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Twitter Chat Tools for International Urology Journal Club

Twitter is a great social channel for professionals to exchange ideas. I regularly use Twitter to connect with urologists, health care professionals, patients and thought leaders around the world. I also use Twitter to share my blog posts.

 

Participating in Twitter Chats

One of the many other ways I find value on the platform is by participating in Twitter Chats. Twitter chats are a great way to get people with a common interest into a community. A Twitter Chat can be a one-time event; however, most take place on a regular basis – weekly or monthly – and are organized around a designated hashtag.

Weekly healthcare chats that I regularly enjoy include: #hcsmanz (Healthcare and Social Media in Australia and New Zealand) and #hcsm (Healthcare Communications and Social Media) both on Sundays, #hcldr (Healthcare Leader) on Tuesdays, and #HITsm (Health IT Social Media) on Fridays.

My favorite Twitter chat, however, is the monthly #UROJC chat, International Urology Journal Club on Twitter. #UROJC takes place on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 3 pm Eastern time, and continues over a 48-hour period, rather than one hour. During this time, I can review and discuss current research in urology and engage with academic and community urologists around the world. The origins of #UROJC have previously been described by Dr. Henry Woo, @DrHWoo, in a BJUI blog post.

 

Twitter Chat Tools to Know

When you participate in #UROJC, or any other Twitter Chat, there are a few tools and tips that can be used to enhance your experience.

1. Tweetchat

A great application for Twitter Chats and conferences is Tweetchat.com. You can tweet directly from Tweetchat, and your tweets will automatically be appended with the hashtag. All participants using the hashtag can be viewed in a real-time stream.

How to use Tweetchat:

  • Go to Tweetchat.com.
  • Log in with your Twitter account.
  • Add the hashtag for the chat, i.e., #UROJC, in the “room” text box.
  • Now you will see all the people participating in the chat displayed in the stream in real time.
  • You can tweet directly from the platform through the tweet box provided. Tweetchat.com will automatically add the hashtag, and you are visible in the stream. You can click on buttons next to a tweet to reply or retweet another user.
  • You can also click to follow colleagues in the chat via Tweetchat. This is a great way to expand your network.

 

2. Twitterfall

Twitterfall is similar to Tweetchat, but has some customizable features. For example, you can edit out retweets, and control the speed of the Twitter stream. Twitterfall also has a place to create lists of people you want to engage with.

To get started on Twitterfall:

  • Go to Twitterfall.com.
  • Log in with your Twitter account to tweet directly from the platform.
  • Enter the hashtag #UROJC into the “search” text box.
  • View the discussion and participants in the stream.
  • Set your selections for a variety of other options including creating a list of participants.


3. Symplur

You can get a transcript of the tweets from each monthly #UROJC chat courtesy of Symplur. This is valuable if you want to review a chat or if you happened to miss a chat altogether.

In addition to chats, Symplur’s Healthcare Hashtag project is a rich resource for discovering and mining healthcare conversations on Twitter around specialties, disease states, patient communities, and healthcare conferences.

It is also interesting, at the end of a chat, to view Symplur’s analytics that show the participants who have the most mentions, tweets and impressions. Symplur can also a great place to identify new people to follow.

 

4. World Clock:

Because #UROJC is a global discussion over a two-day period, it can be confusing to keep track of starting times across multiple time zones. A great tool to find the time in your part of the world is the World Clock time zone converter.

 

I hope that you find these Twitter Chat tools and tips helpful, and I look forward to seeing you in the stream of our next monthly #UROJC. You can keep updated on what is up and coming on #UROJC by following the official Twitter account for the chat at @iurojc. You can always connect with me on Twitter @storkbrian.

 

Comments on this blog are now closed.

11 replies
  1. Matthew Bultitude
    Matthew Bultitude says:

    Brian. Thank you for this blog. I thought I knew about Twitter but now I realise I know very little about it. The applications you describe look very useful. For me, Twitterfall looks better but more complicated to get used to. I will try it for the next #urojc discussion. They both look like a better way of following the discussion especially if you aren’t tracking it live. Also love the stats on Symplur – looks like a very powerful tool for analysing activity and influence. Will be experimenting with these over the next few weeks.

      • Henry Woo
        Henry Woo says:

        Totally agree with you Prokar – I have now summoned Dr Davies through none other than a call through twitter – we await his wise counsel

        • Prokar Dasgupta
          Prokar Dasgupta says:

          Thanks Henry. I am waiting for responses and guidance from Ben and Brian and other twitterati who join in the conversation. I suspect there are many different ways to do it. It is like learning a new language.

      • Brian Stork
        Brian Stork says:

        Prokar,

        Thank you for your question about the appropriate use of hashtags on Twitter. I felt that your question was important and deserved a detailed and thoughtful response. I thought a lot about your question this weekend and attempted to answer it in the form of a blog post.”

        I hope that you find this information helpful and that others can learn from my own mistakes with hashtags.

        Brian

    • Brian Stork
      Brian Stork says:

      Matthew,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
      Twitter can be intimidating for many physicians at first because it is not necessarily intuitive. Fortunately, the Twitter community is amazing. There are many more tools and professionals that can help us out as we all become more comfortable and familiar with the platform.

      Thank you for your ongoing interest in Twitter and in #urojc.

  2. Prokar Dasgupta
    Prokar Dasgupta says:

    Loved my first participation at the international Journal Club this month discussing the PCOS study. The summary is on Henry Woo’s blog @BJUI.org

    I am looking forward to learning a lot more from Brian. Thanks for posting your expertise on the BJUI web journal – the new portal for publishing.

    • Brian Stork
      Brian Stork says:

      Prokar,

      I am really pleased to hear that you found value in your first #urojc discussion. We have an amazing opportunity, using tools such as Twitter, to unite academic and community urologist around the world for the benefit of our patients. The opportunity, in my opinion, is unprecedented given the incredible speed and global reach of Twitter.

      I am grateful to Dr. Henry Woo and BJU International for providing us with this opportunity and this venue.

      As the number of active participants, and the volume of discussion, on #urojc continues to increase, I believe you will find the tricks and tools mentioned in the post increasingly helpful.

      It is really exciting to see urologists from around the World leading medicine into the era of social media.

      Thank you for your comments,

      Brian

  3. Santosh Waigankar
    Santosh Waigankar says:

    Hi Brian,

    Would like to know whether international Journal Club is open to all.

    Regards.
    Santosh W
    INDIA.

  4. Isaac Thangasamy
    Isaac Thangasamy says:

    Hi Brian,

    Great summary of the tools one can use to engage in twitter discussions. I would like to add another tool called “TweetDeck”.

    It is very easily downloadable on to a mobile device or laptop. Log in using your twitter details. The beauty is that all columns are customisable. For example you can have a daily feed, follow a few #s, and even certain high profile tweeters! I find it very useful to keep tabs on various feeds especially during conferences such as #aua13.

    I could not embed the screenshot here but can be found via @iThangasamy, @StorkBrian, @BJUIjournal. or #urojc

  5. Peter Bordes
    Peter Bordes says:

    Brian a big thank you from all of us @Internetlabs for including our @TweetChat in your post. We are thrilled to power your chat community and have much more in store from a technology perspective. Make sure to watch for the relaunch of @oneQubeMe which powers @TweetChat. There is a next generation of applications w/ real-time stream analytics, follower mgmnt and hashtag insight in oneQube that integrate w/ TweetChat!

    Much more to come, and please keep giving us feedback on how we can be a better partner.

    Best,

    Peter

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