New thoughts on hashtags for brain tumors.

Matthew Katz (@subatomicdoc on Twitter) has recently proposed a new way of developing and using hastags on Twitter in the area of brain tumors.  You can read more on Google+ under the topic HLTHTOP.

We start the review of brain tumor hashtags with the two current in use on Twitter, #BTSM and #BrainTumorThursday.  To learn more about these hashtags, click here for #BrainTumorThursday and here for #BTSM.  Beyond that, here is the new proposal:

Sub-hashtags Disease subgroup
#btast Astrocytoma/glioma
#btgbm Glioblastoma
#btlym CNS lymphoma
#btmen Meningioma
#btodg Oligodendroglioma
#btpit Pituitary
#btsch Schwannoma/acoustic neuroma

Please provide any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. in the form of a comment to this post.  Alternatively, join the conversation of Google+ at HLTHTOP. The idea is that these hashtags will be used both on Twitter and on facebook.




Other tools used in support of #BrainTumorThursday – Klout

As I have mentioned before, my thinking with Klout it could be viewed as providing an opportunity to build credibility in respect of a particular topic.  The theory is that a high number of +Ks in “Brain Tumor” demonstrates at least that you are vocal on topics related to brain tumors and perhaps even influential.

Now, I will the first to admit that Klout can be gamed – lot’s of people trade +Ks such that the determination of whether a +K should be awarded is not based on any substantive or qualitative content.  So, Klout alone is not a particularly accurate measure of influence, but, when added to other things, forms one of the building blocks needed to build credibility.  In other words, in terms of assessing a person’s expertise in a topic on social media is one touch point.

Everyone on Twitter has a profile and an influence score on  My approach to things like this where there is no apparent way to opt out is to embrace it and learn best hoe to use it to some advantage, no matter how small.

Why do I even care about credibility when it comes to #BrainTumorThursday tweets? Looking at some of the key purposes of the twitter brain tumor awareness effort, we try to promote awareness and educate.  Anything that can improve my influence and credibility makes my tweets more compelling and less the rants of a single twitter user.   In short, I don’t want to be dismissed as someone who has anything of value to add to a brain tumor discussion.

So, to the extend that claims of influence about brain tumors can be validated by Klout pronouncements, I see managing my Klout profile to suggest a high level of influence with respect to brain tumors.  If one has influence over a topic, it follows that they are credible and authoritative.  To me, this means that Klout provides an important support role for anyone interested in leveraging Twitter and other social media tools to promote a cause.

Expanding brain tumor awareness

For quite a while now, my efforts to raise brain tumor awareness has had two focuses:

  1. Twitter, tweeting under the hashtags #BrainTumorThursday and #BTSM (Brain tumor social media).  For this, I have begun to use Empire Avenue to significantly boost retweets which has increased the number of people being exposed to tweets about brain tumors.
  2. I’ve developed and try to maintain a website that serves as a resource for brain tumor patients, friends, and family TummorWarrior.  There is very little content, instead, it works as a sort of gateway to authoritative content and other materials

So then, what next?  The answer seemed to just fall into my lap.  As you probably know, Facebook began using hastags.  Realizing that there could be people using Facebook that aren’t avid users of Twitter; i.e., a new audience.  So, it was a “no brainier”  (yes, I realize the pun potential of this for folks with brain tumors)> transfer  #BrainTumorThursday and #BTSM to Facebook..  That is exactly what I’ve done.  I now post on Facebook using   the hashtags #BrainTumorThursday and #BTSM.

In addition, there is a new Facebook group for brain tumor awareness and support..

The Facebook efforts are quite new, so it will take a while for them to develop and mature.  Still, its worth a visit to see them and my informal ask is the engage or at least become a member of the group.

Back to Blogging

Well, it’s absurd that I created a blog and then go months without writing any new blog posts.  My guess is that the history of this blog is not dissimilar to a significant number of blogs:

  1. Believe that starting a blog is a good thing.
  2. Procrastinate for a period of time, maybe even a LONG period of time.
  3. Finally get past the procrastination and start figuring out how you want to move forward,
  4. Pick a app to host your blog.
  5. Get excited when setting up your blog.
  6. Post a few things is fairly rapid succession.
  7. Never get around to posting again.

At that point, the blog simply dies or can reincarnate months later.  So here we are with my reincarnated blog.  This is probably very exciting to my FOURTEEN followers, most of whom (if not all) have completely forgotten that they became a follower of this blog.

So, although I feel like I’m writing to a large void and that this post will disappear to wherever unread blog entries go, I’m announcing that I intend to try to restart this thing.  Of course, don’t hold your breath!