Sunday afternoon, March 13, 2011
After lunch, we were broken up into 2 groups. Half of the advocates went downstairs to meet with one group of bloggers and the other half of us stayed on the 16th floor and were going to learn exactly what the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) was all about, from the rest of the bloggers. Fortunately for me, the group I had been assigned to, included Scott and Kerri who had set me up with my own blog site yesterday!! In addition, it just so happened to be the presentation that JDRF was going to video feed live out to the world!
Thankfully JDRF and their fantastic staff there in DC, had the foresight to know that the DOC is growing by leaps and bounds. It is imperative that we realize that our children are our future, and that our children grow up to be adults with Type 1 and that as adults they need to know they are not alone and that we are fighting for their cure too! That is where these wonderful young men and women bloggers come in! Before this presentation, just in talking to them, they had told me that they all had decided to start blogging about Type 1 Diabetes because they felt alone. I know that none of us would ever want anyone, but especially our loved ones to feel that way. With that said, I will move on to the presentation details!
First, I let me introduce the 5 bloggers and tell you a little about each them. I would also like to invite you to check out their blog sites by clicking on their link listed under my blogroll.
Scott Johnson (Scotts Diabetes) was diagnosed with Type 1 in April, 1980. He started blogging in 2004 and his writing evolved into a way for him to cope with his diabetes.
Kerri Sparling (SixUntilMe) has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for over 24 years, just before she started the 2nd grade. She manages her diabetes and life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me”.
Kim Vlasnik (Texting My Pancreas) was diagnosed in 1986 at the age of 6. Until late 2009 diabetes wasn’t something she shared very often. It was her own battle and in her mind, no one else she know “got it”.
Cherise Shockley (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) was a newlywed with her husband in Iraq when she diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adult (LADA) at the age of 23
Kelly Kunik (Diabetesaliciousness) was diagnosed on Halloween 33 years ago while in the 3rd grade. Sadly she comes from a long line of Type 1’s.
All of the bloggers expressed their appreciation to JDRF for the opportunity they have given them and were eager to meet new friends and build new connections, in addition to explaining to us, what this whole Social Media stuff is and what the Diabetes Online Community is all about!
Social Media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies (cell phones, etc). It is available 24/7, has relatively no cost involved, is global and it connects people one-to-one or in groups. The Diabetes Online Community consists of people with an interest in diabetes and use social media to connect to each other by means of:
- Podcasts, radio, cable TV
- Other evolving social media platforms
With each of these forms of online communication, you can find specific diabetes communities or specific topics, you can interact and contribute or you can just read what others have to say. Effective use of these tools, not only benefits the online community, it can have a huge impact on JDRF as well. It will enable both the DOC and JDRF to spread the word about changes and initiatives, it will help reach constituents 24/7, especially those that do not have access to a local chapter, it can provide daily touch points, it can definitely influence decision-makers, shape conversation and most important, inspire people to participate.
In short, use of the Social Media will enable JDRF to reach out to ALL Type 1 Diabetics (young and old), keep them engaged, let them know they matter, contribute to mentoring them as they move through their different stages of life from childhood through adulthood, in addition to keeping JDRF’s fundamental goal of funding the research that will find a cure!
If you would like to view the streaming video taped from this presentation please click on this link. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13305637