Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Sound of silence (Musings on transfusion professionals use of Twitter)

Updated: 25 Sept. 2016 
September's blog takes its theme from Twitter activity on my @transfusionnews Twitter account. The blog is shorter than usual (a good thing), but something I feel passionate about. 

The title is from a 1964 classic by Simon and Garfunkel.

For readers who choose not to read the full blog, here's the executive version. The blog's aims are to
  • Showcase prolific transfusion-focused tweeps from the English-speaking world - those who clearly believe in the power of social media like Twitter to engage and educate about transfusion.
  • Interest you in joining Twitter (even as a 'lurker' who reads but never posts, as so many were and are on mailing lists) or, if that's a bridge too far, at least bookmark one of the Twitter accounts (maybe mine?), and periodically read the latest. You can do so without being on Twitter. 
Bottom line: Being a transfusion professional is a career not a 9-5 job. Learning what's happening around the globe enriches and broadens our experience. And we can use Twitter tidbits to interest our students and inform our practice. That's a good thing. Note that I resisted saying we could leverage Twitter. 

Recently, while helping a friend with a project she did for the BC PBCO, international colleagues I met only on Twitter took time from their incredibly busy schedules to go away 'above and beyond' to assist. Being on Twitter is like having an amazingly diverse family whose members generously share knowledge and expertise.

From my experience, here are the transfusion professionals, individuals who regularly distribute transfusion news via Twitter. I've not included blood suppliers like Canadian Blood Services (@itsinyoutogiveor professional associations like @aabb, @BritishBloodTS, and  @CanSocTransMed.

To my knowledge, these are transfusion medicine's prolific tweeps (number of tweets in brackets). The list is not all inclusive. I follow many valuable transfusion tweeps with fewer tweets and others with 1000s of posts but many unrelated to transfusion. 

Haemovigilance Guy @Haemovigilante (1300+) 
Dr Sandy Minck @DrSandyMinck (1,000+)
Gerard Crotty @gmcrotty (18,000+)

Sylvia Benjamin @Gogmum (6,500+) 
Tony Davies @Dobbysdad (1,800+) 
HarveysGang @Laird_Admiral (6,000+) 
Dr. Suzy Morton: @TransfusionWM (1,900+)
Kate Pendry @KatePendry  (4,000+)
TeamHaem @TeamHaem (6500+) 
Dan Smith @Dan1763 (3,900+)
Jenny Ryan @JRyanCS (5,300+) 
Elianna Saidenberg @ESaidenberg (2,600+) 
Cyber Bloodbanker @transfusion news (2,000+) - Me 
Ron Vezina @Vez_says (1300+)
Did you notice that the Brits are the transfusion rock stars on Twitter? Why is that, I wonder? If I've missed any 'tweetaholics', please let me know. 

To discover who to follow on Twitter, use hashtags such as 
The last may produce unexpected results.
And when you find someone you like, see who they follow and who follows them.

The blog's theme reminded me of a 1964 ditty by Simon and Garfunkel. Seems the transfusion twittersphere sadly suffers from the Sound of Silence, especially in Canada and the USA. Let's be disruptive and break the silence more, folks.
As always, comments are most welcome.