Three Steps to Keep Up With Twitter at a Major Medical Meeting

Paul SufkaConferences, Education, Med Tech, Social Media

Washington Monument Reflecting pool
by AaronMosh7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

“Consider getting smaller in order to get bigger.” — Sir Richard Branson

Many people feel a bit of overwhelm at the idea of using social media during a medical meeting. These same people are recognizing the many benefits of using social media: connecting with others, actively learning, and promoting their work.

(This post is going to focus on using Twitter efficiently, but if you’re interested in digging deeper into what you can do, take a look at my talk from the 2016 ACR Program Directors’ Conference: Using Twitter in Medical Education and links to prior social media summaries from ACR 2014 and ACR 2015.)

Using Twitter during the meeting doesn’t have to be difficult or significantly time consuming.

If you’re completely new to Twitter, read these first: Mom This is How Twitter Works and #RheumJC: Intro to Twitter first.

Once you’re comfortable with the basic terminology of Twitter, these are my three suggestions:

  1. Follow everyone tweeting at the meeting. The easiest way to do this is to find a meeting list on Twitter. For #ACR16, I suggest following everyone on the #ACR16 Twitter list curated by the official @ACRheum account.
  2. After you’re following everyone at the meeting, use the Nuzzel website or app (iOS | Android) to catch up on highlights from people you’re following from the last 24 or 48 hours, (which shows the most important tweets in your timeline, according to RTs and likes). It can also send you a daily email that you can review later. (For more details, see my prior post about how I keep myself on a low information diet using Nuzzel).
  3. If you’re using a laptop at the meeting, try using on your web browser to more efficiently follow and participate in the #ACR16 hashtag in real-time. Bonus: will automatically include the hashtag in your tweets so that you’re included in the conversation.