You are the best part!
The best thing about this blog is the readers. I know – I if I didn’t write a blog, then there wouldn’t be one. But the readers help make this blog a community, especially through the comments pages. We also have a thriving RA Warrior Facebook community where people are making connections and building friendships and spreading awareness. A local UK group was recently formed out of our Facebook group, as well. Several readers are starting local support systems through Arthritis Introspective. (See our Local Support page, if you are interested.
Connecting #rheum and social media
Another community that many of our readers use is Twitter. Twitter is kind of like an ocean with lots of schools of fish in it. There are several patient communities on Twitter, the largest being the Diabetes online community or “DOC.” It seems like the Diabetes community is a few years ahead of the Rheumatology community in linking together online.
I’ve met a few fish from their schools and I’m learning from them. They do a great job connecting and getting good information out! I’ve met some very nice folks.
Here’s a certain experience I’ve had over and over the past year: someone on Twitter taps me on the shoulder and says, “Psst. I have RA.” Sometimes they need to keep their diagnosis private. Other times, they would love the chance to connect with the others who have RA or AS or PsA or Sjogren’s… There is a way that we can make that easy!
Announcing the hashtag #rheum
We can use the hashtag “#rheum.” Then, anyone who wants to find others talking about #rheum issues can find them easily. Anyone who wants to follow or connect with others can do so. Meanwhile, others can still tune in who are only ready to read for a while before speaking up.
What will the #rheum community online do next? Maybe we can be as successful as the #DOC. What could we call it? Lots of tags are used already. #ROC is taken. But #Rheum is available.
We could even do a regular Twitter chat like many of the #hashtags do. During one hour a week, we all use the same #hashtag like #rheum or #RheumTalk. It works like a filter and then you can easily find a thread of just the folks who are using the #rheum tag. It’s really fun.
Well, that’s my simple RA Awareness and community building idea for today. If any of you are on Twitter, please Tweet back to me #rheum so we can try it out. If you’d like to try Twitter, it’s easy. Just go to Twitter.com and pick a user name. “Follow” me “@rawarrior” at this link. And I can introduce you into some awesome folks.