I've been blogging for a very long time. Tweeting since before Twitter had an "e" .. (it was called twittr) .. Blogging since Blogger was just a little feature of a long-dead product called Pyra. Raise your hand if you remember Pyra. Ok ..you get 10 extra nerd points today!
That doesn't make me an expert – but it does give me a perspective on the whole thing that may be .. umm .. mature.
- When we started (~ 1999) – blogging was not about self-promotion or exhibitionism (as some seem to think it is ) – it was about education and transparency. In Health Care – there were a handful of us – no more than ten people – blogging about how we experience life in this fascinating profession.
- When we started (2006) – tweeting wasn't about self-promotion or exhibitionism (as some seem to think it is) – it was about efficiently informing colleagues about something that may be important to them.
I was on a conference call the other day and I was surprised when a colleage made a remark about tweeting as somehow inherently exhibitionistic. I've heard this before from people I respect – and didn't give it much thought. That's not how I view tweeting … so I've mistakenly lumbered away with my anachronistic (naive?) view of tweeting to simply be an efficient way of educating ("FYI – there is important news"), modeling ("I'm thinking about a topic in a certain way you may find valuable") or (less often) informing (" I ran 15 miles today"). And I understand how others may view it as something with less value and less integrity – but they are only seeing the treetops. There is depth to Blogging and tweeting that remains at its core – valuable and important. You just have to know where to look.
I'm not a prolific "tweeter" or "blogger" these days – but when I do post – I generally try to make it something that would be of value to others. I don't say much that's already "out there" and I avoid "re-tweeting" unless it's something that is outside of my domain. For example – since most of my followers work in health care and Health IT – I try not "re-tweet" something to that "circle" - as it would just be redundant to them. For example – I tweeted on Friday that Google Health was closing .. as it was breaking news at the time that I saw it .. but I never tweeted that ONC was releasing (great) ediucational materials on HIT because it's been tweeted hundreds of times since last Wednesday when they were released. How would this tweet add value to the world? Precious little.
So blogging or tweeting for the sake of blogging or tweeting IS a waste of everyone's time. Yet careful, deliberate use of these powerful tools will contibute meaningully toward the education of our communities.