What I love about Twitter – crowdsourcing

What I love about Twitter – crowdsourcing

In my experience social media evokes strong reactions in people whose primary reference point is their teenager posting Facebook status updates at the dinner table, in preference to polite conversation with their parents.

So when I give presentations about social media to colleagues (particularly senior managers who are dealing day-in-day out with limited resources, meeting targets, responding to incidents, managing disciplinaries and so on) I always try to start where they are, what is important to them, and how social media might be able to help them. We often come back to the fundamental point – like it or not, social media is here, so we need to understand and engage. If I am overly zealous in my promotion of social media, I know I run the risk of further alienating people whose starting point is already fairly sceptical.

But sometimes I do just have a strong desire to say ‘this is what I absolutely love about Twitter!’ and I had one of those moments last night when I crowdsourced information about mental health mood monitoring apps after an email request from a clinician.

What I love is that within moments I had some information and links to apps; a colleague had been in touch to say they were looking at developing one in their service and could we discuss; it was re-tweeted, and others got in touch to see if I could send any information to them (which I did); and a few lovely people even offered to road-test a few of the apps to see how well they worked. And I had some enjoyable conversations along the way.

So far I’ve found out about My Mood app from the University of Reading, NHS Choices health apps, top ten mental health apps from psychcentral, @wellhappyapp and a moodometer app and I’m still getting new links.

The clinician who asked me about apps was at the presentation I gave to NHS colleagues this week. So when I get back to them with some useful links, I can say it was Twitter that helped me find them – now if that’s not a good advert for social media then I don’t know what is!

A big thank you to @BillWongOT @VanessaLGarrity @Girl_Interrupt­_  @WrigleyHowe @Kilgore_cliff @dtbarron @BrianwDolan @fabcoach @nhssm @copsebank who all helped out (apologies if I’ve missed anyone).

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  1. Your promotion of social media is your passion, nobody does it better 🙂

    I am a regular user of MH app’s for relaxation, anxiety management, insomnia etc. I’ll update you regarding app use next week, but MoodoMeter has flagged up extremely high GAD & PHQ scores already!

    • Thank you for your comment and I look forward to hearing how your trial of mood apps goes!

  2. Great post, Victoria. What I love about this example of crowd sourcing (new phrase for me) is that it makes me think about the fantastic immediacy of Twitter. As you know, I tweeted something similar earlier this week in my quest to find out more about mental health apps after a discussion with a service interested in developing one. I was inundated with examples almost immediately as several people RT’d. If I wasn’t enthusiastic about mental health apps then I am now, as I’ve seen their diverse potential for use in situation that I had not even considered before. Going back to your crowd sourcing, the reason why I refer to immediacy is because in a traditional model of communication, I would have sent you and the Comm’s team a rather formal email at some point asking for info and advice. It was already on my TDL. I know that your response would have been helpful and that the same information could possibly have been conveyed. However, an email would have been a one dimensional exchange without the energy and broad participation that twitter facilitates instantaneously and in such an inclusive way. I would not have known so immediately that other areas in our organisation were also asking the same questions about apps and I would most definitely not have had the opportunity to join in your discussion in such a ‘live’ way. I love Twitter because of its dynamic, creative and enabling spirit! I love this blog because its a great example of why we must all continue to advocate its benefits!!

    • Thank you for your comnments Vanessa. I like your idea of one-dimensional email exchange versus multi-dimensional Twitter exchange – you put a question out there and you have no idea where it will travel, who will see it, and who will choose to respond. It’s great to have clincians as allies who can make the case to peers 🙂

  3. Great post Victoria, and love the Wordle too. I’ve found similar reactions from colleagues to social media, often coloured by the mass media obsession with the assorted twitter escapades of celebrities and politicians. As you say, colleagues face a range of challenges in seeing how these new approaches might help – fear of the unknown, what if staff misbehave, won’t we be overwhelmed by negative comments from the public? Your approach of focusing on demonstrating the positive benefits in real life situations strikes a chord, as your latest example on mood apps demonstrates. What I love about twitter is that is a fantastic platform for people-to-people sharing that adds value to more traditional learning methods – hearing stories, ideas, voices from around the world that would normally be obscured.

    On the subject of mood apps, have you come across the work of YAWCRC (Young and Well Collaborative Research Centre) in Australia, which is exploring the benefits of social media to young people’s mental health? One specific post may be of interest, including a feature on mood apps: http://www.yawcrc.org.au/news/article/212

    Thanks for all your enthusiasm in the social media and healthcare field, much appreciated.

    • Thank you for your comments and suggestions Trevor – really appreciate them! And yes I will check out the Australian research – I hadn’t come across it before, they seem to be doing great stuff 🙂

  4. I have used the iThinkSmarter App fantastic for Depression and Worry …looked at lots of others…this one is done by CBT people here in England…


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