Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Social Media

On this unofficial Facebook "Unfriend Day" I thought I'd take brief stock of the different social networking platforms geared to nurse practitioners. There are a plethora of sites out there with varying degrees of engagement & activity. This list below is by no means meant to be exhaustive, it is just a sample of what I have come across:

These sites are primarily geared to the NP with the hopes of networking with fellow NPs. I have personally been a part of every one of these sites - more so as a lurker - to see what my NP colleagues are talking about and discussing. It's rare that I feel compelled enough to comment about an issue (well, I take that back - that's what my blog is for!) There are the regular participants and the occasional flamers.

I generally come away disappointed with the lack of participation and relatively low engagement. (The only way that I can quantify the number of "members" is by looking at the largest NP group on FaceBook that has a paltry 2100 or so - not to mention that the majority of postings is from recruiters trying to fill positions or someone trying to promote or sell something health related). Is it because NPs are too busy to spend time posting on forums? Is it lack of awareness of the various sites? Are there just too many sites to track and be active on?

Is it all of the above?

It's obvious that social (and professional) networking sites aren't going anywhere anytime soon (FaceBook touts 500 million uses). However, there needs to be increased participation and discussion for them to be meaningful before people give up on them altogether - at least from a professional standpoint.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you participate in these sites? Were you aware of the varied social networking landscape? Do you have any ideas to increase user engagement and if so, which site(s) would you choose?

(By the way, of my FaceBook friends, it looks like I had one person unfriend me. I'm not sure who it was, but then again, I guess I'm not missing out on much if I can't figure out who it was!)

4 comments:

Jennifer Ford said...

Thanks for mentioning us at Advance! It is our mission to create a place where NPs and PAs can communicate about the important issues with their colleagues. I hope you continue to check in to our community.

Dave said...

Thanks for also mentioning Clinician 1. We have broken many stories about both the NP and PA professions and have a robust site with almost 15,000
registered.
I agree. We have scores of people who do post and comment but mostly people lurk. And the people that comment tend to be the same people. Most are excellent NP and PA leaders. Where are they others and why don't they chime in? We are trying to find out also. Time? Competition from other sources? Facebook burnout?
As I am sure you see on your blog, people don't comment.
I wish we all would play on many of the sites. The physicians don't want us on their sites, let's make all of ours great.
Come on in, the water's fine......
Dave Mittman, PA
www.clinician1.com

OBGYN GAL said...

Thanks for showing all the other social platforms NPs are using and on. Being a NP as well I appreciate this!

NP Odyssey said...

I like some of the informational sites and reading fun blogs.
However, some of the forums and the people who post negative and as you say flaming comments get old fast and I don't go back. Allnurses.com has a lot of those people.