#HIMSS10 Best Ever: Due in Large Part to Social Media

Short Link: http://j.mp/9GEhUr

“#HIMSS10” was the hashtag used in tweets about this year’s HIMSS conference in Atlanta, March 1-4. Attendees searched Twitter for #HIMSS10 to follow a gigantic conversation. #HIMSS10, or more precisely the convergence it symbolizes to me, transformed my HIMSS conference experience.


I’ve been coming to HIMSS conferences for ten years. The added social media dimension improved my #HIMSS10 experience in three ways:

  1. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on, are all relatively new and interesting to me. HIMSS session content on these subjects was superb. In particular, Twitter 101 and the three Meet the Blogger sessions (delivered and moderated by Cesar Torres, respectively, and facilitated by Ward Seward, both of HIMSS) were high points. I’ve been blogging for a year and tweeting for a couple months, but I’m still a newbie, which is great, because learning (and sharing) is so much fun.
  2. All the HIMSS sessions I attended (not just the social media sessions) were embedded in a dynamic, interactive, virtual matrix of back-channel chit-chat that entertained and provided valuable real-time annotations to what I observed at the podium. It was tonic that kept me awake (even after lunch or at the end of a long day) and provided a steady stream of valuable information (and links to valuable information) that I archived and, even now, as I write this post, consult.
  3. Representing my blog (chuckwebster.com) and twitter account (@wareflo), I came to HIMSS with new motivation to absorb, connect, and take away as much as I could, so that I can turn around and think, write, and interact about that content as much as I can. I’m not a reporter. I don’t have press credentials, but I felt a little bit like one. Each time (which was rare) my attention began to lag, I’d mentally slap myself, so as to not miss anything important, so as to not misattribute or misquote someone, so as to maximize the number of juicy new ideas to combine with my own.

I have a new measure for HIMSS conference success: the number of new ideas I gain for future blog posts. By this measure #HIMSS10 hit it out of the ballpark. My ideas-for-future-posts.txt file just doubled. Of course, this number is only a coarse and indirect measure of something else, something more profound, involving learning, communication, and self-concept.

A short anecdote:

I wore a red carnation and tweeted this. A couple days later, while I’m walking the exhibit floor, I hear “Hey! You’re the guy with the carnation!” Well, yes I am. Do you follow me on Twitter? “No” Do you read my blog? (I stream tweets there) “No, I’ve just been reading all the tweets that contain #HIMSS10, and I remember one that said something like ‘I’m wearing a carnation, stop me if you see it,’ so I did.”


P.S. Follow me on Twitter at @wareflo

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