Exciting things are happening in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) in Australia. At last, we have our own hashtag #OzDOC.
Now for those of you who are screwing up your forehead, looking at the computer quizzically and saying "hashtag?", I'm talking about Twitter.
To most members of the OzDOC (Australian Diabetes Online Community), Twitter is still a dark, scary place where no one wants to venture. I have been playing in its muddy waters for a while now - and I'm still confused but, with help of other members of the DOC (that's the Diabetes Online Community - Worldwide), I am slowly navigating my way through.
I encourage you to give it a go. Its not as scary as you think and you will make lots of new friends in the DOC. I believe that social media is the way of the future and we must learn to embrace it, not be scared of it.
Twitter is an ideal place to connect with others worldwide and to share information. Basically, as a member of Twitter, you have a "handle" or username (mine is @CoastCath) and you send out "Tweets" - a short status message in 140 characters. You use "hashtags" (things like #OzDOC, #diabetes and #T1D) to mark keywords or topics in your Tweet. If you want to direct a Tweet to a certain person, you use their "handle" in the Tweet, usually at the start to let them know that the Tweet is for them (for example @CoastCath Loving your new Blog about #OzDOC).
So, are you willing to give it a go?
Go to Twitter and register. Then spend some time looking around. Feel your way. "Follow" me if you like and start looking at who I am following and who is following me. You can also use the Search function to find others by using hashtags in your search such as #diabetes. You will find #OzDOC is alive and well.
The first ever #OzDOC chat will be held on Tuesday, 31 July at 8.30pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time). Get on board and come and join us.