Some People Never Learn: The Physician Who Sued a Patient’s Son for Online Comments


flickr: GollyGforce

A four year legal battle over a patient’s right to make negative comments about a doctor in social media ended last week when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the comment was protected speech. We covered the case in an earlier blogpost.

The battle started when Dr. David McKee sued Dennis Laurion for calling him “a real tool” on physician rating sites after McKee treated Laurion’s father poorly during a hospital stay. “Referring to someone as ‘a real tool’ falls into the category of pure opinion because the term ‘real tool’ cannot be reasonably interpreted as stating a fact and it cannot be proven true or false,” wrote the court.

Laurion, who was forced to deplete his savings and borrow from relatives to pay for his defense, was not surprisingly relieved. Read more

A Hesitant Embrace: Low-Tech Solutions in a Social Media Landscape

Recently, while I was attending an educational tech conference, I was struck by the “low-tech” solution the conference planners employed to have attendees share information about their favorite apps.

Conference planners positioned a whiteboard and colored markers in the area with the refreshments and made an announcement during one of the communal meals that the whiteboard was to be used to write down our favorite apps.

I ended up taking a picture of the board with my cell phone, both because I wanted to capture the content on the board and explore those apps, but also because I was struck by the low-tech tool used to gather input from this very tech-savvy audience. Read more

A Lesson From My Social Media Sabbatical: Extend the Lifespan of Your Blog Posts


Last month, I took a “social media sabbatical” for nearly the entire month. I was defending my dissertation and needed the extra time to finish the written document and study for the defense with no distractions.

It was when I was absent from social media conversations that I learned an important lesson. The old adage “content is king” is still valid.

A few weeks before I “went dark,” I wrote a blog post on Pinterest, a new social media curation tool. It turned out to be one of the most read posts I’ve ever written. Even now, 12 weeks later, I get a few requests for Pinterest invites from that post each week.  Here’s my take on why it was a success (but I’d loved to hear from some of you who read it to see if I’ve missed something). Consider applying these five concepts to your next hospital blog to help lengthen the lifespan of your post. Read more

My Talk With a Smart Guy About Smart Phone Apps for Healthcare and Hospitals

flickr: Brianfit

Last Friday at a lunchtime gathering of public relations, marketing and strategy professionals, the conversation was mainly focused on new media.

We compared our assessments of new tools and the new strategies we’ve employed because of those tools. We both delighted in the wide range of new opportunities and commiserated over the fast-paced changes that have demanded more of our time to keep up-to-date with these quickly evolving tools. Read more

Why We Love Celebrities with Diseases

flickr: lifescrip

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. So why is it such big news that Paula Deen, Food Network’s Queen of Southern Cooking, may have it to? I was listening to a business news channel today when they reported the rumor–business news, not entertainment news.

A report in The Daily on January 13 credits the National Enquirer with breaking the story back in May. reported a spike in Paula Deen hashtags around 5 pm on Saturday, January 14, and the Twitterverse has remained active since.

CBS news followed up with a story on January 13 that explored the rumors that not only did Deen have the disease, but she also inked an endorsement deal with Novartis. Not so according to the article. (And as of this post’s writing, Novartis hasn’t tweeted a response to the rumor or addressed it on their website. In fact, they haven’t tweeted since the story broke on January 13.) Read more