Healthcare Social Media and the Rise of Royalty

Healthcare Social Media Spread a Little Thin

This blog post might be hazardous to your standing in the kingdom of health care social media royalty. Pink Floyd said it best in 1979 and it has never been said better. Is Anybody Out There?

The rise of social media has been fueled by software applications that have created new ways to communicate and spread information. Lately I’ve begun to wonder if it is all being spread too thin. Blogs, Facebook, and my personal favorite Twitter, have all led to so much social media bandwidth that I’m starting to think there isn’t enough okra in the gumbo. It reminds me of a 24 hour news channel on a slow day. They have to fill up the time somehow. I’m starting to see static and fluff in the quality of the health care related content that bombards my neurons.

This week I received a Tweet and then seven re-tweets of the same information from different people. Maybe I am following too many people. Maybe too many people are following me. What is all this business about health care social media rock stars and most influential bloggers? When did personalities creep into all this? Why do we care if we have KLOUT? Are we starting to follow each other around in a circle like Ouroboros, the snake that swallows its own tail?

I love social media, and through it have met people and been exposed to ideas I would never have encountered. However, social media is in danger of morphing into something that has a diminishing value. I have watched this happen over the past year with Twitter. Once the cat is out of the bag it is hard to get it back in but I may have a partial solution. What if we think about posting content only when we really have something to say? No re-tweets, no echoes, no posts saying go read somebody else’s post. Original content. Meat on the bone. I’ll give it a try if you will.

Jim Tate is a nationally recognized expert on the CMS EHR Incentive Program, certified technology and meaningful use and author of The Incentive Roadmap® The Meaningful Use of Certified Technology: Stage 1.