Happy Birthday #Rheum for World Arthritis Day

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RPF badge Last October 12, I was in New Jersey in on a WEGO Health panel of health activists. But before I got on the plane, I wrote a blog post to share my concept of a #Rheum community online for people interested in Rheumatoid disease and rheumatology topics, beginning with a Twitter hashtag and chat.

Over the past year, hundreds of patients, care-givers, medical professionals, and representatives of companies have used the #rheum hashtag on Twitter. We have conducted 33 Sunday afternoon chats in the last year! We’ve seen as many as 60 people in a chat.

Why did I make #rheum?

  1. A year ago, I noticed several people joining Twitter each week from the blog. I’d had personal contact with hundreds of patients, and I wanted to create a way to have them know each other. I’d purposely introduced people to each other (and I still do), but that was not enough. I wanted those people to be able to contribute to conversations – I wanted to create a community there.
  2. I hoped that the doctors or companies that I was Tweeting with would see what the patients were saying and vice versa. They do now!
  3. I wanted to begin to teach Google (& all search engines) that “Rheum” and “Rheumatoid” identify Rheumatoid Disease more closely than “arthritis” does. It’s exciting that #Rheum is already being suggested in searches!

Last year is hard to top! What am I doing today?

LOTS! Here’s a big one! The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation video project is now underway. We have only a few days to collect video clips and submit them to begin the edit process, so if you’d like to participate, please request the instructions immediately by emailing katieb@rheum4us.org.

If you’ve already received the instructions, please send your clips in as quickly as possible.

Good wishes coming in this morning from a rheum doc on Twitter!If you can’t send in a video, you can still help!

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under Special Occasion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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