Virtual communities and social media | Jim Rawson | TEDxAugusta

if we were having this discussion on Twitter it might look something like this but we're not having this conversation on Twitter we're having this conversation in person and so I'm not limited to 140 characters otherwise this would be a very short TED talk so when you think about social media what do you see silly cat videos pictures of what people had for breakfast do you think of people playing with mobile devices instead of talking to the person next to them in your mind is social meeting media and isolating technology or is it a connecting technology to explore this let's consider our passions what is your passion what reaches into your soul and calls to you who shares this passion with you and how are you connected this group of like-minded people where do they gather how often do they meet where do they find new members and if you had an army of people who shared that passion with you what would you do with the army reflect on the world think for a moment of this past week think about the events in your family your life your community the globe no lack of problems no lack of opportunities no lack of challenges what if you could face those challenges with a group of people who shared your common interest who had common values but came from different backgrounds backgrounds that allowed to bring a different approach to that challenge they would be diverse but they would be focused 25 years ago such a community might meet in its single geographic location once a year or maybe every several years with virtual communities they could meet any time let's use Twitter as an example a tweet is a message that is sent out 140 characters or less there are over 270 million active people using Twitter each of these users has a unique user name on Twitter usually an @ sign followed by their name and if they want to connect with each other on a similar topic they use a hashtag or a number sign followed by a word or an abbreviation and you might actually schedule to talk to people on Twitter at a specific time and on a specific topic and that would be called a tweet chat so let me tell you my story in hashtags several years ago I was at the radiology Society of North America's annual meeting the are SNA this is the largest radiology meeting in the world over 50,000 people attend this meeting the meeting planners decided to encourage people to use social media specifically Twitter so I set up a Twitter account and I tweeted a question I wanted to know the answer to nobody answered I had no connections on Twitter I was isolated I was frustrated so I did not use my Twitter account for years I was at a different meeting I was at arm the annual research meeting of Academy health and at that meeting the meeting planners again said use social media use Twitter and they provided a little more guidance and they said follow the meeting hashtag so I was sitting in a lecture room listening to a speaker and I looked on my phone on the meeting hashtag I saw brilliant insights on health policy that had nothing to do with what the speaker was saying these were the tweets from all of the other lectures the ones I couldn't attend because I was in this one from there I got more interested in connecting on Twitter and I discovered chats and I joined the healthcare leadership chat HCl dr that led me to work with my professional society and the Journal of the American College of Radiology now has the JCR chat but instead of radiologists talking to radiologists and agreeing with our own opinions this is public and includes patients other physicians other stakeholders in healthcare that's a different community one evening at home I looked at the Twitter stream and discovered that the American Association of medical colleges was holding their annual meeting I wasn't at the meeting I was in Augusta Georgia but I noticed the conversation seemed to be important to me it was about medical education so I tweeted out there should be a virtual community of people who are passionate about medical education the response came back immediately there is it's called hashtag med ed and we meet at nine o'clock on Thursday nights who knew but perhaps the most important hashtag for me was IHI 25 forum this was the meeting of the Institute of healthcare improvements their 25th annual meeting I wasn't at that meeting but I was able to look on Twitter and see comments from that meeting there was a program talking about change management and improving healthcare these are my passions the audience was tweeting about a presenter that had all of this amazing material on how to improve healthcare but I couldn't see the presentation but I connected with the presenter and Helen sent me her slides it turned out helen is the chief transformation officer for the National Health Services in the United Kingdom a few weeks later they announced the opening of a virtual school called the school for health and care radicals to teach people how to improve and change health care so I attended a virtual school from Augusta Georgia sponsored by a health system of another country I have never met any of the people I went to school with but we are involved in projects and we will change healthcare so what can once we do you can teach a concept I've learned so much from my colleagues around the world on Twitter it can inspire people you can provide hope think about someone who suffered a loss and the outpouring of support they can receive from a network of people think about the connections that you could build and the relationships with people who are around the world people you might never have encountered I believe that one tweet can change the world Margaret Mead said never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world indeed it's the only thing that ever has yet when she said that those small groups did not have access to social media by introducing our friends to each other we become connectors creators of virtual communities we become a positive force for change I've introduced you to many of my friends on Twitter but really the opportunity for you it's a quarter of a billion people on social media your opportunity is to build a network to change the world when you came in this morning into TEDx Augusta you were mere mortals you leave with a superpower the question is will you use it responsibly will you become a cyberbully or will you become a cyber innovator or a cyber connector for positive change and where do you start Ghandi said that you should be the change you want to see in the world so you start where your passion meets the world's greatest need you take out your phone and you connect with someone who shares your passion who shares your interests but don't stop there connect with someone you disagree with connect with someone whose opinions are not the same as yours so you can learn from each other one tweet can change the world you have tools to do that now one tweet can change the world and that is an idea where it's spreading thank you


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