Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The power of social media in healthcare is inexhaustible - here are a few reasons why NHS organisations should be getting social on twitter and a few steps you can take towards your first tweet.

Twitter: Essential to your social media strategy

It was reported by TIME magazine in September of this year (2011) that Twitter has 100 million active users.
The daily average number of tweets was also reported to be in the realm of 230 million—up 110% since January 2011.
Using Twitter to implement your social media strategy is easy – the ability to share healthcare information is inexhaustible. Combine your online strategy and place/purpose in the NHS with honest conversation and relevant chatter – time to get social.

What’s happening while you are not tweeting?
Online conversation of patients, staff and nearby trusts occurs whether you are listening or not.
Twitter is a real time exchange of dialogue within a networked community – how can you contribute to your community when you are not engaging with them?
Tweets, trends and @mentions are something which on and offline organisations – including the NHS - can no longer afford to ignore.

Get started with Twitter

*Tweet – 140 characters. Keep it social, short and sharp.
*Retweet – regurgitate tweets that engage your followers and are relevant to your organisation/cause/campaign. Echo your organisations/campaigns, purpose and interests. Share it with your network.
*@mentions – tag your followers in a tweet. Direct tweets towards someone already listening. Ask questions. Manage conversation. Create Chatter. Build a network.
*#tags - create and follow trends on Twitter. #tags are meta data that connect tweets and birth trends across the Twitter platform #tags can brand a campaign and connect online champions – they can also be used for events and live twitter chats.
*#FF – Follow Friday. It’s nice to be liked. Build a network of like minded organisations and individuals with a digital salute.

Twitter is a tool which is savvy and an enabler of community, embrace this and your community will embrace you. So...

*Follow - check out those that follow you, provide timely responses, participate in conversations – what is going on locally?
*Keep it social – Has the Trust received an award? Have opening times to the clinic changed? Are staff administering flu jabs at a certain time and date? Talk about it. Let staff and patients know what is going on – even in real time.
*Keep it sweet – beware of language. Create a persona, be warm, be human.
*Build interest – promote with re-tweets of your followers. Invest time and effort to build a conversation and a relevant network.
*Plan - a content strategy will help focus your efforts on publishing content of value in a timely and relevant way.
*Location – add location data to tweets, push local healthcare information and news. Mobile usage of twitter means you can reach those listening for locations in real time. Location #tags can also be used in posts - #Leeds #London #Nottingham – this can be picked up by local press and individual users on twitter searching for these terms.
*Analytics– third party tools for your twitter strategy. Keep an eye on your metrics.
*Trends - Twitter is always on, make sure you have someone to monitor conversations, competitors and trends.

Entice your followers with relevant and local information, link to your website, release news and press releases, provide topics for conversation, get to know your network and execute searches. Dig in. Join in.

Third party tools for you and your twitter strategy:

For more information about using social media within the NHS then follow @nhssm* – and check out their blog

*there is a live chat at 8pm UK time usually on a Wednesday using hastag #nhssm where discussion around the topic of social media and the NHS occurs – join in or hang back and learn more about social media in the NHS.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tax Havens...sort it out.

This was originally posted on the Guardian.

Basically look at haven. Errrrm bailing out banks anyone? It makes no wonder that the whole country is torn apart and rioting, like a scene from a graphic novel with heroic yet fatal consequences. With NHS reforms, the highest rate of unemployment in over a decade (Tory repeat?) and this bloody weather it is no wonder we can't see past the end of our nose.

Sort it out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Society 2.0

We have become a generation that lives both in real-time and beyond that of our brain's processing needs. We are not actively living in the real world around us, more interacting with networked pseudo environments in which we exist and strive to create a plural reality.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Green for Danger.

A social reform plagues my mind
living a plural reality most of the time
Ears are guarded
by a muted mind
Clouds of crazed memories
overruling my sight
living in silence
a silence of regret
emotions spent
If you can hear the mute
let the pressure out

Social Memories.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011


Malaria in the Digital Age.

Malaria is a global killer, yet totally preventable. The majority of child deaths under the age of five within Sub-Saharan Africa alone are truly astounding, there is hope with child mortality now on the decrease in Africa.

A TED roadshow presentation about countries in Africa and their progression with MDG Goal 4: Child Mortality, highlights these improvements yet there is worry this is coming to a plateau of progression. Malaria is a global factor in child mortality and with news of mosquito's are becoming immune to prevention drugs along with a 'super species' of mosquito being found in Burkina Faso is a tremendous worry.

Having volunteered in a remote Village in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana with Platform2 I worry for the children that I have seen affected directly by Malaria in the small community of Kasapin. Malaria affects the future of children in developing countries, who have little or no access to mosquito nets, causing not only deaths in children but causing the education of those most vunerable to suffer.

The digital-youth of today are the makers of tomorrow, outh culture has become some what diverse and takes on many shapes within todays ever evolving and changing society. Without a youth movement within politics and society then important and lasting messages will be lost. In order for change the young need to interact with their government and peers on global issues. Web 2.0 - the Digital Age provides an accessbile and free platform for youth culture and advocacy of global issues to occur, tweeting, blogging and the infamous Facebook: it all counts, it’s all making noise. A conglomerate of youth and standing up for the future.

Social media platforms and lo-fi production of promotional material are very important in today’s techno-savvy and topically indebted youth. Mass media coporations and production agencies have all the time and money in the world to gloablize brands and televise reality shows, but give what seems little time to global issues- this is then left to NGO’s and activists to fight that corner. The sheer volume of The Mass Media affect draws on the worrying potential that a high proportion of the westernised world are slowly loosing our humanity and the power to make change.

Young people feel that change is hard to come by, we need to understand that we have been led blindly by governments, corrupt politicians and people in high places that take liberties of the weak and vunerable. We need to form strong social bonds both on and offline and use the tools that we have available to us- free social spaces, art funds and of course social media.

Fight injustice and use social media to better the world.

Related posts:

Eradicating Malaria
Farming in Kasapin

Useful links:

New mosquito type raises concern
Malaria No More UK
DFiD - Millenium Development Goals


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ghana farming - Kasapin July 2010.

As I write this I am sat in the middle of the African rainforest. The sound of tropical birds calling out to each other echoes in my ears. Insects project themselves, aware of their presence only by the abundance of noise they make, unthreatened.

I am sat on a tree that has fallen to the ground, sliced down by my host father's machete. Only three weeks ago I was in this same spot with Gifty, my host-sister, the only difference being I was sat under a tree and not perched on its side adjacent the ground.

Nana is clearing his land to farm some more plantain and cocoa trees, he tells me his father father gave him this land, "it is all mine, seven acres of it." I sit here in the Sub-Saharan desert in his seven acres, untouched by civilisation, unencountered.

The only thing these seven acres see are the people who love it for what it can provide, the weather and God.

God to which Nana just sat and prayed to before planting his first plantain sucker. I question these actions. Nana said, " I asked God to protect me, to protect my farm" Nana then broke off into traditional African song, hammering the ground.

A leather skinned old man walks by, with someone who I assume is his son. The mans skin looks like you could upholster a custom made chair with it. The leather man smiles and waves his machete as a sign of acceptance. A killer Ant passes by to my right, reminding me of an armoured soldier and the bites that the group received clearing the playground.

Nana calls to me, in broken English he tells me to pass him some plantain suckers. Some of them are rotten, or at least they smell that way. They are an alien finger reaching out through the ground and upwards, beyond, as if calling home.

I am told to go and rest, Nana and I laugh, we are reminded of an earlier conversation, how western life was too fast and that the important things like family and rest are left to pass by.

An oak coloured grasshopper makes an appearance, it doesn't move from my sight for over half an hour, sitting undisturbed; unless Nana makes a request about knowing the contents of my 'report', which he says is very nice.

Nana breaks from planting and asks me, "what are you going to do when you go back to England...teach, be a politician?"

I laugh and Nana joins in, we share yet another joke. I tell him that it is not very likely that I get into politics, I tell Nana that I don't like politicians, "they talk too much" he replies.

Several Ants pass and Nana chops down a rather stubborn tree, he has been doing so for the past ten minutes.

Crack! The crash of leaves and a dull thud, the tree has surrendered. The wind has changed and I can feel a chill in the air, rain is coming.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Facebook Pages: Brands and Businesses get more social

Last week Facebook HQ announced a planned role out to update and improve its Pages. The update, which will affect all users by March 10, allows admins of a Facebook Page to interact with their fans and connections in the same way as a personal profile log in.

Facebook are excited about the improvements to Pages stating that the new features ‘will help you manage communication, express yourself, and increase engagement,’ this is welcomed news for brands and companies engaged in the social sphere.
If you are eager to preview the page layout before all pages are automatically updated across the site this spring, the ability to upgrade your account lies with a few clicks of a mouse.

Facebook Pages: Business minded?

The update allows admins the option to display Facebook profiles of page owners directly onto your business Page in Facebook. This change allows potential clients and employees the opportunity to make contact to professionals on a personal level, much like LinkedIn.

This additional feature to Pages gives any Facebook user the tools to connect with those working behind the scenes of a business or brand. This champions the ‘be human’ mantra that social media mavens are constantly offloading as free advice to businesses socially active in the digital realm, but is this necessary for every brand or right for your business?

Shouldn’t a business be visible as a business within Facebook and not allow users to link to personal accounts at the click of a button? Is this too much transparency for a business oriented feature within a social network?

Facebook Pages: Likes and Dislikes
The new Facebook Page allows you to function more freely as a business; there are some new features that will undoubtedly aid your reach and engagement with current and potential clients.

LIKE. Navigation on the new Facebook Page sits to the left hand side, making content within the page even more accessible. The user is able to distinguish the location of content through simple navigation as soon as they land on the brand/business page.
LIKE. Admins of the page have the ability to ‘log in’ to Facebook as the page itself. This allows you to socially interact as your company rather than an individual. This opens up doors for engagement with potential clients and to build a network of like-minded businesses.
LIKE: ‘The Business Newsfeed’ – the newsfeed is generated for your business is in the same way as a personal log on- accessing this through Home. Your business network of ‘likes’ will also show in the news feed.

DISLIKE. Chronological order of posts has taken a step back to the importance of conversation which Facebook deems most ‘relevant’ to your followers.

Although posts that generate the most insights or promote customer engagement are valuable to your business, the importance of relevant and timely updates on a Page has been overlooked by Facebook HQ; this has sparked heated online discussion and petition around the formatting of posts in new Facebook Pages. The chronological order of things is how we manage our time, even more so within a timely news feed of posts on Facebook, without this feature posts will appear irrelevant [time = now] to the user. Without any control over the order of timely updates, posts are in danger of being left at the top of a Page with little or no relevance. Other updates could be posted further down the wall of your Page, with potential of being completely overlooked by users.

Facebook: Business-social

Overall, brands and businesses should find this update allows for an ease of network building directly from your Facebook Page. These changes show developers at Facebook HQ understand how businesses are adapting to ways of working within the social realm, reiterating the importance of how these relationships, with people and businesses alike, are built and maintained.
Changes to Facebook Pages echo the changing needs of social media based marketing, highlighting the importance of engagement with customers on social networking sites.

These changes will undoubtedly aid social media campaigns and strategies, fuelling customer engagement and business opportunities on a business network platform that exists within Facebook.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011