Channel surfing

December 2nd, 2010
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A year or so ago we at Popper and Company lumped Facebook and Twitter together when we thought about social media, just as many of you might have. What we knew is that these were two radically popular social media outlets. What we know now is that these are two very different types of social media channels.
As I see it, Facebook was and is an interesting way to reconnect with old friends and to stay in touch with family. I tend to have history or bloodlines in common with my Facebook friends. And, while I may indicate some of my interests by “liking” the Facebook page of a favorite sports team or musical artist, I prefer to tune in to Facebook to learn more about what the people I know are up to rather than to hear about broadsweeping policies, business interests, or global trends.
I see Twitter, on the other hand, as a way to connect not with people I know (necessarily), but with people whose interests I share. Facebook is like going to a family or class reunion; Twitter like attending an industry conference. I change the channel between these two social media tools depending on whether I’m in personal mode or in business mode.
The Power of Twitter
I first became aware of the power of Twitter’s viral nature while attending the Burrill Digital Consumer Health conference when the meeting organizer instructed attendees to use a certain hashtag in our tweets. The significance of this hit me when I downloaded a Twitter application for my mobile phone and realized that I could – in real time – see what others were saying about the conference, the exhibitors, the venue – and even capture reactions to a speaker as I was listening to his talk.
Later I realized that Twitter hashtags could be used to find other users with a particular interest, expertise, or industry background. Soon enough I was following many interesting folks in the life sciences industry, many who offer their own take on news and events, others who post links to articles or blog posts on various topics of interest.
Twitter has become my personal industry news channel. I scan Tweets every day just as I do the news headlines on CNN or The Wall Street Journal.
Now, in addition to sharing interesting Tweets with my followers on Twitter, I’m participating in this blog to expand on what’s of interest to me and add to the dialogue in a way that will benefit the clients of Popper and Company and others in the life sciences industry who care about the changing landscape and emerging trends.
For example, just as Twitter’s relevance jumped out at me when I started using the mobile app, I realize that developments in the world of mHealth are setting the stage for enormous shifts in the practice of medicine and in how healthcare services are delivered. If this trend is of interest to you, too, I hope you’ll join me here on the Popper and Company blog page, and offer your own comments when I cover related topics.
Scanning the Life Sciences Universe

This is new to us – but the concept of scanning the life sciences universe by reading, attending conferences, engaging with thought leaders, and talking with colleagues – is not. We’re excited to open this new channel and appreciate that you are here, tuning in.
If you have a topic you’d like us to cover or thoughts about what this blog may mean for our communications with you, please share it here.

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About the Author:

I co-founded Popper and Company more than ten years ago to help life science companies at all stages of development and of all sizes address inefficiencies in health care. Along with my team members, I focus on helping clients develop and implement strategies that enable the application of technology and processes to improve health care in novel ways, often through the establishment of relationships with industry partners. Click to send me an email.