Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody suggested, “Social tools don’t create new motivations so much as amplify existing ones.” People use applications to meet a need.
I often tell the story of a pediatrician friend I met for lunch a couple of years back. After ‘selling’ him on the merits of blogging and Twitter, he countered by suggesting that he had no use for social media. Recently divorced and 8 years from retirement with a closed practice, his kids were in college and all he really cared about was his digital photography. He was quite at peace with a few IRL friends and his camera. It was hard to build the case for an investment in new relationships.
This doctor wasn’t motivated in any way to create, curate or converse. Social tools, perhaps sadly, were unlikely to change that fact.
Those looking to build social applications for physicians should heed Shirky’s words. If it doesn’t facilitate something that doctors already need or want to do, you’ll never get adoption.
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