As a Twitter novice, I spent some time poking around, looking for how health information made its way into the collective tweetciousness of society. I am really a foreigner trying to understand this new hashtag language and like any stranger in a strange land, I was overwhelmed and perplexed by all I did not understand. This idea of a public post that is directed @ certain people is still a bit of a mystery to me, but the public health implications of gathering an audience with specific interests was not lost.
I checked out certain organizations, physicians, educational entities and the like, but what I really wanted was place where everything was located in one spot. I was not sure if this was the purpose or a feature of Twitter (I ultimately learned it was not) but I was pleasantly surprised to find that a group had received special permission from Twitter to form The Healthcare Hashtag Project.
The Healthcare Hashtage Project describes itself:
The goal of the Healthcare Hashtag Project is to make the use of Twitter more accessible for providers and the healthcare community as a whole. By lowering the learning curve of Twitter with a database of relevant hashtags to follow, we hope to help new and existing users alike to find the conversations that are of interest and importance…read more
The community has over 1 billion tweets that can be found by hashtag, disease, or ontology. There are catalogs of chats and health conferences. You can view tweets by what is new, or by what is trending.
This site is great for those craving a little order in the Twittersphere and as explained so well on the site, and as if written for me personally:
Since I started using Twitter I’ve felt that so many of us who wish to meet other people interested in healthcare and who wish to participate in the many healthcare related conversations have been kept apart because of what should be a common language … hashtags.