Special: Behind the scenes of latest blog post (Plus: doctors on Twitter)

Twitter logoby Leigh Ann Hubbard, Managing Editor

Do you tweet?

There’s this cool thing. All the kids are doing it. It’s called Twitter. At first glance, it seems to be about the most inane thing you could possibly do with your time. You log on; a box asks, “What are you doing?” and you get 140 characters to answer. Yep. That’s it.

But, after reading about it seemingly everywhere (like here, here and here), I finally dove in a little over a month ago. I’m officially addicted. And guess what … there are lots of doctors who tweet. What’s more, Dr. Hubbard’s latest blog post can be attributed directly to this silly little site.

Tweeting News Tips

On Twitter, you can follow just about anyone’s messages you like. And they can follow yours. I use it to post things like health tips, links to interesting medical stories or blogs, and behind-the-scenes action from the JHMFD office.

Yesterday, I linked to Dr. Hubbard’s blog post on the family-doctor shortage. One of my followers, “coloradocoach,” replied with a simple tweet.

Laura Benjamin

Article on doctors moving to Texas since the state stopped abusive medical malpractice lawsuits. National Review 5-5-08 issue. Interesting. 08:21 AM June 18, 2008


I looked up more information and sent links to Dr. Hubbard. He found it interesting. Next thing you know, he’s got a follow-up post written.

Doctors Using Twitter

There are many twittering doctors (well, at least, people who say they’re doctors). They link to their blogs and share unique physician experiences. Here are a few of the many I follow.

How to Use Twitter

Whatever you’re interested in, I’m betting you can find tweeple (that’s right) tweeting about it. And it’s pretty doggone easy to figure it out.

  1. Twitter birdCreate a free account (simple!) at Twitter.com.
  2. Write a test tweet to see how easy it is.
  3. Start following people. You can search for topics or locations. When you find someone who looks interesting, just press the “follow” button. (You can start with me! I’m friendly.)

Twitter has grown so much that it sometimes has capacity problems. If you get an error page, just try again in a minute or so. The problem usually doesn’t last long.

Twitter for Business

Finally, one last Twitter story: The folks at Columbus, Ohio’s, NBC 4 tweeted a link to their blog. I left a comment on it. Managing editor Ryan Squire noticed and found our magazine interesting. He contacted me. Today, thanks to producer Allison Wenger, they did a story on us during their First at 4 newscast. And we’re in Colorado!


FYI, my personal favorite tweeter of all time: sockington / Sockamillion — “I am Jason Scott’s cat.”

Any questions? I’m glad to answer!

Are you on Twitter? Post your link!


UPDATE 6/20/08: I forgot to mention: When looking at profiles, skip the tweets with “@” in front of them. Those are responses to other people. You won’t receive most of those (and they won’t make sense).

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10 Responses to “Special: Behind the scenes of latest blog post (Plus: doctors on Twitter)”

  1. Mark Salinas Says:

    Wow! Very informative! Twitter is such a powerful tool today in the information technology world. If you want… Twitter along with other social networking tools can take your company/presence to endless limits. Perseverance and responsiveness are the keys in my book. Even if the step is minimal it is a step towards a positive result.

    “Every waterfall starts with a drop! Very good post!

    Mark Salinass last blog post..Healthy Gadgets

  2. lhubbard Says:

    Thanks very much, Mark. I love your tweets.

    Follow Mark at http://twitter.com/mark_salinas . He’s a health tweeter (and blogger), too.

    Leigh Ann Hubbard
    Managing Editor
    James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor

  3. Judy Rodman Says:

    Who would have thought that such a small bunch of words could result in the sharing of so much knowledge? I’m loving the social networking that makes this possible. Twitter is one of the easiest sites on which to get started.

    After I dived in myself, I found info on various places to teach me the most effective ways to use Twitter. More is possible than you might imagine, such as automatically uploading blogpost urls.

    Amazing to discover current medical thoughts by following folks like MFD on Twitter. I look forward to one day in the future when a doctor tweets “cancer now has a proven cure”, and it be true. Meanwhile… thanks for all the great info on your site and in your magazine!

    Judy Rodmans last blog post..Karaoke singing lands a career

  4. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H Says:

    You guys are making me want to tweet. My heart is all a-twitter.

  5. lhubbard Says:

    Ha ha! Maybe we’ll have a new doctor tweeter soon.

    Follow Judy Rodman at https://twitter.com/judyrodman .

    - Leigh Ann

  6. Phil Baumann Says:

    Good stuff, glad to see attempts to use these tools in healthcare (you can read my stab at the opportunity these tools offer at “Why an RN is Interested in…”

    How useful/cool would it be for residents to follow top-notch docs’ Tweets? Or use Twitter for staffing or for getting instant feedback from medical followers for perplexing cases (think of “cloud-medicine”).

    Great to see this expand. Thanks!

    Phil Baumanns last blog post..Credibility: Unknown

  7. lhubbard Says:

    Thanks, Phil (who is, by the way, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/philbaumann ). Yes, Twitter has so many potential applications, eh? Your ideas are quite interesting. It’s neat to be involved in something at such a relatively early stage of its development. I look forward to seeing what Twitter’s future brings.

    Leigh Ann Hubbard
    Managing Editor
    James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor

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