[Update 072913: Looks like the video I embeded was a private stream, not the permanent home of the video. Once the archive is posted I'll update the post. Carry on.]
[Update 073113: The Diabetes Hands Foundation has uploaded a proper version of the interview. I think the timestamp works too. The video quality isn't the best, but you can hear what Kerri has to say just fine. Give it a go.]
The part around minute 45 is really good. You should watch the whole thing, but I’ve skipped ahead for you if you only have a few minutes.
When I talk about the power of the diabetes community, this is what I’m talking about.
Some of these comments will seem rather self-congratulatory. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, but I do want to share some of the positive messages I received, and saw throughout the day. We all deserve a pat on the back.
I wrote a post, way back in January 2009, showing off the beauty of Twitter, and the Diabetes Community. It’s funny to look back and see that even in my social media infancy, I knew that all of this stuff had a greater purpose. I was no where near mature enough to quantify or qualify what this purpose was, but I knew there was more out there.
Four years later, I don’t have all the answers, but I still think I’m on the right path.
“Ultimately, I do appreciate the connections that Twitter (yes, Twitter) has helped me make in the short time that @iam_spartacus has existed. It has opened up a world of opportunity for me to embrace, discuss and at times enjoy the fact that I’m diabetic. I wont go so far as to say that I’m in a better place now than I was 6 months ago, but I certainly feel like I’m on a path to something good, something better. And I’m glad I found some people to share it with.” (Me, January 2009)
I’ve been thinking more and more about Hannah’s comments on my post last week about the impact and significance of connecting with others in the diabetes community through our various platforms of choice and I want to try something. I’m a firm believer that comments make the world go ’round, as far as blogging is concerned. Yes, there are stat counters and analytics reports you can run, but pageviews and unique visitors don’t mean much to me when it comes to sharing personal stories and experiences. What matters to me is when someone reads something I write, and then takes the time to leave a comment.
Sometimes it’s feedback. Sometimes it’s a high five. Sometimes it’s a pickmeup. Sure, there’s a weird satisfaction in knowing that someone found value from something I share on a silly diabetes blog, but I think there’s something else going on. I think comments can be a positive reinforcement that you’re on the right path. I share, you comment, it encourages me to share (more? again? I couldn’t decide on the right word). You share, I comment, it encourages you to share.
It’s the circle of life?
You never know who will find your stuff and turn their life (diabetes, or other) around after reading a single post.
You might remember my interview on Sanofi’s DX Diabetes Dish that was published a couple of weeks ago. This was a rare opportunity for me, a guy with a silly (sometimes about) diabetes blog to genuinely step into the spotlight. Things like this don’t happen often for me, so I did my best to make the most of the situation. Because I was approached as Chris, the diabetes blogger, I didn’t mention this to my bosses until it went live. At the time I didn’t think anything of my comment about preparing for Scientific Sessions. It was a harmless answer and I wasn’t making a big deal of where I work. Looking back I realize I should have cleared this response with someone.
I’m not a public-facing representative for the American Diabetes Association. Yes, I work at the home office. Yes, I have a diabetes blog. Yes, I’m too active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, wherever else. And yes, for what it’s worth, there are disclaimers that are meant to distance myself and my words from my place of employment. To that last one I’m still skeptical that those formalities actually mean anything, but better safe than sorry right?
After that first interview was posted I received a follow-up email from the author of that post asking if it was okay that my contact information be passed on to an associate who managed one of Sanofi’s other blogs. I didn’t think anything of it and agreed, but once I saw the questions for this second interview I knew serious caution had to be exercised.
Hey, that’s me! Pretty cool, huh?
Seriously, how cool is this?!
Check out my interview on the DX Diabetes Dish.
Based on a handful of tweets and blog posts, it looks like this #dayofdiabetes thing might stick around for a bit. I’m going to do what I can to keep http://dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com updated as often as possible, but with this this holiday weekend coming up I can’t make any promises.
Also, this is happening this weekend.
I recorded an episode of my podcast with Dr. Mike Sevilla tonight. You’ll hear it later this month, it’ll be well worth the wait. Among the many topics we covered was the dynamic of blogging from the perspective of the patient and the medical professional. I asked Dr. Sevilla if he had an ideal universe in which patients and doctors were engaging online in harmony – a utopia of sorts. I’ll save his response for the actual audio but I kept thinking about this hypothetical the rest of the evening. I think I’ve come to a point where I can articulate my two cents on the idea, which is why I’m here. And I suppose why you’re here, too.