(2) Places where I find information and how I search for it – episode two – Twitter

This post arose because of a discussion on Twitter from a friend trying to convince their friend of the service’s benefits. It seems that many people, myself included, on first looking at Twitter can’t really see the point of it – I think I only really ‘got’ it when I discovered the people posting news updates about diabetes and those who were talking about their own experiences of the condition. Otherwise it can seem a little bit like an exchange of inanities – but it’s not 🙂

News updates
In my job it’s important for me to be up to date with diabetes news (and what people are saying about diabetes) and health conditions that relate to it; there are a number of the people I follow help me do this so grateful thanks to @lilibudiman, @askmanny, @tudiabetes among many others (I really must make a list). There are automated services that provide diabetes or medical news such as @medscape, @DiabetesNews – and of course our own website news @DiabetesUK.

I also want to be aware of what’s going on in the charity sector so I follow a few people involved in that world (eg. @thirdsectorPR) and as someone who’s keen on science I’m following a variety of tweets from @DIUS_Science and @sciencemuseum.

Plus some people are just friends, or people I’ve discovered who are talking about interesting things.

My news update needs are of the press release variety but Twitter appears to be famous for having helped a journalism student announce that he was arrested abroad, prompting a large effort to get him freed and returned home. The people who run the Mara Triangle wildlife reservation have used blogs and Twitter very effectively, and quite inspiringly.

Plus you can’t beat this explanatory video – Twitter in Plain English.

I can post a message about what I’m doing, respond to messages that others send and keep up to date in the worlds of diabetes, charities, science and local news.

Finding people to follow
I have used Monitter to search for people posting about diabetes (just type your keyword at the top of one of the columns, ie you can search for three terms at once or add / delete columns) and Twitter has its own search facility. Just below the search dialogue box there’s information about ‘trending topics’ – ie what people are talking about at the moment.

It’s also worth looking at the “following” and “followers” links on someone’s page to see who they are following and who is following them – another way of picking up people who are perhaps interested in similar things and so might be worth following.

Jo

Disclaimer – all posts are my opinion and not necessarily those of my employer.
Since I’ve not worked out how to correct the timing settings I’m posting this at a little after 3pm on Saturday 10 January…

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