How is social media enriching neurological practice?

This is a follow up on my post, what is the state of neurology on the blogosphere. Social media is growing and pulling in professionals at a breath-taking pace. This phenomenon, which many have previously turned there noses up at, is now becoming an indispensable part of our personal and professional lives.

Social networks are important, and in today’s world, overwhelmingly digital. The importance of social networks is stressed in some books such as Linked and Connected. So what are the important social networks relevant to neurologists?

 

1. LinkedIn

The social network medium most professionals prefer is LinkedIn. It is probably the extreme lone-wolf who could afford not to have a presence on LinkedIn today. There are so many neurologists on LinkedIn, and it is a good medium to establish and broaden professional connections. These connections are almost impossible otherwise. There are quite a few valuable professional Neurology LinkedIn groups such as:

2. Twitter

Twitter is a multipurpose and open social medium which gives professionals an invaluable platform to do practically whatever they like. It is however very rapid fire, relying on quick and short messages, limited to 140 characters. These messages, called tweets, may be educative or inspirational, amusing or controversial. Anyone may follow you, but you may also block nuisance followers. You may unfollow anyone you wish, and sometimes this happens at an alarming pace. Many professionals use Twitter to circulate interesting and breaking research work or articles they come across. It is a veritable way of keeping abreast of developments across your patch, but you have to check your twitter feed frequently; unfortunately old tweets tend to fade away. Here is a list of active neurology Twitter accounts.

Right Relevance offers a fairly long List of top neurology influencers

 

3. Facebook

This is probably the most popular social network platform, perhaps considered less academically rigorous. Many Facebook accounts combine social and professional activities, but you may decide to make parts of your account private. There are some interesting Neurology Groups on Facebook worth following such as

The following accounts also give regular and prolific updates on Neurology issues

 

4. Researchgate
"ResearchGate Logo" by ResearchGate - http://researchgate.net. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
ResearchGate Logo” by ResearchGate – http://researchgate.net. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

ReseacrhGate is a social medium entirely focussed on research output. It links professionals and researchers to others with similar interests. You could keep track of what your collaborators are doing (or up to), and you may follow the research output in your areas of interest. ResearchGate also has an interactive service where you could ask the expertsIndispensable.

 

5. Pinterest

Pinterest may appear, at first look, to be less relevant for academic and professional activities. It is however reported, along with Instagram, to be the fastest growing social network. Businesses are reporting its value, and I suspect academics and professionals may soon be. It is a graphic network, as demonstrated by my Pinterest page. Posts are called ‘pins‘, and these are place on ‘boards‘. Take a look for example at my Neurology Board on Pinterest.

 

 Instagram
Instagram loge. matt McGee on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleeker/15148524023
Instagram loge. matt McGee on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleeker/15148524023

 

This is another network focused around pictures. You may want to scoff at Instagram but you would be surprised at how many professionals are posting very interesting and enlightening images. Take a look for example at these posts by neuroradiology. I am very poor both behind and in front of the lens, and this is reflected by My Instagram page.

6. Tumblr
Tumblr. Esther Vargas on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/esthervargasc/9471571673
Tumblr. Esther Vargas on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/esthervargasc/9471571673

 

This is probably the network your children (and grandchildren?) find most fascinating. But don’t run away yet, there are serious stuff here. You wouldn’t believe, for example, that neuroscience is flourishing on Tumblr. This network allows you to play with unlimited space for photos and text. You may find yourself going there more often than you anticipated, but don’t tell the children you are on it!

 

"Social Network Analysis Visualization" by Martin Grandjean - Own work : http://www.martingrandjean.ch/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Graphe3.png. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin GrandjeanOwn work : http://www.martingrandjean.ch/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Graphe3.png. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Have I missed out an important platform? Please leave a comment.

 

 

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