So this week, as we dive into twitter, I’m challenged. I’m a talker, and I like big words…how does one possibility fit everything they need to say in 140 characters?!? EEK. I’ve had a twitter account for years, because that was just thing to do. However, I wasn’t very active on it. I was doubtful of the benefits of twitter. How could 140 characters impact health communications?
HOLY CANOLI, BATMAN! Was I sure wrong!
I started following the American Heart Association’s twitter feed, and I noticed two things:
1. They re-tweeted TEDMED quite a bit.
2. I kept noticing #greatchallaneges
So, curiosity got the best me and I started snooping around the internet…what are these #greatchallenges they speak of?? Then, ladies and gentlemen, I found this
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!
Here is the use of social media at its finest. This is a perfect example of how the use of hashtags spreads information, and creates excitement around a topic. TEDMED is focusing of 20 great challenges to “our health and medicine”. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the level on engagement being offered through this website. They use google hangouts for live interactions, twitter, facebook, blogging, recorded ted talks, and live events (and re-casts of those events) to reach out to folks of all different avenues. What I find so groovy about this hashtag business is the ability for the message to spread, like wildfire! With twitter, its so fulfilling to see how a message is amplified and shared. This creates social awareness, and gets people thinking and talking about various topics. The one nearest and dearest to my heart is the prevention of childhood obesity. #spreadingthemessage #awesome #fightingobesity
Finding this website, and seeing the creation of these type of network, makes me excited enough to dance on top of a table. In this week’s reading from Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, I was struck by the following sentence: “Collective action is harder to stop. Groups can exert a different kind of force… (this) creates a shared awareness needed to create public action”. When people converge together over a shared interest, the force is indeed powerful. Seeing the TEDMED group come together to fight childhood obesity, gives me hope. Considering what we are up against, we will need a force similar to that used to tear down the berlin wall, if we want to end childhood obesity.
For more information: TEDMED