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Social media as a conduit for resolving surgical challenges

Wikipedia defines social media as a means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

In 1965 Moore’s law stated that the volume required for a memory chip or processor would decrease by 50% every 18 months. This predicted exponential development rate has continued for the last 50 years and can be most visibly seen in everyday items such as smart phones or digital cameras. Whilst there is no clear explanation for this phenomenon it is most often attributed to the way in which ideas and technological breakthroughs are replicated throughout the industry and also transferable to different applications. It is the access to others’ knowledge that results in the rapid improvements.

We have recently had a paper accepted looking at Karolinska’s first 113 totally intracorporeal robotic cystectomies. Part of the published data is their complications and this includes a table of common complications with suggested solutions to avoid them. For example, when the results were analysed we found that 1 in 5 intracorporeal ileal conduits showed evidence of urinary leakage from the anastomoses. On reflection it was felt that this was probably due to the stoma spout being created after the undocking of the robot and that the anastomoses was put under too much tension. This part of the procedure had effectively been done blind. Their solution was to put the camera through one of the lateral ports when they pulled out the conduit through the stoma site, so that they could avoid rotation of the mesentery and tension on the anastomoses.

This was their experience and their insight and will not be the same as other series. But what if we created a table that surgeons shared and exchanged different insights into their more common or more severe complications, could we avoid making the same mistakes in our learning curves and improve our outcomes?

Consider the last time you were faced with a likely technical challenge during an upcoming case. Would it not be good to counsel the advice of a wider audience as you planned a robotic radical prostatectomy for a 200cc prostate and you worried about how to get the bladder down for a tension-free, watertight anastomosis? Sometimes small nuances of surgical technique do not get print space in the established surgical atlases or peer-review publications of surgical technique. Anecdote-based advice is sometimes essential to get through difficult cases, which is why it’s good to have a senior mentor available for advice as your own surgical experience develops.

But perhaps this is where the rapidity of communication and online archive in social media may have a role to play. Have we as a profession missed a trick in the directive to publish our results and our complications rates when we should be publishing and sharing our solutions to the complications? Could a blog of surgical tips and tricks for certain procedures provide a repository of surgical knowledge that others could both use and add to in a Wikipedia-style?

I hope we can utilise this blog to document our experiences of difficulties in robotic surgery with accompanying tips and tricks on how to avoid them. If we get enough then we could do something rather old fashioned, such as publishing them together in a table in a journal! Do leave a comment and let the world know what you think.

Justin Collins is a Consultant Urologist at Ashford and St Peters NHS Foundation Trust, UK and is a regular trainer on the faculty at IRCAD, Strasbourg, France@4urology

 

Comments on this blog are now closed.

 

Social media @BJUIjournal – what a start!

When Prokar Dasgupta assumed the role of new Editor-in-Chief of the BJUI in January 2013, he outlined his vision and some of the major changes that the Journal would make as it transitioned to a new editorial team. After 10 years of progress under John Fitzpatrick, it was clear that we are now working in a much-changed publishing landscape, one which will change even more in the next few years. In particular, the way in which medical professionals receive information and interact with colleagues, patients, journals and other professional groups is unrecognisable from what it was just 2 or 3 years ago.

Social media is the driver of much of this change. It has transformed the way in which the current generation of trainees interact—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Urban Spoon, Expedia, Trip Advisor, Instagram – all of these platforms are key conduits for how Generation Z experiences life. This generation will find the idea of a printed journal arriving in the post every month to be anathema. In a world with an ever-increasing amount of content being produced, and much competition for our limited attention span, Gen Z live their lives through mobile platforms capable of delivering the precise content they want, immediately to their devices. Not just that, this content, whether that be breaking news via Twitter, friend status updates on Facebook, job opportunities via LinkedIn, is delivered through vibrant media that allows them to engage and respond by liking, sharing, favourite-ing, re-tweeting and commenting, even as the content reaches them. All of this activity is done through convenient and increasingly pervasive mobile platforms while on the train to work, while queuing for a coffee, between cases in theatre, during a lecture, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. Gen Z will not seek out this type of content – it will seek them out and be delivered straight to their timeline/twitter-feed.

The BJUI is the first surgical journal to introduce an Associate Editor for Social Media. The aim is to devise and implement a strategy to ensure that the BJUI evolves in this new world; to ensure that the next generation of trainees find us a meaningful organisation to engage with and be informed, educated and entertained by. Our fellow Associate Editor, Matt Bultitude (Web) plays an important role here as do our publishers, our Executive team and Editor-in-Chief.

 

Our social media platforms

So what have we done? If you are on Twitter or Facebook you will have noticed that BJUI has come to life on these key social media platforms.

Between January and April 2013, our followers on Twitter have grown from by one third to over 1300, and continue to grow at over 100 followers per month. Through Twitter alone, we have generated huge traffic back to our website with over 3500 link clicks from the hundreds of interactions we have had during this period.

 

 

Advanced social media metrics allow us to measure all of this activity against other organisations active in urology. For example our Klout score has increased from 46 to 55 with a corresponding increase in our Peerindex rating. We are leading the field across all of the key domains we have targeted to date and continue to make progress as we introduce further changes at www.bjui.org in 2013.

Our Facebook site is now highly engaging and is constantly updated with news and content from our website.

 

 

We have recorded over 133 000 page impressions by 23 000 Facebook visitors in the first 3 months of 2013, a huge rise from previously, and all of this traffic gets directed back to content at www.bjui.org, whether that be a Journal article, blog, picture quiz or our new ‘Poll of the Week’.

 

 

Our YouTube site is updated with videos from authors and other multimedia content to complement citable articles published in the Journal. You will see a lot more content added here in coming months.

 

[email protected]

But perhaps the most talked-about area we have introduced is [email protected]. And although we are the first mainstream urology journal to introduce a blog site, other journals have done so with great success. In September, we visited the social media team at the BMJ to get some tips on how they had developed their social media strategy into the very successful multi-platform spectacular, which they now oversee. Juliet Dobson, Blogs Editor and Assistant Web Editor at the BMJ offered some excellent advice to help us get up and running and their former Editor, Richard Smith, remains one of the bloggers we most admire. BMJ Blogs is well worth a visit for aspiring bloggers to read some of the best.

We launched our new web journal on the 2 January 2013 to coincide with the new Editor taking the helm, and also published our first blog that day. From then until April 2013, [email protected] has featured the following:

  • 51 blogs contributed by 25 authors on three continents
  • 193 comments from all over the world, including opinion from some household names in academic urology
  • 16 editorial blogs from our specialty Associate Editors
  • 4 blogs from major urology conferences
  • Multidisciplinary contributions from both authors and comment-leavers

The topics have included everything from urology humour, through the European Working Time Directive, reality TV and an eminent urologist describing his recent personal experience of robotic radical prostatectomy. Our contributors have included many of the key opinion leaders in social media in urology, many of whom are rising stars or already established in academic urology. Also established urology opinion-leaders who are rather new to social media but enjoying the challenge! Other contributors are young trainees who have proved themselves to be talented bloggers already. [email protected] has been highly successful at driving traffic to the Article of the Week as improving quality remains our main objective.

Also of note is the impact that social media has made at urology conferences in the past few months. As part of a planned strategy, the BJUI social media team has been very active posting updates on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube from major urology conferences, thereby increasing the reach of these meetings to a much larger audience and also allowing those following on social media to engage pro-actively with the conference. This has been a very successful strategy; social media metrics confirm that the BJUI team has been leading the social media revolution at this year’s Annual European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress:

 

 

We had set a target that by the end of the first quarter we would have 1000 readers per month visiting [email protected] By the end of the February, we had already had over 9000 visits to our blog site! Each reader spent over 3.5 min reading the web journal and many of them left comments or pushed out links using Twitter or Facebook. We have had many comments posted by readers from every corner of the world and have enjoyed some very humorous posts. For us, social media is all about engagement. We want to use these platforms to allow readers to passively engage with us by liking, sharing, tweeting content that they enjoy whether that is a full paper in the BJUI, a blog post, YouTube video, weekly poll or Picture Quiz of the Week. And for those who want to engage more actively, we strongly encourage you to join the conversation and add a comment.

So we have had a great start to our social media push at the BJUI. And there will be a lot more to come in the coming months. For those of you who are new to social media, we encourage you to dip your toes in by reading a blog or two and adding a comment. Before you know it you will have downloaded the Twitter app to your smartphone and you’ll be off and running! For the Twitterati, we thank you for all your enthusiasm in helping us get social media up and running at the BJUI and we look forward to your blogs, mentions, re-tweets and podcasts over the coming months. Social media is all about engagement – join the conversation @BJUIjournal.

Declan G. Murphy and Marnique Basto

Division of Cancer Surgery, University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia


Declan Murphy is Associate Editor for Social Media at the BJUI.
Follow him on Twitter @declangmurphy

The BJUI Social Media Awards 2013

The BJUI has been very pleased with the large amount of social media activity we have seen across our various platforms since January 2013 when the new-look Journal was introduced. Editor-in-Chief, Prokar Dasgupta, has decreed that he wants the BJUI to be “the most-read surgical journal on the web”, and has recognised the key role that social media plays in realizing this ambition. At the same time, the social media revolution that has engrossed Gen Y and Gen Z and which has transformed the way in which news is communicated, has now taken a foothold in scientific publishing and is evolving.

To recognise the rapidly growing interest in social media in urology, and also to acknowledge those who have played a major role in advancing social media in urology at the BJUI and elsewhere, we this year inaugurated the BJUI Social Media Awards, presented for the first time at the AUA recently. Individuals and organisations were recognised across 20 categories including the top gong, The BJUI Social Media Award 2013, awarded to an individual or organization who has made an outstanding contribution to social media in urology in the preceding year.

This year’s Awards Ceremony was held in the Dublin Square Irish Bar in San Diego during the AUA Annual Meeting. Sixty of the World’s leading social media enthusiasts (the “Uro-Twitterati”), gathered to meet up in person and to see who would be recognised. Sort of like the Oscars but without the wardrobe malfunctions. Yours truly played the role of MC. While most of the awards recognised genuine achievements in social media, there were a few “special” categories which recognised some reasonably strange activity propagated through social media channels!

Todd Morgan and Alex Kutikov, the brains behind Draw MD Urology and Urology Match who won the top award of the evening.

We were delighted to have recipients from all categories present at the ceremony including representatives from the AUA and EAU. The BJUI Social Media Awards Ceremony was competing with the European Urology Cocktail Reception a couple of blocks away but in the spirit of conviviality which we encourage, we welcomed European Urology Editor-in-Chief elect, Dr Jim Catto, and managing editor Cathy Pierce, who popped in for a drink and to collect the EAU awards.

A special thanks to my research fellow Dr Marni Basto who organised this year’s awards, and to Scott Millar and Helena Kasprowicz at BJUI in London who manage our social media and website activity.

For more pictures from the evening, please visit BJUI Associate Editor John Davies Flickr page.

 

Declan Murphy is Associate Editor for Social Media at BJUI. He is a uro-oncologist in Melbourne, Australia

Follow Declan on Twitter @declangmurphy 

 

Comments on this blog are now closed.

 

 

 

John Davis, BJUI Associate Editor: Urological Oncology

 

 

 

 

John Davis, BJUI Associate Editor for urological oncology, talks about why authors should submit to the BJUI.

The aim of the Journal is to publish high-quality papers with high-impact statements. Along with rapid reviews and publication, BJUI is supporting the impact of papers through social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. The journal will still be printed monthly, but additionally have an exciting web interface.

Social media @BJUIjournal: what a start!

When Prokar Dasgupta assumed the role of new Editor-in-Chief of the BJUI in January 2013, he outlined his vision and some of the major changes that the Journal would make as it transitioned to a new editorial team. After ten years of progress under Professor John Fitzpatrick, it was clear that we are now working in a much-changed publishing landscape, one that will change even more in the next few years. In particular, the way in which medical professionals receive information and interact with colleagues, patients, journals and other professional groups is unrecognizable from what it was just two or three years ago.

Social media is the driver of much of this change. It has transformed the way in which the current generation of trainees interact – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Urban Spoon, Expedia, Trip Advisor, Instagram – all of these platforms are key conduits for how Generation Z experiences life. This generation will find the idea of a printed journal arriving in the post every month to be anathema. In a world with an ever-increasing amount of content being produced, and much competition for our limited attention span, Gen Z live their lives through mobile platforms capable of delivering the precise content they want, immediately to their devices. Not just that, this content, whether that be breaking news via Twitter, friend status updates on Facebook, job opportunities via LinkedIn, is delivered through vibrant media that allows them to engage and respond by liking, sharing, favourite-ing, re-tweeting and commenting even as the content reaches them. All of this activity is done through convenient and increasingly pervasive mobile platforms while on the train to work, while queuing for a coffee, between cases in theatre, during a lecture, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. Gen Z will not seek out this type of content – it will seek them out and be delivered straight to their timeline/twitter-feed.

My role as Associate Editor (Social Media) at BJUI, has been to devise and implement a strategy to ensure that the BJUI evolves in this new world – to ensure that the next generation of trainees find us a meaningful organization to engage with and be informed, educated and entertained by. My fellow Associate Editors, Dr Matt Bultitude (Website), Dr Ben Challacombe (Innovation) and Dr Quoc-Dien Trinh (Health Services Research), play important roles here as do our publishers, our Executive team and Editor-in-Chief at BJUI.

So what have we done? If you are on Twitter or Facebook you will have noticed that BJUI has come to life on these key social media platforms.

 

Since 1st January, our followers on Twitter have grown by over 20% to 1151 and we have generated huge traffic back to our website with over 2000 link clicks from the 500 interactions we have had during this period.

 

Advanced metrics allow us to measure all of this activity against other organisations active in urology. For example our Klout score has increased from 46 to 53 with a corresponding increase in our Peerindex rating. We are leading the field across all of the key domains we have targeted to date and continue to make progress as we introduce further changes at bjui.org in 2013.

Our Facebook site is now highly engaging and is constantly updated with news and content from our website.

 

We have recorded over 73,000 page impressions by 11,000 Facebook visitors in the first two months of 2013, a huge rise from previously, and all of this traffic gets directed back to content at bjui.org, whether that be a Journal article, blog, picture quiz or our new “poll of the week”.

 

Our YouTube site is updated with videos from authors and other multimedia content to complement citable articles published in the Journal. You will see a lot more content added here in coming months.

But perhaps the most talked-about area we have introduced is [email protected]. And although we are the first mainstream urology journal to introduce a blog site, other journals have done so with great success. In September, Matt Bultitude and I visited the social media team at the BMJ to get some tips on how they had developed their social media strategy into the very successful multi-platform spectacular that they now oversee. Juliet Dobson, Blogs Editor and Assistant Web Editor at the BMJ offered some excellent advice to help us get up and running and their former Editor, Richard Smith, remains one of the bloggers I most admire. BMJ Blogs is well worth a visit for aspiring bloggers to read some of the best.

We launched our new website on the 2nd January 2013 to coincide with the new Editor taking the helm, and also published our first blog that day. From then until the 28th February 2013, [email protected] has featured the following:

  • 35 blogs contributed by 25 authors on three continents
  • 133 comments from all over the world
  • 8 editorial blogs from our specialty Associate Editors
  • Multidisciplinary contributions from both authors and comment-leavers

The topics have included everything from urology humour, through the European Working Time Directive, reality TV and an eminent urologist describing his recent personal experience of robotic radical prostatectomy. Our contributors have included many of the key opinion leaders in social media in urology, many of whom are rising stars or already established in academic urology. Also established urology opinion-leaders who are rather new to social media but enjoying the challenge! Other contributors are young trainees who have proved themselves to be talented bloggers already. I am quite pleased that the most-read blogs in January and February were written by two young trainees of mine in Melbourne. But I am sure the self-appointed King of Twitter, Ben Davies, and other established stars of urology social media will be vying for such coveted titles as the months go by.

I had set a target that by the end of the first quarter we would have 1000 readers per month visiting [email protected]. By the end of the February, we had already had over 9000 visits to our blog site! Each reader spent over 3.5 minutes per blog and many of them left comments or pushed out links to our blogs using Twitter or Facebook. We have had many comments posted by readers from every corner of the world and have enjoyed some very humorous posts. For us, social media is all about engagement. We want to use these platforms to allow readers to passively engage with us by liking, sharing, tweeting content that they enjoy whether that is a full paper in the BJUI, a blog post, YouTube video, weekly poll or Picture Quiz of the Week. And for those who want to engage more actively, we strongly encourage you to join the conversation and add a comment to any of our blogs.

So we have had a great start to our social media push at the BJUI. And there will be a lot more to come in the coming months – watch for our activity during the upcoming conference season and look forward to the results of the inaugural BJUI Social Media Awards to be announced at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting. For those of you who are new to social media, I encourage you to dip your toes in by reading a blog or two and adding a comment. Before you know it you will have downloaded the Twitter app to your smartphone and you’ll be off and running! For the Twitterati, I thank you for all your enthusiasm in helping us get social media up and running at the BJUI and I look forward to your blogs, mentions, re-tweets and podcasts over the coming months. Social media is all about engagement – join the conversation @BJUIjournal.

 

Declan Murphy is a uro-oncologist in Melbourne and is Associate Editor of Social Media at the BJUI. Follow him on Twitter @declangmurphy