Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

Dear Healthcare friends, hospitals and other parties interested in health:

Blogging is dead.

What that means is: blogging is dead as a topic of conversation in tech circles. It’s a good thing that blogging is dead: it means you’ve got a trusted canvas to do your work.

I know so many bright people in Healthcare – but most just tweet. It’s as if they spend all their day on Twitter. But what comes of it? A few speaking gigs? A few mentions in trade magazines? A few moments in false fame? There is no Brad Pitt in healthcare social media.

But if you truly care about Healthcare, if you truly believe in social media as many of you say, then why wouldn’t you take a few minutes out of your day and share your thoughts?

You’re wasting your talent if all you’re doing is tweeting those thoughts, those links, looking for the next thing to retweet.

It blows my mind – absolutely blows my mind – that *most* Healthcare communications and marketing agencies rarely blog. You do all that content work, do all that learning from clients – and you can’t find time to share your wisdom without compromising your competitive edge??

Do you realize how bad that looks? – advising clients on digital media and you yourself don’t have the logistical chutzpah to do so yourself? How good is that for your industry?

If your response is: “But I don’t have time – my client work-load is too big”. Well, then – for your clients’ sake and your own health – you need a better workflow ethic and process.

I’m not going to write a lot here. I’ve got a stomach virus and don’t feel like investing too many words convincing too few people to blog.

But I’d recommend you read and heed what @msuster wrote about blogging. Just apply it to healthcare.

Don’t give in to Twitter. I’m WAYYYYY crazier about Twitter than you, and even I don’t waste my days and talent – and most importantly, my passion – there. Yeah, I schedule tweets – but I’m still human and interact more than most people who claim to be “social”.

On behalf of the patients and professionals who need your leadership and knowledge and wisdom, consider the cost of a few tweets, grab a moment of solitude and write your heart out on your blog. Because your blog is the only thing you can own on the Internet.

You have zero equity in Twitter – just a mortgage you’ll never pay off.

Your blog is an estate bequeathed to you by uncle Vint Cerf. Why on earth would you abandon it to the weeds?

@PhilBaumann – @HealthIsSocial – Newsletter

 

 

 

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  • Hi Phil, I enjoy using Twitter because it’s fun and a good source for stories and news that interest me, via links. But I don’t think it’s possible to have a meaningful discussion on that platform. Blogging is much better for that, because it allows for nuanced and detailed expression of complex ideas.

    • Phil Baumann

      Hi Elaine

      Agree – I see all of these media integrating with each. So putting all efforts into one medium like Twitter comes at the expense of creating meaningful presences.

  • Agree with what you say there Phil – Twitter is a great as a quick means of communication, but depth and meaningful insight cannot easily be given in 140 characters. Much better to use it as a mean of sharing a thought, linking to a blog, and then exploring your idea.

    • Phil Baumann

      Yup – there’s definitely a lot more that can be done with longer form. Just add imagination, spunk and quality content. Hospitals, for instance, have no shortage of content – it just amazes me how many communicators and marketers ignore this medium.

  • Hey Phil, I interviewed Guy Kawasaki about his new book, “Enchantment”.

    He described Twitter and Facebook as Pull and Push tools. Pull and pushing people in the direction you want.

    For me the direction I want them to go is the blog and getting them on my email list. Those readers are ready to learn. Twitter is a tool, nothing more.

    Blogging does take a time commitment, so I try to make it worthwhile…. Some days I do, some days I don’t… But I keep trying!

    • Phil Baumann

      That’s a good way to put it.

      It’s really a matter of weaving it all together. Blogging does take time. But if done well, the returns are pretty hard to beat.

      • Oh, and I have made connections on Twitter that I wouldn’t have found any other way, so it is worth doing.

  • Thanks, Phil. I agree, we do have a nice, big, empty canvas with which to work.

    I’ll tell you, I blog regularly and eagerly. To do so, and to make time to research/read and then write, I have to close my Twitter window as to not get distracted. Twitter is oddly (suprisingly) addictive and distracting. I love the journeys it takes me on, but like you, I don’t like the view it provides so much when it takes me away from being social in person. It takes discipline; and I’m learning…

    • Hi Wendy

      Yes, it takes some discipline which is why I advise good “blogging hygiene”, which is just establishing some routine – it’s different for different people or organizations.

      I’m convinced more and more that Twitter rewires the human brain. 😉 I’m very interested in seeming fMRIs on the tweeting human.

  • You had me at Vint Cerf. I love the storytelling aspects of blogging. I love the challenge of short form with Twitter. Even more, I love its community aspects, which really surprised me. I’m with Dr. Wendy in that Twitter can be oddly addictive and definitely distracting. But I will always love blogs. Glad to see you see them as alive, and well, and necessary.

    • Hi Jackie

      Vin Cerf is great, isn’t he? I’ve decided that when all my hair turns white, I’m going to wear the full suit-vest.

      Yes, blogging offers a lot of opportunity and flexibility to express yourself. And for organizations, it’s such an obvious platform – amazes me how companies who spend millions on media totally ignore something as simple (and financial dirt cheap) as a blog.

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