Write a 250-word blogpost using 7-10 word sentences?

During yesterday’s Social Media Residency at Mayo Clinic, community manager Meredith Gould challenged us to write blogposts from 250-400 words in length with 7-10 word sentences. 

Clearly I’ve already failed on the sentence length. That opening sentence was 28 words (is 250-400 one word or two?). But her point is well-taken. Content for community should be:

  • short
  • crisp
  • to the point
  • (and use bullets to enhance readability when possible)

Whether it’s a blog post, featured news, discussion question for your community, member profile, or community rules, how it reads and how it looks online is critical. 

There were many other gems during yesterday’s residency. Cynthia Manley, content strategist , shared a wealth of on-target tips from the audience and during her excellent Twitter presentation. She’s smart, insightful, and concise. 

And organized. Cynthia put together an amazing Storify that summarizes the day with interesting photos, collected tweets, and great narrative. It’s better than all the notes I took. Take a look for some excellent power tips for building community as well as social media. (That’s a wrap at 176 words!)

Readers’ Picks: Top 10 Hive Strategies Social Media Blogposts for 2011

flickr: ell brown

Our Hive Strategies team has been busy writing – and thinking – this year. This is our 186th blogpost in 2011.

I’m a big fan of blogging – even when I’m not doing it as consistently as I’d like. It helps me shape and test my ideas in ways that nothing else quite does. And writing a really good blogpost, one that I feel passionate about, feels so satisfying.

Our team has covered a lot of territory this year. Some of our blogs are practical, some inspirational, some informational and some even incredulous. There is a lot of information on this site. Read more

Healthcare Blogging Provides Transparency

flickr: basheertome

Over the years I’ve seen several less-than-impressive doctors. I’ve always received the care I needed but something about the process didn’t make me feel like I was my doctor’s primary focus, whether it was a rushed visit or a sense that they didn’t seem interested in my health. And, unfortunately, experiences like this can give you a jaded perspective of doctors.

The great news is that for every bad doctor, there are many more great ones. And, as I have written about before, I follow several physician blogs and what I like most about the blogs I read is that they give me insight into what it’s like to actually be a doctor. Read more

Look Toward the Light: Let Bright Spots Direct Your Hospital Social Media Efforts

flickr: .reid.

Lately, I’ve been reading Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. My favorite chapter so far has been “Find the Bright Spots.” The Heath brothers (who have a column in Fast Company magazine), discuss how, often, when trying to solve a problem, we focus on what isn’t working and try to change it. A different approach, which frees the rational mind from spinning its wheels and gives the emotional mind its much-needed motivation, is to focus on what is working. “We need to switch from archaeological problem solving to bright-spot evangelizing,” say the Heaths.

They give the example of a Jerry Sternin, who worked for Save the Children in Vietnam in 1990. Tasked with addressing childhood malnutrition, Sternin knew his obstacles were immense. Sanitation problems, widespread poverty, unclean water, and lack of knowledge created a situation in which Sternin could very well have thrown up his hands in despair. Instead, he focused on children from poor families who seemed better nourished than their counterparts. He scrutinized those children’s mothers’ habits and soon developed a system based on what he observed (adding small shrimp and greens to rice, serving smaller portions more frequently, etc.). He then recruited those mothers to teach other mothers, with very specific instructions.

Read more

Show Your True Identity: Why You Should Stay Away From Anonymous Blogging

A few months ago I wrote about several of my favorite healthcare blogs, highlighting the fact that storytelling is a big part of what makes a healthcare blog successful.

Since then I’ve stumbled across several more healthcare blogs, including one called “Anonymous Doc,” written by a doctor who remains genderless and nameless in a nameless city and nameless hospital. The blog is a collection of anecdotes and stories about what this doctor encounters on his or her rotation.

When I read his or her posts, I can’t help but feel that the Anonymous Doctor blog is the type that causes healthcare professionals to be wary of physician blogs. While the author doesn’t reveal a real location or even real patient names, he or she does write about very personal details related to caring for patients, and if you happened to know anyone the Anonymous Doctor wrote about, you could probably identify the patients described. Read more