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A virtual tsunami of content gushes onto the Internet every second: countless news updates, blog posts, video links, celebrity photos, jokes, everyone’s likes and dislikes, sports scores, financial tickers.
It’s a lot of stuff to sort through and stay on top of. How do you figure out what’s important and what’s entertainment before without throwing your hands up in disgust?
This article reports on how dentists get their breaking news, including the types of strategies dentists use to funnel content and save time.
Dentist Joe Haselhorst, of Naperville, says he heads online for breaking dental news, typically only to learn specific clinical information. For example, he goes to a “roots” blog for endo topics and checks organizations’ websites, such as www.osseonews.com, when he wants information and opinions on implants and surgeries. “But I would not tend to go to Twitter or Facebook and not rely on any of their information for patient treatment,” Dr. Haselhorst said. For dental breaking news that doesn’t appear in the mail or email boxes, he Googles it.
Katie Sowa, of Houston, is a dental student who will graduate in 2015. As the electronics editor for the American Student Dental Association’s website, she writes an ASDA blog Mouthing Off where she mentioned she’s been reading a column by Thomas Connelly — the only dentist to blog on The Huffington Post. Ms. Sowa asked Dr. Connelly how he got to be the weekly dental mouthpiece — pun intended — for such a high profile site. One of his patients ran the blog and invited him to fill the oral healthcare niche when it started up two and a half years ago. How hip is Dr. Connelly? His online bio is “gangsta rapper, oral health guru, cosmetic dentist.”
Dentists also told me they source Google alerts, free dental e-newsletters, government agencies (FDA, EPA CDC) tweets, state dental association emails, local dental society news blogs, DentalTown (DT) magazine or website, or follow the CDS, ADA, American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry and American Association of Implant Dentistry.
Dentist Howard Farran, of Phoenix, said he catches the headlines on CNN every other day, “As CEO of DT, I am on email by phone, iPad or desktop 365 days a year addressing what’s relevant, so the source for my dental news comes from other dentists on my blog. If I have a problem they can’t answer, I’ll read books until I’m inspired about the solutions. I was just at the Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, of course. Next year let’s meet there and have dinner.” he said, before hanging up.
“Ok, if it’s your tweet,” I thought, keeping the pun to myself.
The American Dental Association found when it launched a social media presence at the 2010 ADA Annual Session that attendees were excitedly sharing “horizontal real-time experiences” on the floor. If an exhibitor had limited giveaways and announced it as breaking news, the good kind of “tornado alert” spread; the buzz was visible. If your dental school classmates posted they were making a beeline, you went.
Last month, the ADA (which Tweets at both @AmerDentalAssn and @ADANews) held its inaugural Twitter chat, inviting 153,800 followers on Twitter to ask questions, which included former stars of the ABC show The Bachelorette. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist from Augusta, ME, and vice chair of the ADA’s Council on Communications, was part of the team that tweeted answers to tweeted questions related to National Children’s Dental Health Month.
At this time the ADA’s Facebook wall is not open for comments/responses; the ADA is in the process of hiring a Social Engagement Manager to begin managing (and increasing) the organization’s social media presence. “Certainly, there’s a lot more we can be doing with social media, and we will in the coming year,” said Dr. Shenkin. Followers do get breaking news from social media sites for ADA News, ADA Media, ADA Annual Session, ADA Public Information, ADA New Dentist Committee, and Give Kids a Smile.
The Chicago Dental Society Tweets, too (@Chicago_Dental). Nearly 3,000 followers receive links to current events in dentistry and reminders about CDS activities (like the opening of registration for Special events or the upcoming Webinar). But they also use it as a communications channel to staff: Tweet your questions about where to find things online, or how to access other member benefits.
For friends of CDS who aren’t on Twitter yet, there’s also its Facebook page with links to dental news, photos from local events, and links to new information as it gets posted to the website. Friends share their feedback on some of the articles posted, sparking conversation among colleagues with various opinions.
Next month, news management time savers.
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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