Here’s a Thing I Wrote for Symplur

This one looks at how different patient communities approach the new year, to what extent goals and resolutions are shared, and what makes for an open conversation among these communities.

Here’s a snippet.

While the how much question is worth considering as you engage this data, I think it’s equally important to look at the how. How were these communities prompted to engage with the topic of goals and resolutions? How well did those prompts foster a conversation among their respective communities? How might we evaluate the different approaches to this topic and find the optimal way to encourage goal setting and sharing?

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FOMO

“Stress might come from maintaining a large network of Facebook friends, feeling jealous of their well-documented and well-appointed lives, the demands of replying to text messages, the addictive allure of photos of fantastic crafts on Pinterest, having to keep up with status updates on Twitter, and the “fear of missing out” on activities in the lives of friends and family.” -Psychological Stress and Social Media Use | Pew Research

Somewhat related.

Source (linked) via xkcd.com

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The Result of Turning Off Notifications

Over the past few months I’ve taken pointed efforts to reduce the time I spend staring at my phone. While social media is great, and ensuring all my emails are marked as read is a worthwhile goal, I wasn’t doing a great job of living in the moment. So I turned off nonessential alerts on my phone. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – the apps themselves stayed on my phone, but their frequency of use dropped as the number of times my phone updated in the background decreased.

I’m still not sure if that’s enough to get me back in the moment, but I’ve certainly felt detached from the diabetes community as a result of these efforts. Recently I’ve made somewhat public statements that it felt like the community was shrinking or changing, but I wasn’t looking in the right direction for an explanation.

This is the result of my own actions. So now the challenge is to find a way to continue to embrace and engage the diabetes community, but in a healthy way.

This should be interesting.

Patient Community Advocate at Symplur

Today marks my first official day as Patient Community Advocate at Symplur. This means I get to look at all kinds of data collected by Symplur’s extensive tools and figure out ways to bring the patient communities into these data-based conversations. This means I get to venture out into the scary world of freelancing with a mighty first step. This means I get to take on new projects that could help impact and shape the future of online disease communities. This means I have a chance to truly contribute to something – to one day look back and say “I built that”.

It also means I get to write blog posts using data provided by their reporting tool, Symplur Signals, like this one about World Diabetes Day and the #wddchat14 hashtag. And I get to create fun animated gifs like this one

Created by me, via symplur.com (linked)

Created by me, via symplur.com (linked)

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Simple

The path to refining and redefining the person and patient advocate I want to be is ever-present. There will always be something I want to change, improve, or tweak – but the challenge now is figuring out how to focus my efforts. With that in mind, I’m considering this the next step in simplifying who I am – online, at least.

Going to keep it simple in 2015.

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

It’s not exactly a crowd-pleaser, but it’s the most basic representation of what I’m about. Between this and the unified starting point, my hope is that 2015 will start off in the right direction. Or, I’m too concerned with my “image” and need to stop obsessing about these things.

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Slowly Fading

Maybe it’s because of the holidays. Maybe it’s because we are focusing more on side projects. Maybe it’s because Facebook and Twitter are becoming the standard for communication. Maybe I just need to be better about finding new content. But the Diabetes group in my Feedly Reader feels abandoned.

The number of blogs without a recent update becomes too much to count with fingers and toes, and I can’t help but wonder what is happening to the diabetes online community?

The truth, of course, is that we are stronger than ever. Connections are forged, found, and maintained on a variety of platforms and we are accomplishing great things together. Seeing what happens online conversations moving offline is great, it’s one of the universal efforts of the members of the diabetes community I look to and up to. And I know it’s unrealistic to have every medium hosting diabetes conversation maintain its relevance over the years. I just wish there was more.

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How Might We

It’s not the same as Mike Lawson‘s Monday Mantras…

It's #Monday! This is the #mantra I'll be focusing on this week. What's yours?

A photo posted by mrmikelawson (@mrmikelawson) on

But the number of ‘How might we’ prompts in my notebook has been steadily growing over the past few days. And I think these are worth sharing.

My notebook is collecting #howmightwe prompts.

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

While the solution may not be eminent, or evident, or even feasible, these questions start the creative (and hopefully collaborative) process for me. And that’s exactly what I need right now.

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