Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Follow me @Paulflevy

When you have an addictive personality (any doubts, check my blogging record here), you have to be careful what you start.

I figured, though, that I could trust Scott Hensley, one of the guys who runs the Wall Street Journal Health Blog. He strongly suggested that I sign up for Twitter, noting that their blog appears there.

Oh, it was all too easy to slip into this. After all, I already had a Facebook account and was used to the idea of that kind of social media interaction.

Sure enough, after just two days of updates (42), attracting followers (60), following others (35), Hensley writes: "You're on fire! Good stuff."

But it was too late that I learned. As noted in an early update to me, Bob Coffield, who writes the Health Care Law blog, "Facebook was the gateway drug that led me to the crack that is twitter."

And, then to add insult to injury, Dr. Val, author of Getting Better with Dr. Val, reminded me that I had said, on a blog radio interview with Dr. Anonymous last April, that I would never sign up for Twitter.

And, since this "dialogue" is splayed out for all to see, Ramona Bates, author of Suture for A Living, wisely commented, "Things change. Times change. Circumstances change. Best to never say never."

Dr. A himself replied, "I admit I didn't get twitter at first as well. But, things change. We're glad you're here!"

Of course, he's glad I'm there. Addicts crave company of like-"minded" people.

So, now, like any self-respecting addict, I want my friends to join me, too.

Start here and follow the all-too-easy instructions. As an extra incentive, this blog is now automatically fed to Twitter.

Warning. One friend writes plaintively on her first update: "Trying to understand Twitter."

To which Yoda offers the eternal advice:
"Do, or do not. There is no try."


Outraged Liberal said...

And Twitter addiction is an improvement over the BlackBerry how?

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul. How exciting. Twitter is terrific and it is great to see you around the campus.

Anonymous said...

Not only is it addictive, it's contagious. You've hooked me too. Addicts do that, don't they, drag the whole neighborhood down with them. And to Outraged Liberal: Harrumph-B'berry hooks you privately; with Twitter, you do it in public.

Anonymous said...

Twitter is addictive! Especially when you start making more friends and followers.

Susan said...

Paul, I'd like to see you live on blogtv.com. You could engage in an active Q & A, make announcements etc., This is a great forum for employees that don't usually have the opportunity to interact with you. There's no downside, as you're all about transparency. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that we've lured you into the social media crack den. Addicts love company. One question, though: what does your employer make of how you allot your time? :)

rlbates said...

Do you "feed" you twitter updates into Facebook yet? I love the continuous conversation of Twitter. Take care.

Medical Quack said...

I think Dr. Val described this correctly, it is the "crack den". There is the next level up too with Friend Feed, which brings in all your tweets from Twitter.

Here you can create a room too and put everyone you like in it and really go crazy. Actually Friend Feed has the area where you can post an update like Twitter, so you can really get connected even further. I use Friend Feed though to organize and create categories for Twitter though, so in essence it's not a bad thing at all, so you could have all your personal contacts in one category, and business in another and you can create as many categories as you like and Friend Feed gives you real time updates now.

Friend Feed will also include other social network updates, like Google Reader, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more, but you can choose what elements you want.

Once you graduate up to Friend Feed, you will have reached the ultimate level of social network addiction!

There are a few social dashboards in development now to also bring all of this under one site too, so it just keeps going and going and going.

Friend Feed though with using just the basics does help organize tweets though and in that it has been very helpful to me. After a while though there comes a time to shut them all down for a short while too or you never get any work done:)

Prof Kim Gutschow said...

And yes, twitter may be crack but you gotta know how to use it. I will say that your post made me aware of a truism I'd conveniently overlooked. I think the most successful bloggers all have major OCD, because the one (obsessiveness) begets the other (blogging) which in turn fuels the obsessiveness, ad naseum...

Stephanie said...

Twitter is fantastic to get people into dialogue. I get tonnes of advice when I ask, tonnes of immediate feedback to conundrums faced as I journey into motherhood (circumcision, vaccinations, hospital vs. home birth.. oh the feedback!), instant news (ie: Mumbai) & sometimes before newsleaders are onto it!, business leads, the list goes on. And it's real time. Love Love Love Twitter! Hope you get to be as enthusiastic about it as I am!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

My sister wrote a great column in the WSJ today--it's an introductory guide to Twitter! Thought it might be of interest to your readers.


Allison Boehret
Office of Development

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about Twitter, but I'm always ready for a good Star Wars reference! :)

Anonymous said...

and soon you'll be following Hashtags like #health2.0 or #healthcare

Your work and that of your staff is wonderful to watch and learn from, thanks for sharing. See you in Twitterville.