It was sad. Pathetic. Lame. My company’s Twitter account, with it’s optimistic first tweet of “We are now on Twitter!”, sat there…and sat there…and sat there. A sad case of gross negligence, for months and months it never moved beyond that one tweet. Yes, we certainly were on Twitter, but we weren’t being very social.
I never gave a second thought to the Twitter account until one day when I was perusing through our newly revamped company website and saw the little “Follow us on Twitter!” icon at the bottom. “Huh.” I grunted to myself as I clicked on it, “I forgot we had a Twitter account.” Seeing that solitary “We are now on Twitter!” tweet, I thought, “Someone should really do something with this,” and then went about my normal business without giving it a second thought. A month or two later I came back to it, went through the same routine, but this time decided, “I guess I could be the one to do something with it,” dove in headfirst, and have been in love ever since.
Now, I wasn’t completely new to Twitter. I had had a personal Twitter account for over a year, but only used it for following various sports personalities, breaking news, and other celebrities and pseudo-celebrities (@OldHossRadbourn, anyone?) Really, nothing even remotely close to being educational, unless you count @fakeAPstyle (hmmm…probably not) and certainly nothing dealing with CME. Additionally, my personal Twitter was a complete one-way street. I had not, and still have not, sent out a single tweet from it, save that one time my finger slipped and I accidentally retweeted a coffee shop rant from King Kauffman.
With that as my background, 3 months ago I took over the company Twitter account with only a vague idea of what I was doing. My goals and purposes mostly related to the company itself: get our name better known; drive traffic to our activities; meet partners we could collaborate with. I had no intention of it being something that would be of use to me personally.
Wow, was I off target!
Yeah sure, I’ve made some progress towards my “company” goals, I guess (though I have serious doubts about how much traffic I have directed toward our activities. I’ll save that for another post.), but the real impact has been on my own education. I tweeted the other day, “In 3 months on Twitter I have learned more about innovative learning tools than the past 3 years.” That might be an understatement. I have learned more in the past 3 months, period, than at any one period of time since…I don’t know…college. In many ways, Twitter has become my PhD program, complete with an unlimited supply of incredible professors. For example:
@gregwilliams123 teaches me instructional design.
@KoreenOlbrish teaches me the educational value of gaming.
@CMEadvocate teaches CME history.
@HealthIsSocial, @medikly, @danamlewis, and #hcsm teach me about the convergence of social media and healthcare.
@mashable, DrJosephKim, and @iMedicalApps teach me the latest and greatest in health IT.
@rawarrior teaches me the power and influence of advocacy.
And I’m just scratching the surface here. I haven’t even mentioned @KentBottles, @meducate, @KevinMD, @amednews, and many many others that I learn from every single day. It has been a fantastic experience and one I’m excited to continue on with.
The one disappointment so far has been the dearth of CME professionals on Twitter. There are a few, certainly, and I have enjoyed communicating with them, but it’s pretty slim pickin’s. I’m hopeful there are ways to improve on this and really work towards building a CME community on Twitter, but that’s another topic for another day.
If you have “Twitter Professors” that are favorites of yours, I would love to hear about them. Send me a tweet or add a comment to the blog and let me know!