When I was a college student, I read a lot of technical stuff all the time. That was my full-time job for nine consecutive years (Sep 1986 – May 1995) as I pursued by Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees. Four jobs and almost twenty years later, things have changed quite a bit as I honestly do not have time to read as much as I would like. As a result, I often just want an industry colleague with experience in a particular area to just tell me in a nutshell, “This is what you need to know”. Sure, it is still my responsibility to conduct my own due diligence but this kind of quick tidbit would be so awesome as it would certainly point me in the right direction a lot faster than looking for information on my own. This is the precise reason I loved last night’s Tweet-a-Thon organized by @TheAuD2BeBlog!
What is a Tweet-a-Thon? A Tweet-a-Thon is a real-time, online event on Twitter where Tweeters focus their tweets on a particular topic. For example, last night (January 28, 2014) from 6 pm to 7 pm CST, audiology and hearing industry colleagues (aka #audpeeps) gathered on Twitter to ask questions and share answers on how using social media and blogs can be a great resource in Audiology. This was a great event for the following reasons:
1. Access to experts: industry #audpeeps were readily available to provide information and insights immediately and directly to anyone seeking answers to their questions
2. No fluff: answers were straight and to-the-point since Twitter only allows 140 characters per post/response
3. Incredible insight: hearing directly from students about what students think and hearing from colleagues worldwide as to what they know from their experiences was priceless
4. Actually fun: reading an article isn’t fun; interacting with colleagues about a topic of interest is fun. The hour flew by!
If you missed out on the Tweet-a-Thon but are curious as to what it was all about, do the following:
1. If you don’t have one, get a Twitter account and start tweeting with industry colleagues (i.e. #audpeeps) so that you are ready for future Tweet-a-Thons
2. If you have a Twitter account, login to your account and click the #Discover tab located in the upper horizontal menu bar. In the SEARCH box type #hhtab and hit the ENTER key. Twitter will populate any tweets from last night that contained this hashtag, providing you with the list of interactions from last night’s Tweet-a-Thon. Another hashtag to look up #TheAuD2BeBlog.
3. If you have a Twitter account, be sure to start following Audiology/Hearing and other industry colleagues that participated in the Tweet-a-Thon including @aubankaitis, @TheAuD2BeBlog, @kylenacker, @eargearhearing, @desireeyoung, @audiogal, @StarkeyAus, @audiodrphillips, @just_aud_stuff, @audiodocrudden, @AuDConnex, @kalaitinen, and @vdsamantha
Beyond Twitter, social media encompasses other platforms such as blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. With so many options out there, beyond Twitter, consider doing the following:
1. Subscribe to resourceful Audiology/Hearing related blogs that consistently post new information including www.aubankaitis.com, www.TheAudiologistToBe.Com, www.hearinghealthmatters.org, www.justaudiologystuff.com to name a few
2. Check out various Audiology/Hearing Industry Facebook Business Pages including Oaktree Products; we have some real creative stuff we plan to rollout in February in the form of #OaktreeProp. What is that? LIKE and check out Oaktree Products on Facebook and Twitter and you will have to see. Very witty indeed.
Hope to see you out there in Facebook-Land, Twitter-ville, and the Blogosphere!