Today many institutions have established formal social media departments. The Mayo Clinic was one of the first institutions to offer a social media residency program. Lee Aase is a pioneer in this effort, offering a social media residency program which offers a formal course catalog and learning modules.
Many #hcsm efforts are those of private individuals who develop their own private network of healthcare social media enthusiasts. What began for some as a hobby has evolved into formal analytics and networks. The introduction of computer algorithms has expanded the social media niche into a rich testbed for studies of population health as well as disease.
Symplur Signals offers a launching point about health care social media analytics and Symplur hashtags is the ontologic equivalent to Webster's dictionary. Symplur also categorizes hashtags for tweetchats , conferences, diseases, ontologies, and a summary page.
In addition to private social networks the true power of social media is in the proliferation of platforms such as twitter, facebook, google plus, rss feeds, blogger, wordpress. The ease with which anyone can publish is a double edged sword. Twitter, facebook, google plus, linkedin, offer their own search capabilities and at times bypass google search, focusing on relevant health sites.
A relevant question is,
Which social media platform should you use?"
Hospitals, Clinics, Universities all have their own Facebook page, Google plus page, Twitter, and a presence on other social media platforms.
The USC Digital Scholar Training Initiative offers courses in