Introduction to Social Media for DDW Attendees
Congratulations—if you’re reading this blog, you’re already using social media. Read on to get some advanced tips, and to find out how to use social media to get the most out of your DDW experience.
Using Social Media
Social media is a form of electronic communication through which users can create and join online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content.
Social media can:
- Expand your professional network and give you access to online conversations among peers. DDW’s LinkedIn group can help you make new professional connections, while the blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts are forums for informal exchange.
- Give you access to content you might not otherwise see. On YouTube, you can watch video tutorials about how to use MyDDW and how to navigate the abstract submission site. You can also watch previews of the meeting’s content in videos produced by invited speakers. Social media users who can’t attend DDW in person can follow some of the science presented at the meeting by viewing the videos, abstracts and other information shared online.
- Enhance your learning experience. By scanning QR codes in the DDW poster hall, you can watch videos of the presenters discussing their work and access ePosters, electronic versions of posters you can view now or later.
- Help you with travel logistics and keeping track of program updates. You can get real-time updates on room changes or cancelations by following DDW on Twitter. Sightseeing information about the host city and tips for planning your itinerary are available year round on the blog.
Lurkers welcome! In social media jargon, a lurker is someone who wants to keep up with the conversation, but who doesn’t want to participate publicly. For example, you can create a private Twitter account
and get access to DDW’s updates with no obligation to send any Tweets yourself. It’s up to you how much—or how little—to get involved.
A QR code (abbreviation for Quick Response Code) is a type of bar code that you can scan with your smart phone or mobile device. Data such as contact information (in the case of a QR code on a business card) or a website’s URL is sent to your phone when you scan the code. To scan, you will need a QR code reader installed on your device. There are many free versions of this software available for download. DDW recommends the app at www.i-nigma.com/mobi.
DDW uses QR codes on printed materials such as the Agenda Book, and on posters in the poster hall. Scan the code on the Agenda Book to download the electronic version of the book to your Kindle, Nook or tablet (or download from the website). Scan the codes on poster boards to access ePosters* and promotional videos about each poster (if submitted by the poster presenter).
After scanning the QR codes, you can bookmark ePosters or videos in your browser for later viewing.
Do you include website links in patient handouts or brochures for your practice? Try creating QR codes for free at www.i-nigma.com. Rather than typing a long URL, readers can scan the code to reach the link instantly.
Facebook is one of the world’s largest and most popular social media sites. More than 845 million people around the world use Facebook to connect with friends and family, share photos and links, keep up with what’s going on in the world and express themselves. About 425 million people access Facebook on their mobile devices.
Facebook is free to use and it’s easy to sign up. Visit www.facebook.com to create an account.
To find DDW on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/DDWMeeting (no login required to see our page). If you’re already logged in, you can simply search for Digestive Disease Week. Once you’re there, press the gray “Like” button to get DDW news and updates directly in your news feed. You can also post directly to DDW’s wall to ask a question or make a comment about the meeting, upload and tag photos of yourself and other attendees at DDW and get access to special deals in San Diego.
: Concerned about privacy? Rest assured that no one—including DDW staff—can see your personal information on Facebook unless you choose to share it. Visit www.facebook.com/privacy
to learn more.
In addition to a personal account, you can create a Facebook page for your practice or lab to share journal articles, information for patients, links to websites and more.
Twitter is a social networking and “micro-blogging” site, a faster and minimalist version of a Facebook status update. Twitter users send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets.” Because of its speed, Twitter has become a hub for news and information sharing. With its near real-time nature, Twitter has become a popular way for meeting attendees to connect and communicate with each other.
Twitter is free and it’s easy to set up an account at www.twitter.com or on your phone.
How to Create a Twitter Account on your Phone
- Send a text message to 40404 with the word START.
- Twitter will send you a reply and ask you to reply back with the word SIGNUP to create a new account. Send SIGNUP.
- Next, Twitter will ask you to pick a username. Your username must be unique and less than 15 characters. Reply with the username you want.
- You will get a confirmation message when you pick a valid username (Twitter will tell you to pick a new name if someone else already has the username you wanted).
- You’re all set! Send a message and it will post as your first Tweet
Once you’ve signed up, visit our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/DDWMeeting. Click on the gray “Follow” button to get DDW’s Tweets delivered to your Twitter account.
Tweets often include a hashtag: a word or phrase preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are used to mark key words or topics in Tweets so that they show up more easily in Twitter Search. By clicking on a hashtagged word in any message, users can see all other Tweets in that category. DDW uses the hashtag #DDW12 to categorize all Tweets about this year’s meeting. Include #DDW12 in all of your Tweets to join the conversation.
A Twitter user name is denoted by the symbol @. For example, DDW’s official account is @DDWMeeting
. You can “talk” to other Twitter users by adding their user names to your Tweet—and they can reply to you in the same way.
Set up a list of all the contacts and companies you meet at DDW so you can follow them and connect after DDW.
Organize a Tweetup: Connect with your Twitter contacts in person. Pick a day, place and time and promote your Tweetup with the hashtag #DDW12.
LinkedIn is a social media site that is specifically oriented to the professional world and connects users with colleagues and people with whom they’ve done business. Users can create a shortened online version of their CV or resume to share with their “network”—people users know personally (“connections”), plus the people who their connections know.
LinkedIn is a great option for people who prefer to maintain boundaries between their professional and personal lives. The site allows you to keep in touch with colleagues, without looking through the family photos or playing the online games that are prevalent on sites such as Facebook.
DDW maintains a LinkedIn group where anyone with an interest in the meeting can join a discussion, start a poll or connect with others who share their interests. Create a free account at www.linkedin.com and search for Digestive Disease Week to join.
Tip: Add your education and training—college, medical school, residency or fellowship—to your profile. Include the years you attended or worked there, and LinkedIn will suggest people you might know who were at those institutions at the same time. This could be a great way to find classmates and colleagues you haven’t seen in years.
Flickr is an online photo sharing site. Users can upload, tag and share photos, and comment on the photos of others.
On DDW’s Flickr account (www.flickr.com/photos/ddwmeeting) we will share photos taken at the meeting. You don’t need to register for the site to view photos, but if you are a Flickr user, please join our group. Visit Flickr.com and search for Digestive Disease Week to upload your own DDW 2012 photos. Use our tag, DDW12, to share.
Visit the photo area in Hall F of the exhibit hall, near the ASGE Store, to have your photo taken and uploaded to our Flickr account. Visit Flickr
to find your photo and share online with family and friends.
What’s the second largest search engine on the Internet? The answer is YouTube, a site for sharing and watching videos online that gets two billion views per day.
DDW’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/DDWMeeting, includes videos from poster presenters and invited speakers who give insights into their work, and interviews with attendees about their experiences at DDW 2012. You can also watch videos from last year’s meeting. No log-in is required to watch.
Tip: Look for DDW’s roving reporter—she will be walking the halls with a video camera and tripod, talking to attendees about their experience at the meeting. You could be the next YouTube star.
After DDW, you can keep in touch with contacts you met this week, and get information about DDW 2013 by staying connected on social media.
Final Tip: It’s actually a request. Please let us know what you think: Leave a comment below if you liked (or didn’t like) this blog post. Your feedback can help make the blog more useful for future readers.