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!)

What I’m Learning at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Seattle Residency


WendySueSwansonI’m sitting in the conference room at the Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill campus in Seattle.

It’s the first day of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency in Seattle, and it’s my good fortune to be joining Lee Aase (@LeeAase), Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson (@SeattleMamaDoc) and Dana Lewis (@DanaMLewis) as chief residents for the residency. That means I give a couple of presentations on Facebook and video production, answer questions and help the residents (17 healthcare professionals) complete their projects. Read more

The Snowboarder’s Brain: Stories and Science Make Compelling Hospital Social Media


I love the outdoors. I spend a lot of the time at my desk wishing I could work outside, especially when the weather turns balmy and I can hear the birds chirping and the kids playing. Since I live in Oregon, there is no shortage of gorgeous trails for hiking or rivers for paddling. One way that I remind myself to get outdoors is by reading Outside magazine. I became a fan in my twenties, when I realized some of my favorite authors, like John Krakauer and David James Duncan, were contributing writers.

Yesterday, I was flipping through the June 2011 issue and read several articles that were really compelling, about Michael Light’s aerial photography, supplemental testosterone, and nature deficit disorder. One that stood out to me, “Some Reassembly Required,” was about 23-year-old top snowboarder Kevin Pearce, whose career ended a week before the 2010 Olympic trials when he suffered a traumatic brain injury while practicing a risky trick (a double cork 1080) in the halfpipe.

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Opinions Can Open Doors to Your Hospital’s Social Media

flickr: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

Amy Berman is a brave woman. She’s been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and recently shared her opinion about a controversial drug in a Wall Street Journal editorial When Quality of Life is Especially Dear. Berman also blogs about her experience on HealthAGEenda ( (I found her post from Jan 11 particularly moving and informative.)

If it wasn’t for Berman’s letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal, I would have missed her story and never discovered the HealthAGEenda blog. Berman’s willingness to share her opinion opened the door for me to a dynamic social media site focusing on geriatric health and introduced me to the mission of The John A. Hartford Foundation—to support efforts to improve health care for older Americans.

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Why “Find us on Facebook” isn’t Enough: Enticing Your Patients with Benefits

You can see the prompts “Follow us on Twitter!” “Friend us on Facebook!” and “Visit our YouTube Channel!” just about everywhere these days. They’re on commercials, in newspaper and magazine ads, and they’re on websites, brochures, you name it. So think about this: when was the last time you visited a business or organization’s Facebook/Twitter/YouTube page simply because you saw the small icons in those places?

If you’re like me, you haven’t. Read more