As an individual and a future public health professional I asked myself that question. I have for the longest time ignored twitting and wanted nothing to do with it, mostly because I just simply didn’t know how.

After reading Here Comes Everyone, Social Media for Social Good, and watching movie The Chief by Daniel Cohen, I was convinced otherwise and noted why twitting matters.

Here are my three reasons:

1) Fast communicationtwitter-720970_1280

The instant sharing of information through twitting makes this social media a robust one. Exchange of the information is fast and effective. It enhances communication through live sharing. You can share information with thousands of people through a few clicks and find many folks in the community. In a field of public health speed can be a very useful tool such as sharing information about an outbreak of a disease, or calling for a rally or a cause and updating followers with ongoing twits.

twitter1-2200x800[1]2) Branding

For many nonprofit organizations twitting can direct traffic to the website and re-tweeting can enhance visibility and help branding of the organization. It is a great phenomenon how karma works in the field of twitting, the nicer you are to other twitters and follow them and re-tweet them, the more likely they will return the favor. It almost feels like the more the merrier when it comes to twitter.

3) Collaboration and coordinationtwitter-unites-world[1]

This is one of my favorite reasons to tweet. As mentioned in chapter seven and eight of Here comes Everybody, you realize that twitter can bring together a collaboration. We know that many hands make much loader noise than one. So think of twitter as a platform that brings all hand clappers together! You have many people in even one community that share a common interest, yet they don’t know one another. For nonprofit and public health you can use this to you advantage. As an organization you might strongly feel about a policy, yet you need to get more people from the community involved. Though they might not feel as strongly as you do, using twitter you can capture their attention and have them join you in your cause. For them they don’t need to feel as strongly, yet you bringing them all together and coordinating an effort, will ultimately create a collaboration format that is strong.

After this blog, I am signing up for my twitter and am ready to step into this unknown yet powerful galaxy of twitter. Twitterproblems


3 thoughts on “#whytweet

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I liked how you linked the advantages of using Twitter with the benefits it can bring to public health professionals, outbreak response, and public health campaigns. I recently signed up in Twitter and can attest to the fast communication and branding that you explain in your post. Having a word limit has been challenging as I would like to describe a particular link in more detail to make the reading more attractive. On the other hand it is forcing me to write more concisely and use key words to catch the readers interest.

    Working with patients with chronic disease conditions and those enrolled in Wellness programs I think Twitter can also be used as a tool to obtain information and link patients to free community health services such as health fairs and free dental cleanings. The fast communication in Twitter can ensure patients are informed in a timely manner.

  2. I thought your blog focused well on your topic, tweeting for public health, and stayed relevant to the materials. Your focus was clear and I think the clarity of your design matched the content of the blog post well. I found the complementary ‘Twitter blue’ colors of the first few images were eye catching and I particularly liked alternating the left and right alignment of your images and text. I find these structural and design choices can make a big difference to me as a reader of blog posts, even though I don’t always remember them when I’m writing.

    Again, blogging the main points helped me as a reader and the points you chose to emphasis were relevant. In particular I think number 3 is really important in breaking down the professional silos that we can find ourselves in. One of the greatest powers for social media in the field is that ability to gather those ‘many hands’ to amplify messages. Until now smaller orgaizations haven’t been able to benefit from communications available to larger, more commercial interests.

    I really enjoyed this quote from Shirky’s book, that social media innovations mean “the highly motivated people can create a context more easily in which the barely motivated people can be effective without having to become activists themselves.”

    In terms of improvements, there were a few typos in the content so probably worth running it through a spell check to clear those up.

    A good and readable blog post Sarah. Thanks!

  3. Hi Sarah,

    I also did my post on Twitter with a very similar experience – I have never tweeted before. Perhaps, my reason was just like yours – simply didn’t know how. I might have another reason – didn’t think it would add much to my productivity. After going through this exercise, I have surely learned more about microblogging. However, I still have not developed the urge to sign up an account and start tweeting. Regardless of how I feel, I see why other people would use Twitter to disseminate their messages.

    I agree with all the points you have brought up in your post from fast communication to branding to collaboration. A very good post combining your personal experience and Twitter-centric figures.


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