with accuracy (e.g., the author being identified and the author having medical credentials) or inaccuracy (e.g., lack of currency and advertising).

I believe patients seeking medical information online need guidance. Regarding tech blogs or art blogs, it doesn’t really matter who determines quality. But in the medical blogosphere, I think it’s crucial to have a neutral third party that works to assure quality and try to help patients how to find reliable content. So the conclusion is I’ll keep on promoting HONcode and will try to get all of my medical sites accredited (Scienceroll and Webicina are both accredited).

Further reading:

Twitter And Health 2.0: A Visual Story

The VizEdu team did an excellent job when they tried to visualize the connection between medicine and twitter. And they included my profile in the special slideshow which I really appreciate. Check this flash/show out. They’re also open to new suggestions so feel free to add new thoughts to the presentation.

twitter-health2-vizedu

Further reading:

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