Micro-Blogging for Health: From Diabetes to Exploring the World of Twitter

Before July 26, 2015, I had never spent more than 5 minutes on any micro-blogging sites, thinking I had better ways to obtain the same information from official sites and could also ensure the accuracy of the information. My view on micro-blogging has been proven somewhat inaccurate or incomplete after spending a few hours reading through a few professional diabetes organizations/associations’ micro-blogs on Twitter.

Diabetes is the field in which I have chosen to devote my career, so I slowly receive more and more emails from diabetes professional associations. Thanks to the email messages that I have received so far, I have been able to keep up (somewhat…a little) with what the new drugs are, what new research projects are being done, who the cool people are in the field…

The three diabetes professional associations I have checked out on Twitter were:

  • American Diabetes Association (ADA)
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist (AACE)
  • American Association of Diabetes Educator (AADE)

American Diabetes Association (ADA)

Normally, I would search Amazon.com if I wanted to buy books. Surprisingly, one of the fans of the ADA Twitter page tweeted to introduce a very useful book Annual Review of Diabetes 2015 – The Best of the American Diabetes Association’s Scholarly Journals. I have always wanted to have a book like this one, collecting the best journal articles published in the past year. This book will definitely help me in doing literature search for my future research projects. With that thought in mind, I placed an order on Amazon.com for this book as soon as I saw the posting.

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Tweets on books are just the tip of the iceberg. I also learned from one of the tweets that there has been ongoing research to investigate a “smart” insulin patch where insulin would be released from the patch if sugar levels in patient’s body were high. While I do not completely understand the technology and the mechanism behind this product, I am pleased to know that this “smart” insulin patch will one day be available to many diabetic patients to choose from as one of their treatment options.

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American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist (AACE)

Although there are very few recent updates/tweets on this twitter page, this page does contain some useful information. For example, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology (ACC/AHA) jointly published the latest lipid and obesity guidelines, and these guidelines touched on the process of care for diabetic patients in terms of lipid management. I have used this lipid guideline in practice as soon as it came out, and this guideline was endorsed by ADA. On the other hand, AACE rejects these heart groups’ guidelines.

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American Association of Diabetes Educator (AADE)

There are not that many posts on this Twitter page. However, two statewide chapters are very obvious; accounts are posted on top of the page: Arizona AADE and American Diabetes AL. This shows me a sense of helping each other out and a sense of community – American Diabetes AL is not a chapter in AADE; it is under ADA. Ultimately, we are doing everything we can to help patients to live healthier and happier.

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Although this experience did not convince me to get an account on micro-blogging social media/networking, this experience did show me to keep an open mind or keep reminding myself to have an open mind. After all, I have chosen to devote my career in helping patients with diabetes, which means I have to be a resourceful person so that I can share all the resources, new discoveries, new drugs, etc. with whom I serve. Heather Mansfield sums up perfectly in her book A How-to Guide for Nonprofits Social Media for Social Good, “Twitter is both more complicated and more fascinating that it appears; it is a community in which success is earned and rarely guaranteed” (Mansfield, 2012).


  • Mansfield, H. (2012). Social Media for Social Good. A How-To Guide For Nonprofits. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.

5 thoughts on “Micro-Blogging for Health: From Diabetes to Exploring the World of Twitter

  1. Hi Clipper,

    Your post was very informative. I really thought you did a great job discussion the subject of Diabetes on Twitter. I learned a lot from reading it. One suggestion I have for you to improve your posts in the future might be to use less busy pictures. Although really interesting, it was hard to read the words on the images. I have been culpable of the same issue, but in general, I think it’s good to keep images readable. Great post.

  2. Hi Clipper,
    Thanks for sharing the groups you discovered in Twitter and this great information. I work with Diabetes patients on a daily basis and see different types of treatment therapies. Our clinical team is following AACE guidelines and sometimes patients get confused when we mention guidelines because they also have ADA guidelines. In this information provided I think following this groups can help health practitioners and public health
    professionals stay up to date with changing guidelines and find information on differences. For your blog I would just recommend adding a featured image to make your blog more attractive. Thanks!

  3. Hi Clipper,
    Great information about diabetes and micro-blogging. I am also new in micro-blooging and using Twitter. However, lately I have been hooked by Twitter. I like that platform a lot and very glad that it has many health sites that can be used to obtain health information. Diabetes is certainly an excellent topic to chose since it affects millions of lives. I am wondering if you ever check whether this information is also available in other micro-blogging sites. It will be useful to compare. It is a great and informative posts, thank you.

  4. Hi Clipper,
    Very informative post around your chosen topic. I think the personal experience angle you took for the writing worked well and would encourage others who were not experienced in Twitter to maybe explore it a little more.
    In terms of layout, I found the images you chose, I felt the first two images, displaying a single Tweet worked best and helped illustrate your message. The last two images which were more complicated made me skip over them because they seemed busy. Just something to think about for possible future posts.
    I would agree with the previous comment that some sort of eye-catching feature image would help draw passing readers to the content of your post.
    Good job overall.

  5. Hi Clipper,

    First I would like to say how I much appreciated the content of your blog. The sites you shared were very informative and definitely had me check them out. As a type 1 diabetic I was very intrigued by the ADA twitters, and must admit as result of reading your blog, I am now a follower of ADA!!!
    One thing that resonated with me was how micro-blogging can be so much more effective and informative compare to email blasts. As a consumer I experience the benefits of getting engage in this social media format, and now am convinced that I need to get more comfortable to use micro-blogging in the field of public health and using it as a tool to connect with followers.

    In addition to the content, I found your blog title catchy and appropriate. The length of your blog was perfect, to the point, yet personalized.
    One thing I would think could make your blog even stronger is photos. For instance, I would have liked to see the avatar of the sites you recommended rather than the snapshot of their twit page. Besides that, excellent informative post.

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