Twitter as a Microblog Platform

For me, this autumn was the season of meetings. Between August and November, I went on six different trips and now have that many file folders stuffed with meeting notes. More than the folders of take-home points, these meetings enable us to reconnect with old friends and meet new colleagues.

Fortunately, our professional networks can be nurtured continuously throughout the year with the help of social media platforms.

Although transfusion medicine had been slower than other areas of pathology to engage with Twitter, the Blood Bank Guy’s podcast on "Why Every Blood Banker Should Be on Twitter" has brought a critical mass.

At the AABB annual meeting this October, more than 850 tweets were shared from 242 accounts using the official hashtag (#AABB17). Check out this mountain of connections, conversations, and insights:

Were you moved by Dr. Elianna Saidenberg’s presentation on studying person-centered outcomes? If so, follow her on Twitter at @ESaidenberg. Do you appreciate the educational content created by Blood Bank Guy? If so, get on Twitter to ask @bloodbankguy a question or give feedback. Do you like to get the latest updates from AABB? If so, you can follow @AABB on Twitter.

Still skeptical? Well, Twitter doesn’t require an account to just view information. I challenge the Twitter naïve to set aside 30 minutes each week for the next 4 weeks. I hope that you like the content generated by our community and ultimately choose to become a contributor/participant. Here is what our Twitter network looked like during AABB this year:

I am impressed with our AABB network. By the way, this is what communication and collaboration look like today.

It’s important to appreciate that Twitter is not a blog.

Twitter is a microblog platform. It is designed for conversations.

In other words, don’t try to create the world’s perfect blog post on autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Just start an account, then listen and ask questions whenever you get curious.

Why limit your professional development to large meetings? Ditch the meeting notes and get connected!

Justin Kreuter

Justin Kreuter, M.D., is a clinical pathologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His practice consists of both general and subspecialty aspects of clinical pathology. At Federal Medical Center-Rochester, Dr. Kreuter runs the general laboratory that supports a local in-patient population and does a large amount of reference work. At Mayo Clinic, Dr. Kreuter's time is split between the transfusion medicine service and transplant laboratory. In addition to clinical activities, his academic interests include several aspects of medical education, including teaching clinical judgment, frameworks for feedback, and reflection in medical practice.