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Posts tagged ‘twitter’

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

berci-quality2

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:

Microblogging and Webicina.com

I’m a real fan of Twitter, a microblogging platform where users can post messages containing only 140 characters. Discussions become fast and accurate while sharing information is easier than ever. That’s why we implemented a microblogging platform-like box into the main page so now I can share announcements and news about Webicina even more efficiently.

Everytime you click on the main page, a new message will show up automatically.

webicina-microblog

Soon, we are going to come up with a free tool for physicians and we also have a big surprise for patients. Stay tuned! In 2009, we must get to people and help them understand why they need guidance in the medical field of web 2.0.

Webicina.com is my service that aims to help medical professionals and patients enter the web 2.0 era by providing e-courses, consulting and personalized packages.

I also made the list of available e-courses public:

Medicine in Second Life: Patient support sites, meetings and medical simulations in the virtual world:

  • What is Second Life? (FREE preview)
  • Step 1: How to enter the virtual world?
  • Step 2: How to move, search and create landmarks?
  • Step 3: Medicine and health in the virtual world
  • Step 4: How to organize a meeting or presentation in Second Life?
  • Step 5: How can patients use Second Life?
  • Step 6: Which health groups to join?

Medical Blogs, channels for building an online image:

  • Inside the medical blogosphere (FREE preview)
  • Step 1: How to start a new blog?
  • Step 2: How to write a post and how to tag it?
  • Step 3: Design, widgets, pictures and more
  • Step 4: How to launch a blog carnival?
  • Step 5: How to provide quality content?
  • Step 6: The future of blogging?

How to follow journals and sites: RSS feed and trend trackers

  • How to keep yourself up-to-date? (FREE preview)
  • Step 1: How to keep yourself up-to-date??
  • Step 2: What is RSS about?
  • Step 3: Aggregators I.
  • Step 4: Aggregators II.
  • Step 5: Aggregators III.
  • Step 6: How to follow a medical journal?
  • Step 7: What to do when a site does not have RSS?

Further reading:

Twitter: Live Surgery, Sugarstats and 100 ways for hospitals

There are too many interesting news and posts focusing on the potential benefits of Twitter in healthcare so I thought I would share these with you in a compilation.

  • The first live-tweeted surgery (Global Neighbourhoods): Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit performed the first live-tweeted surgery. Can you imagine how useful it can be in the future in medical education? (And the monitor on the image proves only Tweetdeck could make it possible.)

twitter-surgery

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford Health Services

sugarstats

Twitter users now carry on conversations (called “tweets”) with each other, share information learned at conferences and CME events, and query peers about professional concerns. Physician bloggers Ves Dimov, M.D., of Clinical Cases and Images (http://clinicalcases.blogspot.com/) and Kevin Pho, M.D., of Kevin, M.D. (www.kevinmd.com) use Twitter to communicate information rapidly without writing a traditional blog post. Others use Twitter to rapidly share information gathered at conferences that colleagues are unable to attend.

To sum it up, Twitter is extremely useful these days and it will be even more popular in the future. When we are talking about online reputation, we will not refer to blogs, but Twitter accounts. Join the discussions there.

Update: As Bob Coffield pointed out on Twitter, it wasn’t the first live surgery “broadcasted” via Twitter.

Twitter and Medical Education: Slideshow

Dr. Shock posted a more than interesting slideshow about the educational implications of Twitter created by Befitt who has already published other similar slideshows.

Further reading:

If you’re new to Twitter

A few days ago, I was happy to discover Jay Parkinson, the co-founder of Hello Health, on Twitter and I thought I should help Twitter users who are new to Twitter but would like to join all those interesting health discussions.

1. Find a reason to use Twitter

2. Check what you have to know about Twitter

3. Find valuable people to follow:

4. Make sure the people you follow are really valubale twitterers

5. Track your charts and work on to become a must-follow twitterer

6. Don’t miss a post at Twitip.com

7. Filter discussions by following numerous users but reading only the best discussions

8. Come up with ideas about how to implement Twitter into everyday’s healthcare or health management

9. Share your tips with us!

10 Tips: How to filter discussions on Twitter?

I follow more than 570 users on Twitter that leads to more than 100 new tweets an hour and I don’t have hours a day to check all the messages. Co-bloggers frequently ask me how I can follow all of them efficiently. Well, I have a few tips on this and feel free to share yours with us:

  • Tweetdeck: The best tool to organize your tweets. I created a Health 2.0 group to filter the tweets of the users who are writing about medicine or health 2.0.

tweetdeck

  • Twitter Search:  I always do a search for a few keywords to find new people twitting about my field of interest.

twitter-search

  • Twilert.com: It works like Google Alerts which means it lets you receive regular e-mail updates of tweets containing your keywords.

twilert

  • Filter by replies: It’s easy to discover ongoing discussions as people reply to each other so sometimes it’s enough to follow the buzz. Omnee helps you with it:

omnee1

  • Tweetree: It puts your Twitter stream in a tree so you can see the posts people are replying to in context.

tweetree

  • Tweetscan: You can get updates via e-mail, RSS and scan up to five phrases for daily or weekly delivery.

tweetscan1

  • Twitscoop: Insert a twitter username or keywords in the search box to track a conversation, topic or conference.

twitscoop

  • Power Twitter: A Firefox Add-on that integrates search, images and videos into you stream.

power-twitter

  • Friendfeed daily best: I subscribed to many of my Twitter followers on Friendfeed as well. So the Friendfeed daily best feature helps me filter the most valuable discussions.

ff-daily-best

  • FFholic.com: A collection of the most discussed, commented, liked, etc. Friendfeed messages.

ffholic

What are your tips?

Further reading:

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