7 Reasons Why You Should Participate in #dayofdiabetes Tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 15, I’m encouraging anyone who wants to participate to live-tweet a day in the life of a person with (or caring for someone with) diabetes. Use the hashtag #dayofdiabetes to keep track of everything, and I’ll do my best to Storify everything on http://dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com.

As a community, we’ve done this a few times, and I think each day has been more successful than the last in terms of outreach and impact. I’m hoping tomorrow will be just as meaningful for some of you.

In case you need a reason to join the fun, here are seven reasons that might do the trick and get you to participate.

  1. You can find new people in the diabetes online community to connect with. These group efforts are a great way to make new friends.
  2. It may help get over burnout. Sometimes a focused effort like this is just what you need to get back into the diabetes frame of mind.
  3. Sometimes an exercise like this can help remind you that this may not be easy, but you’re doing just fine keeping this disease in check. When you step back from all the tweets and realize just what it takes each and every day, that can be something you can be proud of.
  4. Help describe what it’s like to your friends and followers without diabetes. Sure, they may have an idea, but a play-by-play like this is quite effective at showing what it’s like, even if it’s only for one day.
  5. Consider each tweet a teachable moment. Together, this is an incredible educational opportunity. And that excites me.
  6. I’m going to bring back the first point I made, because like #dblogcheck, these community exercises are a great way to expand your network of diabetes connections. I would love to hear stories months from now that start with “I saw someone share their #dayofdiabetes and decided to participate. That was the first time I mentioned my diabetes on Twitter.”
  7. Selfishly, I need data. I’m speaking at AADE this year about Twitter metrics from the diabetes online community, specifically #dayofdiabetes. I would love to show up with some fantastic data from all of you to compare to last year’s efforts.

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#dayofdiabetes Returns!

The theory is simple, tag your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other place you frequent with #dayofdiabetes, and let me know about it. I’ll curate everything at http://dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com.

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I’ve Been Invited to Speak at AADE15?

Hello Mr. Snider,

We are pleased to invite you to speak at the AADE15 Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) in New Orleans, LA, August 5 – 8, 2015.

I assumed this email was sent by mistake. I couldn’t have done anything to earn such an invitation. But when I read on, the phrase “Patient Community Advocate at Symplur” popped up along side a link to my #dayofdiabetes post I wrote for Symplur last Spring.

It may sound silly as I’m writing this in a public blog, and you’re reading this, but it still comes as a shock to me when I find out that people actually read what I write (or listen to my podcast). This isn’t some kind of reverse psychology mentality or a plea for praise. I just assume there are better patient advocates out there discussing the same thoughts I have, but with more eloquence and effectiveness.

But I’ve done my best to make positive contributions, however small they may be, to the diabetes community. After six years of fragmented sentences, it’s pretty neat to get recognized and sought out.

Now the challenge will be to make the logistics of this invitation work. Between my own wedding and two others Dayle and I will be attending, I’ll hear the phrase “I do” three times in four months.

All of that awkward non-congratulatory-self-congratulations out of the way, if I can make this AADE appearance, how many of you would be up for a new #dayofdiabetes so I can present some fresh data to the diabetes educators of the world? The more, the merrier.


This is a preemptive declaration of my contribution to #dayofdiabetes in a month or so. (For those of you that are just catching up, you can learn more about #dayofdiabetes here.)

I’ll need to do one more #dayofdiabetes a few months into my insulin pump adventure once I’ve gotten the basics down as that will probably be a better comparison to my life with insulin pens, but the comparison between MDI and new-to-pump, MDI to slightly experienced with a pump, and new-to-pump to slightly experienced with a pump will be an interesting observation opportunity.

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I Wrote About #dayofdiabetes for Symplur

While I continue to update http://dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com with new entries from last week, I invite you to hop on over to Symplur to read a guest post I wrote about the social metrics to come out of last Thursday. They provided me with some very cool graphics, like the one below, and some insightful numbers that helped prop up some of my analysis of what happened.

Image links to guest post on Symplur

Here’s a snippet:

My hope is that of those 2.5 million impressions, at least one of them helped someone new find the motivation to improve their own diabetes management. I hope that at least one of those impressions turned a Twitter lurker, to a thought-leader within the diabetes community. I hope that at least one of those impressions helped someone with a loved one living with diabetes understand what we go through on a daily basis a little bit better.

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More Thoughts on #dayofdiabetes

As I begin to curate and publish Day of Diabetes stories from yesterday, I’m starting to think about larger takeaways beyond the mere presence of tweets over the past 24 hours. I’m trying to keep track of the questions I’m asking, not with the hopes of finding immediate answers, but because I think there’s an extended conversation we can have as a result of your collective participation.

What can be gained by people with diabetes who observed #dayofdiabetes, but did not participate?

What can be said about the people who started sharing their #dayofdiabetes, but could not finish?

Why is sharing this level of detail important?

How can these stories become the foundation of something bigger? What does bigger look like?

Are there other patient communities that could engaged in a similar live-tweeting?

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Revisiting #dayofdiabetes

And with that, we’ve settled on Thursday, April 10 as a new #dayofdiabetes.

I’m calling this a revisit because I shared my first #dayofdiabetes last May and a bunch of people gave it a go after that. Engaging with this project is not something that I recommend on a daily basis. Looking this hard at my diabetes management, recognizing every action that I take that has a diabetes influence, and remembering to share that thought with Twitter…it’s exhausting (more so than simply living with diabetes.) That said, the advocacy and awareness impact of doing this is immeasurable.

For all the blog posts and independent tweets we share with the world, putting them back to back for a full day provides real insight into what it’s like to live with this disease. That’s the power of sharing a #dayofdiabetes. It’s just one way we as a community can spread diabetes fact rather than let diabetes myths pollute the conversation. It’s one of the most personal ways we can educate each other, and the general public, about the similarities, differences, struggles, and successes that come with living with diabetes.

So this Thursday, I invite you to share your Day of Diabetes. If you’re interested in participating, let me know in the comments or send me a message on Twitter @iam_spartacus. If you want to Storify your own tweets after you’re done, feel free. I’ll do my best to capture each of your days and post them up on the Day of Diabetes blog.

If you want to see what past entries look like, you can visit dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com.

And if you are afraid you’ll be alone in your tweets, fear not…

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