Friday, July 31, 2020

I heard it through the grapevine-2 (Musings on the value of Twitter)

In 2019 I wrote a blog promoting Twitter for TM professionals and for July's blog, I'll do a second one.
The blog's title derives from 1966 ditty recorded by Marvin Gaye and later Creedence Clearwater Revival.  

To me far too few transfusion professionals are on Twitter, including medical laboratory technologists, nurses, and physicians. Many reasons, including Facebook preceded Twitter and Twitter tends to have a poor reputation in general. Today Facebook has an even worse reputation but if you're on it, you may value how it keeps you in touch with pals and family. 

In my experience TM folks on Twitter are a different breed. They want to share resources and expertise and, if you want to engage in continuing professionals education, Twitter is a wonderful free resource. Questions can be asked and answered by experts. Also Twitter is international. Based on my Twitter account (Further Reading), experts from Australia, Canada, UK, USA, and professionals from many nations in Africa and Asia participate. Glad to report that some Canadian medical laboratory technologists are on Twitter.

UNDERSTANDING TWITTER (from earlier blog)
First, Signing up on Twitter is easy 
Tidbits (Twitter 101):
  • Language: Twitter is the software platform. You are a tweep. When you post a message, it's called a tweet. 
  • If not on Twitter when accessing a tweet and asked to join, just click on another part of the screen and you can see direct tweets. 
  • Be aware you don't need to tweet. Just as on mailing lists, you can lurk.  
  • By being on Twitter you can see the replies given by tweeps to other tweeps. If not, you can see only their direct tweets (not replies). 
  • Twitter gives you quicker access to important professional events and issues, allows you to share resources with colleagues.  
  • As a citizen Twitter is the place to be because you get news about anything well before it appears on mainstream media, e.g., disasters, latest weather, political events. All media and reporters are on Twitter.
  • Twitter hashtags are key (Further Reading) For example, they can be used to identify who to follow. And you can also see who others follow for more suggestions.
Learning Point: If you are a transfusion professional in any capacity, please consider joining Twitter. You won't be disappointed. Look at my account to see who I follow, many transfusion experts from all over the world, well known experts.

As always, comments are most welcome.

Chose this ditty because Twitter is a good grapevine to keep up with the latest transfusion medicine news.


  1. Anonymous2:40 PM

    Ah, Creedence Clearwater & that song. I wonder if some folks' eschewing of Twitter is related to all the NOT good grapevines (aka rumors, plain old gossip), with deliberate misinformation, etc. I fear that hearing about trolls has made some people determined to keep right out of it. Too bad, because I agree, there are some links to excellent news.

  2. Thanks, Anonymous.Sad, but Twitter has some obnoxious trolls & Facebook & it spread misinformation. I too suspect that is what keeps many away.

    But Twitter used by health professionals is a great source of TM information as is Twitter in general for all kinds of news.Also Twitter, like earlier mailing lists, is a great way for professionals to network & further their careers. Suspect many don't realize that.

    Thanks again for the comment.