Attending blogging and social media conferences are an empowering and exciting experience. There are so many opportunities to learn from energetic speakers on a variety of topics that can enhance your blogging knowledge of experience. They are also a fantastic opportunity to connect to the humans behind the blogs. There is a chance to put the social back into social media and build the relationships you began online.
Blog World Expo has been fantastic, eye-opening, and even a bit nerdy nurse ego-stroking (we all need it every now and then). My first experience gave me many opportunities to learn and grow as a healthcare blogger, a nurse, and a person. Because I’m all about sharing, and also because I have real difficulty keeping anything to myself, I’d like to share with you:
10 Things a Healthcare Blogger Can Learn at Blog World Expo:
- We are ALL Patients. No matter if you are a patient blogger, doctor blogger, nurse blogger, insurance blogger, pharmacist blogger, or any other healthcare blogger, in the end, we are all patients.
- The bloggers who stay at this the longest, and get the most out of the experience don’t get wrapped up with the technical and analytical side of things. They don’t chase after the latest plugins, latest themes, coolest widgets, or newest influence measuring site. They BLOG. They blog passionately, thoughtfully, tirelessly, and with great focus and care for “the words they put on the internet” (as my charming husband refers to end result of blogging). This is likely why they’ve stayed at it so long. They don’t have to spend 2 hours fixing the blog they broke while trying to make something better (or in my case, make HealthcareBloggers.com a functional social site to connect healthcare bloggers and social media personalities).
- There is a place for everyone in blogging. There is someone just like you, searching from someone just like you on google right this very moment. Make a blog so they do not feel alone! When they go-a-googling don’t you want them to find someone they can trust, someone they can relate to, someone as awesome as you?
- Storytelling is more powerful than raw data and boring facts. While it is always important to attempt to cite your sources and back up your opinions with real facts, it’s usually not the most captivating read if every other line has a reference. As Emergiblog stated beautifully “A Blog is not in APA.”
- Positivity and empowerment has a much greater impact and longer lasting over being bitter, cynical, or perhaps evening frightening. Promote your desires, your knowledge, and your passion through positive messages and energy. I have a great story about toes falling off that I have often used for Diabetes care and smoking cessation, but Six Until Me made a very good point about how much more of an impact a positive example of good healthcare can be for a patient battling a chronic illness.
- Healthcare can learn a lot about embracing and using social media by looking at other companies. Ford is a wonderful example of embracing the human experience when it comes to their product and we need to take a step back and use every healthcare encounter as an opportuntiy to remember “it’s about the patient.” It’s far time we got over the “I’m here to save your butt, not kiss it” mentality, and start showing how much we care. I know we care. I’m sure we show it, most of the time, but I think we often get consumed with tasks and forget that it’s about a person.
- Inclusive social media policies (rather than exclusive), like the one that Ford has created, are a better approach to social media in healthcare than the current ignorance that mean healthcare organizations demonstrate.
- Internet giants like Izea (the folks who do Sponsored Tweets and Social Spark) are actually really interested in your feedback. There are real people behind the scenes of those websites that actually make the products work who are totally friendly and approachable.
- In order to get the best healthcare content available to be seen by more people, we all need to be more proactive about linking our fellow healthcare bloggers. Here are a few Bloggers you can get started with: Emergiblog, Nurse Ratched’s Place, The Nursing Show, Six Until Me, Chronic Babe, Endogoddess, Overflowing Brain, Chef MD MedGadget, iMedicalApps and Medicast.
- Comment on other blogs, speak your mind, speak the truth,be respectful, and be grateful they are creating good content. A simple comment on another nurse blogger’s Blog World Expo post is what created a scholarship opportunity for me to be able to attend blog world. We are not in competition. We are in collaboration. Share with the world and be sure to acknowledge and encourage your fellow healthcare bloggers who are sharing with you.
While I’m sure I could fill an entire blog with things I learned at Blog World Expo, these are a few gems to get you started. Look forward to many more insights from the event. I also intend to share more with you as I attend virtual sessions and share what I learn from them with you, dear blogosphere. Yep, because I love you that much!
A humongous, explosive, reach for the star, over the fence, world series kind of thank you goes to Johnson & Johnson for making my nerdy nursing little dreams come true and being the sponsor that funded my scholarship to blog world and the social health track. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am to you and all involved for giving me this life-changing experience.