Are You a .Com or .Org? Will You Be a .Healthcare? .Health? .Heart? .Cancer?

Most of us in healthcare have had our domain names for our hospital and clinic websites for many years now and, other than making sure the renewal bill gets paid, there’s not much more to consider. On occasion, we may implement a special campaign or market a new service in a way that warrants its own domain name but, for most of us, the scurry for domain names ended years ago.

The name game is about to change in January 2012. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted last June to offer a new generic top-level domain program (gTLD).  A generic top-level domain is the part of the URL that is to the right of the dot–it’s the “org” or the “com.” Read more

Don’t Scare Your Readers: Five Tips for a Friendly Voice

I fell in like with Meredith Gould, Ph.D., for her voice.

That was before I ever spoke with her. The voice I admired was in her tweets. I loved her friendly, conversational style – like this one she tweeted yesterday following our phone interview:

Gould is an author (seven books!) and social media trailblazer who has been named one of 11 social media faces to follow by Fierce Health IT. Read more

Looking for Hospital Marketing Insight? Steal Your Patients’ Diaries

flickr: sushi♥ina

I read an interesting column by Kevin Hartman called What Marketers Can Learn by Stealing a Consumer’s Diary. To be honest, it caught my attention because my most recent research included reading 165 journal entries of 17-year-olds (and I did learn a lot!), so I approached Hartman’s column with much anticipation.

Well, as you’ve probably guessed, Hartman does not really advocate stealing consumers’ diaries, but he does make the point that social media contains just as rich data as diaries. He writes, “The act of writing has been shown to expertly clarify and present human emotion.” Read more

The Story Behind That Viral Video of Mayo Clinic’s Piano-Playing Octogenarians

Marlow and Fran Cowan at Wednesday's performance for the Social Media Health Network. Credit: Mayo Clinic


Ohio residents Fran and Marlow Cowan were visiting Mayo Clinic for care when they discovered a grand piano sitting alone in the center of the hospital’s mammoth Gondo Atrium.

An orchestra had performed in the atrium the day before, and a crew was scheduled to retrieve the piano later.

They couldn’t resist playing a tune, and it was so entertaining that a woman in the atrium, Jodi Hume, video-taped the number and uploaded it to YouTube. Mayo’s public affairs team found the video, put the word out, and it went viral, leading to an appearance for the Cowans on Good Morning America. Read more

Hospitals: Use Social Media to Help Patients Heal Healthcare

Photo by Roger Ramirez, Chariot Photo

In 2007, Dave deBronkart discovered a tumor in his lungs. An MRI revealed that the cancer had started in his kidney and had also spread to his femur, skull and tongue. The diagnosis: 24 weeks to live.

Yesterday a healthy deBronkart, known also as e-patient Dave, gave the closing address to 400 attendees at the Third Annual Mayo Ragan Healthcare Social Media Summit at Mayo Clinic. His message: Healthcare is falling to pieces, only to emerge in a new form. Let patients help heal healthcare.

He received a standing ovation. Read more