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Using Social Media Safely for Your Health


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This is a webinar for Prostate Cancer Canada (December 3, 2013 at 3pm). Examples are largely focused on people with cancer and their caregivers finding supportive community online and answering the questions:
- Where can I find welcoming communities?
- Are these communities safe?
- How do you get started?

Thanks to the social web, people from around the world come together to share information and support online. We build networks and join communities online when we need help or advice. Patients, caregivers, family, friends, and other supporters are increasingly taking part in online health communities to share information and find support.

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Using Social Media Safely for Your Health

  1. 1. Using Social Media Safely Colleen Young, Manager of Social Innovation ELLICSR at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre December 3, 2013 Proudly supported by a consortium of industry partners
  2. 2. Colleen Young (@colleen_young) (hashtag: #hcsmca)
  3. 3. Poll
  4. 4. “If you keep Googling, you’ll find that just about everything on the Internet ends with porn or a brain tumour, or both.”
  5. 5. Social web NOT social media
  6. 6. It’s
  7. 7. “...this forum [is] like a big cozy blanket when I need someone to lean on ...” ~Virtual Hospice community member
  8. 8. Let’s look at • What is an online community? • What type of community are you looking for? • Where can you find them? • How you can share online safely? • How do you get started?
  9. 9. What is an online community? A group of people who share a strong common interest, form relationships and interact online.
  10. 10. Types of communities for health • Community of circumstance • Exchange of information and support • Share personal journey • Community of action • Health & well-being, behaviour change • Advocate • Fundraise • Community of practice • Collaborate and create • Share – teach and learn
  11. 11. What to look for • Who is the creator and/or funder? • Who is moderating and how? • What are your privacy options? • How active is the community? • Does the “personality” of the community suit you? • How would you rate the quality of information? • Is it relevant, credible, accessible and timely?
  12. 12. Communities of Circumstance (examples)
  13. 13.
  14. 14. Closed vs. Open community
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Other social networks …and many more
  18. 18. Communities of Action
  19. 19. Blogs • Write about your journey • Learn from others • Build a community collective
  20. 20. Video • Learn • Share
  21. 21. Facebook • Personal page & Friends • Join Groups • Like Pages
  22. 22. Twitter • Who is on Twitter? • Patients, caregivers, providers, patient advocacy groups, researchers, fundraisers, hospitals & more… • Who to follow? • @ELLICSR, @ELLICSRkitchen, @ProstateCancerC, @DrRKSingal, @JYLeeUroSMH, @subatomicdoc, @SunnybrookHSC, @ThePMCF • Hashtags of interest • #pcsm • #caregivers • #hcsmca
  23. 23. #hashtag communities @symplur
  24. 24. Health Care Social Media Canada  3+ years  8,308 participants  110,786 tweets  150 chats Wednesdays at 1 pm ET Last Wednesday of the month at 9 pm ET
  25. 25. ELLICSR online n n
  26. 26. Using social media safely • Know the terms of use and privacy conditions. • Keep your password(s) confidential. • Be yourself, even when posting anonymously. • What you post online stays online – forever. • Log off when you leave your computer. • Report misuse.
  27. 27. Thanks for listening...just typing this out has helped me feel better :) This forum is a GREAT place to vent; to just be myself. As a caregiver, I didn't know I needed support... I was so busy caring about my family, I forgot about me. I am reaching out looking for others who perhaps are in the same boat and want to connect. Its astonishing how words from a computer screen can make it actually possible to go through hell.
  28. 28. In between doctors visits, we have a lot of life to live. ~ Kathy Kastner
  29. 29. Questions @colleen_young @ELLICSR @hcsmca
  30. 30. Questions for you • What is the single biggest barrier stopping you from sharing about health online? • What do you like the most about sharing online?
  31. 31. Thank you for joining us! Proudly supported by a consortium of industry partners Visit for more webinars Proudly supported by a consortium of industry partners