Recent analytics reveal that over 65% of MDs use social media. There remains much controversy about using SM in patient communications. However, SM offers many functionality for socializing online at meetings, and broadcasting events in your area. (meet me at Starbucks, where you are now, conference attendees, and many many others.) I am a relative newbie and learn things daily. Thousands of application developers add value to each platform, such as Tweet deck, Hoot suite,
Twitter is very useful at meetings. The key ingredient is how to use hash tags.
Hash tags allow users to 'search' for relevant tweets. For instance, #aao_ophth will display all tweets about the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The sender must insert #aao_ophth in his tweet along with the rest of the tweet. When sending the tweet if you leave off the @ all your followers will receive it, or if you want one or more recipients add @ with their twitter id. For instance: @glevin1 #aao_ophth Hey this meeting is great ! will send the tweet to me alone. Hey this meeting is great #aao_ophth will send it off to everyone on your follow list and to anyone who search with the #aao_ophth hashtag.
This week I 'attended multiple medical conferences on the same day on opposite coasts, from home, using the following Social media tools and twitter hashtags
Twitter: #mayoragan, #aao_ophth #mccsom #health2.0 #hcsm #hachat #aamc11
You can also upload pictuers to Yfrog, twitpics.
Google + is the new social media player. In less than three months the user base went from zero to almost 50 million at last count. There are several key features that I enjoy. Circles...you can start your own circle according to category. Hangouts...for me this is a thriller conferencing with up to nine other geeks, girls, meeting attendees, etc. The hangouts can also be 'live streamed across the internet on Ustream.
If you use Google Chrome go to the Google Web Store and add the G+.chrome extension. Otherwise try plus.google.com. It is now open to the public.
Hangouts work well on iPhone and iPads and Android devices.