The ASN has long had a Twitter account but it was infamous among the nephrologists of Twitter as being a oneway mode of communication. A fact that was lampooned on the ASN Bingo board. Getting a reply from @ASNKidney was a badge of honor.
While complaining about how the leadership at the ASN just doesn’t get it was a great parlor game among the renal bloggers, things began to change. In the Fall of 2013, Sarah Faubel called me to ask if I thought we could do a social media symposium at Kidney Week 2014. This materialized as the Tweets, Likes, and Blogs: How to Use Social Media for Your Patients and Your Benefit session. See recaps here and here.
Even before the session other things were changing. In early November, the ASN sent out it’s first Work Force Task Force Report. In the e-mail that announced it, they asked people to discuss the report on Twitter with the hashtag #NephWorkForce.
It was the first time I had seen a hashtag come from ASN. The community was ready to talk and we had a great discussion about some of the issues, but strangely there was no participation by the ASN leadership. MGKatz said it best:
But ASN was not foolish, just cautious. They were testing the waters. When the second Work Force Report was published they had Mark Parker available for a formal tweet chat and he was gracious enough to answer questions from me to knock together a table setting blog post. Again there was spirited discussion, and ASN was actively participating.
In mid February-Dr. Faubel drove one of the NephJC on NephroCheck. She suggested the article, wrote up the introduction and was one of the primary tweeters during the chat. Dr. Faubel is the chair of the ASN AKI Advisory Group. Jay Koyner, another member of that group also joined the chat.
ASN then organized a pre-World Kidney Day chat with leaders from the NKF and ISN. Deidra Crews was the representative from ASN for that chat. This chat was amazing with incredible participation from industry, government and all three major real professional organizations. The ASN no longer looked like a reluctant partner but was driving the conversation:
Tomorrow the ASN will continue this trend by hosting a chat about the upcoming ASN Hill Day, where ASN goes to the nation’s capitol to talk to our elected leaders about how the government can help kidney patients. The ASN is sending three representatives to chat about the event:
- Crystal Gadegbeku @Crystal4Kidneys Section Chief, Temple Health Nephrology, kidney researcher, ASN public policy board member.
- Michelle Josephson @Michelle53598125 Transplant Nephrologist and chair of the ASN Transplant Advisory Group
- Richard Knight @knightra Transplant patient, vice president of the Association of American Kidney Patients
This should be an interesting chat about something that I have only thin knowledge. Please join the chat at 9PM EDT, hashtag #ACT4Kidneys
We have been calling for ASN to join the social media revolution, now that they’ve awoken we need to do our part to make this partnership meaningful and productive.