#FollowFriday #FF @DrJenGunter: EBM Sex Health Expert Wielding the Lasso of Truth

19 08 2011

If you’re on Twitter you probably seen the #FF or #FollowFriday phenomenon. FollowFriday is a way to recommend people on Twitter to others. For at least 2 reasons: to acknowledge your favorite tweople and to make it easier for your followers to find new interesting people.

However, some #FollowFriday tweet-series are more like a weekly spam. Almost 2 years ago I blogged about the misuse of FF-recommendations and I gave some suggestions to do #FollowFriday the right way: not by sheer mentioning many people in numerous  tweets, but by recommending one or a few people a time, and explaining why this person is so awesome to follow.

Twitter Lists are also useful tools for recommending people (see post). You could construct lists of your favorite Twitter people for others to follow. I have created a general FollowFridays list, where I list all the people I have recommended in a #FF-tweet and/or post.

In this post I would like to take up the tradition of highlighting the #FF favs at my blog. .

This FollowFriday I recommend:  

Jennifer Gunter

Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter at Twitter), is a beautiful lady, but she shouldn’t be tackled without gloves, for she is a true defender of evidence-based medicine and wields the lasso of truth.

Her specialty is OB/GYN. She is a sex health expert. No surprise, many tweets are related to this topic, some very serious, some with a humorous undertone. And there can be just fun (re)tweets, like:

LOL -> “@BackpackingDad: New Word: Fungry. Full-hungry. “I just ate a ton of nachos, but hot damn am I fungry for those Buffalo wings!””

Dr Jen Gunter has a blog Dr. Jen Gunther (wielding the lasso of truth). 

Again we find the same spectrum of posts, mostly in the field of ob/gyn. You need not be an ob/gyn nor an EBM expert to enjoy them. Jen’s posts are written in plain language, suitable for anyone to understand (including patients).

Some titles:

In addition, There are also hilarious posts like “Cosmo’s sex position of the day proves they know nothing about good sex or women“,where she criticizes Cosmo for tweeting impossible sex positions (“If you’re over 40, I dare you to even GET into that position! “), which she thinks were created by one of the following:

A) a computer who has never had sex and is not programmed to understand how the female body bends.
B) a computer programmer who has never has sex and has no understanding of how the female body bends.
C) a Yogi master/Olympic athlete.

Sometimes the topic is blogging. Jen is a fierce proponent of medical blogging. She sees it as a way to “promote” yourself as a doctor, to learn from your readers and to “contribute credible content drowns out garbage medical information” (true) and as an ideal platform to deliver content to your patients and like-minded medical professionals. (great idea)

Read more at:

You can follow Jen at her Twitter-account (http://twitter.com/#!/DrJenGunter) and/or you can follow my lists. She is on:  ebm-cochrane-sceptics and the followfridays list.

Of course you can also take a subscription to her blog http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/

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#FollowFriday #FF the EBM-Skeptics @cochranecollab @EvidenceMatters @oracknows @ACPinternists

27 11 2009

FollowFriday is a twitter tradition in which twitter users recommend other users to follow (on Friday) by twittering their name(s), the hashtags #FF or #FollowFriday, and the reason for their recommendation(s).

Since the roll out of Twitter lists I add the #FollowFriday Recommendations to a (semi-)permanent #FollowFriday Twitter list: @laikas/followfridays-ff

This week I have added 4 people to the #FollowFriday list who are all twittering about EBM and/or are skeptics and/or belong to the Cochrane Collaboration. Since there are many interesting people in this field, I also made a separate Twitterlist: @laikas/ebm-cochrane-sceptics

The following people are added to both my #followfridays-ff (n=36) and ebm-cochrane-sceptics (n=46) lists. If you are on twitter you can follow these lists.
I’m sure I forgot somebody. If I did, let me know and I’ll see if I include that person.

All 4 tweople have twittered about the new and much discussed breast cancer screening guidelines.

  1. @ACPinternists* is the Communications Department of the American College of Physicians (ACP). I know ACP from the ACP-Journal club with its excellent critical appraised topics, in a section of the well known Annals of Internal Medicine. The uproar over the new U.S. breast cancer screening guidelines started with the publication of 3 articles in Ann Intern Med.
    *Mmm, when I come to think of it, shouldn’t @ACPinternists be added to the biomedical journals Twitter lists as well?
  2. @EvidenceMatters is really an invaluable tweeter with a high output of many different kinds of tweets, often (no surprise) related to Evidence Based Medicine. He (?) is very inspiring. My post “screening can’t hurt, can it” was inspired by one of his tweets.
  3. @cochranecollab stands for the Cochrane Collaboration. Like @acpinternists the tweets are mostly unidirectional, but provide interesting information related to EBM and/or the Cochrane Collaboration. Disclosure: I’m not entirely neutral.
  4. @oracknows. Who doesn’t know Orac? Orac is “a (not so) humble pseudonymous surgeon/scientist with an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone might actually care about his miscellaneous”. His tweets are valuable because of his high quality posts on his blog Respectful Insolence: Orac mostly uses Twitter as a publication platform. I really can recommend his excellent explanation of the new breast cancer guidelines.

You may also want to read:

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#FollowFriday #FF Dutch @Nutrigenomics @Beatis @TheSofa @DrShock @digicmb

21 11 2009

Last week I announced that I would weekly update my FollowFriday Twitter list.

On the FollowFriday list are people I would like to recommend to you.

When you’re on Twitter you can follow my FF-list here:
http://twitter.com/laikas/followfridays-ff/

This week I would like to put several Dutch people in the limelight.

All these people have in common that they twitter mainly in English about scientific and/or library 2.0 subjects. And they are all nice.

@digicmb (medlib, geek, NL, **) and @DrShock (doctor, psychi, NL, **) were already on my #FF-list

@digicmb (Guus van den Brekel) was on Twitter long before I gave it a try. He knows a lot about Second Life, Web 2.0 Tools (especially all kinds of widgets and Netvibes)  and is always willing to share information. A must follow for librarians. His blog is http://digicmb.blogspot.com/. The Google Wave directory of helpful waves! is a recent post that I liked.

I already knew @DrShock as a blogger. DrShock is a Dutch psychiatrist working in a University hospital. His specialty in psychiatry is the treatment of depression. His blog (http://www.shockmd.com/) is regularly mentioned on this blog. It has a beautiful lay-out with a broad coverage of subjects. DrShock even regularly participates in the Medlibs Round and will be a future host of this Medical Librarian blog carnival as well.

Another Dutch psychiatrist, with a similarly well chosen name: @TheSofa. Georg Fritz is only recently on Twitter, but had interesting Tweets right from the start. He also started a posterous account: georgfritz’s posterous. I like the The November poem I by Thomas Hood, that starts like this: No sun–no moon!  No morn–no noon!  No dawn–no dusk–no proper time of day–  No sky–no earthly view–  No distance looking blue–….
No wonder people get depressed at this time of year.

Also very interesting are the tweets of @Nutrigenomics, Professor in Nutrigenomics, Wageningen University and Director of NL Nutrigenomics Centre. Main emphasis of tweets is on genetics, nutrition, science and health. The link at his Twitter account goes to the Nutrition, Metabolism Genomics Groupat the Wageningen University.

Last week I first ‘met’ @Beatis on Twitter. She is still not sure about the value of Twitter. I hope she will stay tweeting, because her tweets -that can be best described as (moderately) skeptic- are certainly valuable. She co-authors the (english-language) Anaximperator blog. The purpose of this blog is to warn against alternative medicine and alternative medicine for cancer in particular.

You may also want to read:

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Laika’s #FollowFriday #FF Twitter List

13 11 2009

In my post Twitter’s #FollowFriday #FF – Over the Top. Literally I explained what Twitter’s FollowFriday or FF means, how this Twitter meme started and how FollowFriday should and shouldn’t be used.

In short, FollowFriday is a way to recommend a few people to your Twitter-followers. For at least 2 reasons: to acknowledge those favorite tweeters and make it easier for your followers to find new interesting people.

However, many people don’t use the FollowFriday correctly. For instance, they spend several tweets just mentioning dozens of @people and they repeat the tweets (retweet) about each recommendation they get @themselves. That is annoying for people seeing these tweets appearing in their timeline.

In this FollowFriday post I suggested some Twitter Etiquette Rules as well as some alternatives for the FollowFriday approach.

Now there is another alternative, which can either be used alone or as an adjunct to the normal FollowFriday-tweets:

Twitterlists!

The Twitter List feature is designed to make following and suggesting groups of tweeters easier. Everyone on Twitter can create up to 20 lists with a maximum of 500 Twitter people each. Others can follow these lists as well. So instead of FollowFridays you could construct lists of your favorite Twitter people for others to follow. There is one disadvantage of this approach: context is lost. You can only put people on a list without any further explanation why. Of course, you can create separate lists of categories of people, in my case librarians, doctors and funny people for instance, so others have an idea what to expect.

Some people think Twitterlists make FollowFridays obsolete. However Twitterlists and FollowFridays could reinforce each other. At least that’s what I will try using the following approach.

I will construct a FollowFriday Twitter list on basis of my FollowFriday-tweets. They provide the context. Because Tweets get lost, I will gather those tweets on a separate page, so you can always find my elaborated FF-recommendations there.

For Twitter-newcomers, who know me, but find it difficult to find interesting people to follow, this may be a useful starting point.

In selective cases I also plan to write a #FF post to put someone in the limelight. I intend to do the same with bloggers.

By the way I only include people with useful tweets on the lists, so people with great blogs but with not so interesting or very infrequent tweets won’t be included.
As time goes, I may also prune the list, because the number or quality of the tweets or my preference may change.

What is a good tweet? That is personal, but I think that people should be original, helpful, social and up to date and provide good information (with links) .

When you’re on Twitter you like you can follow my FF-list here:
http://twitter.com/laikas/followfridays-ff/

The Following people are included on my FF-list (listed chronologically according my tweet-timeline)
** means that I often have a chitchat or social talk with that person and/or that he/she is very helpful).

  1. @allergynotes , currently @drves (doctor, immunology, health 2.0, **) 2x
  2. @berci (doctor, scientist, **)
  3. @conorato (health 2.0)
  4. @shamsha (medlib, **)    3x
  5. @amcunningam (doctor, education, skeptic, **)  2x
  6. @pudliszek (medlib, **) 2x
  7. @eagledawg (medlib, **)  2x
  8. @pfanderson (medlib, geek, **)
  9. @digicmb (medlib, geek, NL, **)  2x
  10. @sarchet62 (lib, med. anthropologist, geek)
  11. @dreamingspires (publishing, Aussie, **)
  12. @staticnrg (survivor, health 2.0, science, **)
  13. @bonnycastle (education, **)
  14. @andrewspong (publishing, skeptic)
  15. @DrShock (doctor, psychi, NL, **)
  16. @aarontay (lib, geek)
  17. @MarilynMann (science, cancer survivor, lawyer, skeptic, pharma)
    Following tweets could not be traced back:
  18. @flutesUD (scientist, PhD-student, **)
  19. @palmdoc (doctor, geek)
  20. @doctorblogs (doctor, EBM, health 2.0)
  21. @bgaustin (EBM)
  22. @northerndoctor (doctor, GP, EBM, Skeptic)
  23. @Blue_Wode (EBM, Skeptic)
  24. @precordialthump (doctor, ICU, Aussie, **)
  25. @sandnsurf (doctor, ICU, Aussie, **)
  26. @bitethedust (Remote Pharmacist, Aussie, Art, **)
  27. @giustini (medlib, web 2.0)
  28. @jstaaks (lib, psycho, UBA, bieptweet, NL, **)
  29. @ENTHouse (doc, ENT, **)

Based on the Next #FollowFriday recommendations (as far as I could trace them back):





Twitter’s #FollowFriday #FF – Over the Top. Literally

11 09 2009

Last Update: Sunday (2009-13-09), text added in blue

The Twittermeme #FollowFriday (or #FF) was started January this year by Micah Baldwin (@micah) with one single Tweet: I am starting Follow Fridays. Every Friday, suggest a person to follow, and everyone follow him/her. Today its @fancyjeffrey & @w1redone.”

10-9-2009 23-33-49 followfriday

A friend of Micah suggested to add the hashtag (a community driven tag) #FollowFriday to the tweet, some other friends helped to spread the word and a tweetmeme was born: now, all over the world #FollowFriday is a Twitter “trending topic” on Fridays (see Mashable)

The concept of FollowFriday is that every Friday you recommend a few people to your Twitter-followers. For at least 2 reasons:

  1. it is a way to acknowledge those particular people
  2. it is a very efficient way for your followers to find other interesting Twitter people

Ideally (at least IMHO) the #FollowFriday tweets (message of 140 characters or less):

  • should consist of:
    • the hashtag #FollowFriday,  #FF or both
    • 1-3 names of people you would like to recommend (the tweet should not start with their names, because otherwise only the recommend person himself and your mutual friends will be able to read the tweet, -this doesn’t make much sense)
    • a short explanation why you recommend him/her.
  • are tweeted on Fridays
  • are more or less unique (just one or two tweets, not dozens in a row)
  • should only recommend the best people in a particular field

Two examples, one by me and one by @jpardopardo (it was my one and only #FF recommendation in two weeks)

  1. Laika (Jacqueline)
    laikas My #followfriday goes to @aarontay , a techy librarian from Singapore. Has many tips as a tweeter and a blogger http://is.gd/2ssJ3 #ff #fb
  2. Jordi Pardo Pardo
    jpardopardo #followfriday Cochrane tweets you can not miss: @cochranecollab @radagabriel @MESOttawa @laikas @TSC_OH @DavidTovey

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In these examples the hashtag #FollowFriday is followed by one or several names with the reason one should follow the person.

The general format thus would be:

#followfriday #FF @username Reason why you should follow him/her, area of interest, Their website URL, if applicable

If my followers see that I consider @aarontay a great techy librarian having a lot of good tips, they might find it worth while 2 check him by clicking @aarontay or the link to his blog http://is.gd/2ssJ3. If they go to his Twitter homepage and  find his tweets awesome, than they might decide to start following him.

If you’re interested in the Cochrane Collaboration, then you might try the tweople that are recommended by @jpardopardo. It takes somewhat more time, however, to check all 6 people, but it may yield some interesting new people to follow.

Thus, in principle #FollowFriday is a great tool to find other interesting people, BUT…

…suppose you’re following someone that tweets all this (x 3-5 times) every Friday?

29-8-2009 15-19-18 #followfriday

I don’t follow this person (name not shown), but if I did, these #FollowFridays are really meaningless. I don’t know why I should follow the “suggested” people, nor do I want to try all the links. Furthermore if someone produces 10 or more of these kinds of tweets (those people exist!), my twitter account gets clogged with useless clutter. Its worse than an inbox full with spam.

But some people are even worse. They not only tweet a huge amount of meaningless FollowFridays, they also retweet (RT) the FollowFridays in which they are included to let the world know how popular they are (I can’t think of any other reason than that they want to show off).

29-8-2009 15-22-28 ff dr sg

And it is counterproductive….

Instead of following the recommended people I will unfollow those kind of FollowFridaying people (at the end).

I’m not a CEO or a marketing woman. I don’t want 10000 people to follow me, and even less so do I want to follow 10.000 people back.

I only desire to follow interesting people with a high signal to noise ratio of tweets in a manageable way.

I always thought that I was exceptional in thinking like this, but last two weeks several of my Twitter friends started to talk about the downside of FollowFridays. And when I Googled, o dear, the whole Twitterverse seemed to have written about it. (glad I Googled after I had almost finished this post)

  1. Ves Dimov, M.D.
    DrVes I don’t participate in “Follow Friday” (any day is good to recommend somebody) but @Dr_Steve_Ponder offers great diabetes info as Dr/patient
  2. David Bradley
    sciencebase I think it’s time to abandon #FollowFriday as a twitter meme, unless we can make it more useful and effective.
  3. novo|seek
    novoseek agree / RT @sciencebase: I think it’s time to abandon #FollowFriday as a twitter meme, unless we can make it more useful and effective.
  4. Laika (Jacqueline)
    laikas RT @sciencebase: think it’s time 2 abandon #FollowFriday as a twitter meme, unless we can make it more useful/effective. wouldn’t agree more
  5. Walter van den Broek
    DrShock RT @laikas: RT @sciencebase: think it’s time 2 abandon #FollowFriday what about #rec?

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Oh and here is another one today (13-09)
pfanderson @laikas @wichor Yeah, I really hate it on Follow Friday when folks fill up a whole page nothing but people’s names. from web in reply to laikas

SO WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS? (blue added after publication)

ALTERNATIVES

  1. Abandon FollowFriday
  2. Just recommend anyone (special) whenever you like (DrVes , DrShock),
  3. @MarilynMann: “What I do find useful is when someone joins twitter and people tweet “please welcome ___ to twitter,” which can be done any day of the week”
  4. @sciencebase: “RT is the much better way to show fellow twitters that you care. If you’re RT’ing their tweets then you’re demonstrating that what they’re saying bears repeating, so recommending them indirectly…”
  5. @philbaumann ‘s tip mentioned by @problogger in the same post Mark tweets from people you want to recommend on FollowFriday by favoriting them and tweet the URL of your favorites page (i.e., see the URL of Philbaumann’s Favorites page).
  6. Share Groups of Twitter Users in One Click with TweepML (Mashable) – here are some lists from which you can choose: http://tweepml.org/follow/, including a top librarianlist. Of course there are already many lists and directories around, but the good thing is that you can personalize your own top groups and that another person can add anyone from that list by simple clicking.
  7. Use #MrTweet Instead of #FollowFriday, send your weekly recommendation there, get an overview of the most awesome people according to your friends and get recommended yourselves (see bkmacdaddy). [added 2009-09-02]

    BETTER USE

  8. Use FollowFriday sparingly and wisely, i.e. as described above. In fact the founder of FollowFriday proposes similar rules.
  9. Mention a series of people on Twitter and tell why they’re great people on your blog -there is more room there (sucomments)
  10. @problogger: (on his blog Twitip.com)Spread your tweets throughout the day via scheduling services like Tweetlater (currently rebranding themselves as SocialOomph, Futuretweet or Hootsuite” (while taking care of the twitteretiquette, see above).
  11. Matt Stratton proposes to use the hashtag fussy-follow-friday, to discrimate good tweets from bad ones.
  12. Maija Haavisto, again on Twitip.com: “ask others for recommendations (such as “female sports bloggers” ..), either as a normal tweet or by posing a question to someone. They reply with names of Twitter users – preceding the initial @ with a period or something else, if they want others to see their recommendations. All tweets should be tagged with #ff or #followfriday, of course.

    EXTRA TIP TO KEEP YOUR Followfriday-recommendations

  13. Perform a Twittersearch with (your @twittername  OR your twittername) (#followfriday OR #ff OR followfriday) and take an RSS-feed to that search. You see your recommendations and who has recommended you.
    Thus my search looks like
    (laikas OR @laikas)(#followfriday OR #ff OR followfriday) (and you can also add “friday”)

To add fussy-follow-friday to the follow friday tweet [10] seems unnecessarily complex to me. Asking others for recommendations [11] is a good suggestion, but I don’t see me applying that approach each Friday. I would (and already do) use this approach on selected occasions. Why not just use FollowFriday as it was meant to be used: recommend one or two people once a week [3]. I still like the idea. Contrary to marketing people and strategists, I’m already happy and honored when I’m FollowFridayed: for me it doesn’t have to lead to tons of followers (for others this is the main goal). In my case it has lead to some new, great twitterfriends. Quality is more important to me than quantity. I’ve  “met” some new interesting people, who I might not have met otherwise.

Option 2, 3 and 4 also seem very sensible to me. I share the mild) critique of @problogger regarding 5: “Not every tweet I Favorite comes from someone I necessarily want to recommend and favorites are not necessarily tweets planned on sharing. But people not using favorites often might find this an excellent option.”

6 seems more of an adjunct, nice tool, but less personal.

What do you think?

(Solutions may be added to the above list)

suggest a list of people they followed whom they believed others would also enjoy

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