Entries in twitter (2)


Health Data Management Top 16 Health IT Experts List

Health Data Management Magazine is an obvious go-to source for me, given my focus on developments related to the sources and uses of health data.  

It’s gratifying to see that the feeling is mutual. HDM Magazine recently published a list of 16 Experts on Twitter Who are Leading the Discussion in Health IT and included me among some highly respected peers.

Any curated list is going to leave out some equally good candidates. Every time a list comes out, people who aren’t included tend to call out bias in the selection process. There’s always bias. But, as a publication that is well-versed in editorial curation, HDM Magazine does an excellent job of selecting a core group that is consistent in their focus on health IT and data-driven developments in healthcare and are known for providing a good deal of context around the issues. Better yet, the group includes a range of perspectives from within provider organizations, health IT vendors, patient advocates, government agencies, analysts, start-ups and research foundations. Despite the different perspectives, this group includes people who demonstrate a genuine interest in improving our current healthcare industry (I would say “healthcare system”, but that raises too many thoughts about lack of systems thinking in healthcare).

I don’t know if HDM Magazine made a conscious effort to include an equal number of women and men, but if they did, they exceeded that goal by naming nine women and seven men. In today’s world, that still merits a special mention and a “thank you” from the #HITChicks community!

Here’s the complete list of Twitter handles:

















The list includes some people who have been part of my Twitter community from the beginning (e.g., @ePatientDave @Cascadia and @SusannahFox) and some newer colleagues and friends and a couple of people I should obviously add to my list. 

Note, HDM Magazine created a similar list several years ago of top health IT social media people to follow and John Poikonen (@poikonen)  created a public Twitter list to make it easy for anyone to follow all the people on the list. That list remains one of my favorite lists to scan each morning. Note, John has added a few names to his list, as is his prerogative. In that same vein, I’ve just created a public list with all 16 of the health IT experts that HDM Magazine included on their list and have made two additions: @HDMMagazine and @poikonen! Here’s the link to the public list:


Amplifying Your Content via Twitter

If I offered you a highly targeted opt-in list of potential customers and key opinion leaders who would promote the content in your publications, what would you be willing to pay per name in the list?  What if I told you there was no cost and furthermore, I’ll include metrics on who promoted your content along with a profile of that individual?  Sounds pretty interesting, right?  

This is one of the benefits of Twitter, as well as other social networks.  But, wait a minute, didn’t a report commissioned by Yahoo! just find that Twitter is a media platform and not a social network?  Well, some of the headlines I read made it sound that way, but the actual report, Who Says What to Whom on Twitter, confirms earlier research that found that “Twitter more closely resembled an information sharing network than a social network”.  That’s not the same as saying it’s not a social network.

Twitter is of course a social network: the platform is interactive and users decide whom to follow.  That’s enough to make it a social network.  Granted, Twitter differs from FaceBook in that following does not have to be reciprocal.  So, I may choose to follow the feed of a publication that interests me, say for example, @TheEconomist, but the Economist may not find value in following me.  In this respect, Twitter resembles a media platform, since a large part of the population uses Twitter to receive information, not publish information. 

It should be noted that a key finding of the Who Says What report is that infomediaries play an important role on Twitter. [The authors use the terms ‘intermediaries’ and ‘opinion leaders’, but I prefer infomediary.]  For example, I may chose not to follow @NYTimes because I know my friend @KentBottles will provide tweets that cover stories of interest to me from the Times.  Kent becomes the infomediary –or curator—for content from The New York Times for me. 

Okay, we’ve established that Twitter is a social networking and media platform.  Now consider that it is particularly well-suited for mobile and local applications. Let’s see, if I spell out the benefits and features I’ve mentioned above, we can say that Twitter is:

“a social local mobile real-time amplifier and audience building curation tool that offers detailed usage metrics and is available at no cost”.

So why have publishers been so slow to apply Twitter? The problem is that Twitter is many things to many people, which makes it very difficult to classify.  Trying to classify it as either a social network or media platform doesn’t make sense.  It’s both and more.  My advice to publishers is to focus on its amplification capabilities for existing content.  I recommend this podcast with David Meerman Scott, Ian Condry, Michael Bird and Gary Halliwell to get some other expert opinions on this topic.  And note that I commented on the podcast page, which NetProspex’s marketing team then posted as a separate blog and tweeted it.   Amplification, indeed!

Most of the Twitter presentations I see are targeted to marketers and advertisers, not publishers, and I’m considering preparing a seminar on the value of Twitter to healthcare and B2B publishers from my perspective as a consultant who focuses on effective business models for data producers/publishers. Please contact me to let me know if you would be interested.  If there’s enough interest, I’ll develop a seminar that can be presented onsite or offsite.