Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Health care hashtags – a social project to organize tweets

Have you noticed that some twitter messages include hastags (as “#baseball”)? These symbols are entered by tweeters to identify the subjects of their messages. So, if you search twitter with ” #baseball”, you will only get tweets that include include “#baseball ” and are about baseball.

The medical web site builder Fox epractice is proposing that health and medical hashtags be better organized for improved retrieval of twitter messages.

(Click here for a calendar of Health Tweet Chats!)

An excerpt from the Fox ePractice proposal

Since I started using Twitter I’ve felt that so many of us who wish to meet other people interested in healthcare and who wish to participate in the many healthcare related conversations have been kept apart because of what should be a common language … hashtags. With that in mind, we at Fox ePractice have embarked upon an ambitious project. One in which we are searching for the many Twitter hashtags that are in use that are specific to the field of healthcare, and to organize that data in some of the following ways …

**Allow exploration by either hashtag or healthcare subject matter.

**Show hashtags that are related to one another in the healthcare field.

**Demonstrate frequency of use of related hashtags so as to facilitate hashtag selection.

**Identify most frequent users and most frequent @mentions with each hashtag so as to find the influencers to follow on your healthcare topic of choice.

**Determine which healthcare hashtags overall are most popular at any given time.

**To provide a live feed of conversations related to each hashtag so as to easily explore what’s currently being shared on Twitter in your healthcare topic of choice.

**To encourage visitors to vote on which hashtags are most useful in hopes of bringing multiple conversations together. (example: #pediatric, #pediatrics, #pediatrician, #pediatricians)

Our hope is that we can lower the barriers of entry, decrease the learning curve, and enhance the experience of new users. But we’d also like to introduce experienced healthcare Twitter users to a fresh look, to new information, and to new people who share your passions.

We’re already working on future features based on some pre-release discussions with several well respected individuals in our Twitter healthcare community. Establishing methods for more visitor input that can be shared by others is high on our list. Also, while we’ve focused this initial release around the “business of healthcare”, in an upcoming phase we hope to include a complete disease index in this hashtag listing so as to help facilitate patient exploration as well.

This project is a work in progress … and literally always will be. It’s a controlled database, not a wiki, because we want to assure that every hashtag on the list has been vetted, has a level of critical mass, and that its relationships are well thought out. However, at the same time this is a “social project”, one in which we’re soliciting your input for the betterment of all.

So come step into the first official “HealthcareHashtags Project” … take it for a spin, let us know what you think, and help us to build a more well connected healthcare community.



February 23 2011 update

Twitter logo

End the Carpet Bombing of Twitter!


What’s the #Matter?

Twitter’s elegance and simplicity have changed the world. Unfortunately the overuse of hashtags is polluting Twitter.

What’s the #Fix?

Think before you tweet. If you must use hashtags, limit yourself to two per tweet. Consider what your Twitter stream looks like to your followers.

2hashtags is a pledge to keep Twitter a clean well-lighted place and as free of noise as possible by using no more than two hashtags per tweet.

December 28, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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