Twitter has evolved it’s own communities of people talking about disease. The problem is that it can be hard to find the channel you need. Doctors, patients and others engaging in dialog can fall into the the bad habit of home-brew hashtags. So some have been working to standardize the way we talk on Twitter. Or better put, we’ve been pushing the use of standard hashtags so that we can find one another. It’s a noisy world. We need more signal. We need hashtags to hear.
Check out Harnessing the Hashtag a Standard Approach to GI Dialog on Social Media in this month’s American Journal of Gastroenterology (PDF at the bottom of the linked post). We evaluated digestive banter, consolidated the most frequently used hashtags and created a standard list. This reference has the drawn the endorsement of organizations such as the AGA, ACG, ASGE, AASLD and others as a new standard of hashtag usage.
If you live or work with digestive or hepatic health and are involved in the public discourse, please use this as a reference for driving searchable dialog. While the conversing community will determine which hashtags make sense and which fail, the hope is that this starts a conversation and launches a ongoing project surrounding how we contain and collect human conversation.
Thanks to our friends at Symplur for driving the data for this piece. Matt Katz should be credited with the stewardship of this micro-movement. Austin Chiang and Brennan Spiegel were great partners to see this through.
Image modified from Flickr via petit_louis