Thursday, October 22, 2009

How "GOOGLE"able Are You?

As the world is getting smaller, flatter and more globalized, social media is the way to go in the near future.

Those who are not convinced, watch the video clip "Did You Know 4.0?" below:

You can read the detailed transcript of the video here.

Just to trigger your imagination:

This year (2009), traditional advertising revenue is in steep decline:
  • Newspapers advertising is down 18.7%
  • TV advertising is down 10.1%
  • Radio advertising is down 11.7%
  • Magazine advertising is down 14.8%
Meanwhile, digital advertising is growing rapidly:
  • Mobile advertising is up 18.1%
  • Web advertising is up 9.2%
  • 47% of broadcast television viewers say they would pay for ad-less programming.
Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube collectively get 250 million unique visitors per month. None of these sites existed 6 years again.

In fact, the question today we should ask ourselves is 'HOW "GOOGLEABLE" are you?'.
It is part of our personal and professional branding in the online community.

One can test out one's online "googleability" by using the online ID Calculator here.

In fact, the webpage of that online calculator even goes to claim that "Today, if you don't show up in Google, you don't exist"

Nevertheless, I believe that social media participation by healthcare professionals are very fragmented. As highlighted in this blog story by Dr. V, physicians ought to follow one another on twitter for example, to create a loud, resounding voice. I like what he said, regarding the example of the vaccination. Here is what he said:

"60,000 is a number I reference when discussing physicians and social media. There are 60,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Every pediatrician fights vaccine misinformation, especially as they relate to autism. Consider the fact that the first two pages of a Google search for vaccines and autism are polluted with anti-vaccine propaganda driven by a loud, socially-savvy minority. If every AAP member wrote a myth-dispelling post concerning immunization just once a year, Google would be ruled by reason."
Of course, participating in social media ought to be tampered with a sense of professionalism, medical ethics and a conviction of one's professional responsibility to protect the patient's privacy. One should just take a look at this story of medical students posting pictures that compromised patient's privacy.

One of the reasons why this blog was set up is because I know emergency medicine in my country is still in its infancy and the niche area I can use to improve the development of emergency medicine in my country is through the cyber community.

Furthermore, most of my medical students today have a facebook profile, some have their own blogs, that they have been blogging about their ward experiences. Shouldn't we as doctors and lecturers do so?


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