Things to be Thankful For

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By Jason Brandt (@JasonDMG3)

Your house is overflowing with little handprint turkeys, construction-paper Pilgrim hats, and grocery bags full of pureed pumpkin, pecans and crescent rolls. Visions of long naps in front of afternoon football, after early mornings in front of giant balloons, are dancing in your head. Its that time of year again. And at the risk of sounding trite, were going to go with the holiday for this post – because when you stop and think, there are so many things to be grateful for.

Here are some of the things were grateful for in Pharma social media this year.

  • The FDA has seen the importance of social media and is coming – however slowly – to meet it. We couldnt have predicted that a few years ago. Its great to see that everyone is coming together to make the most of these new platforms and opportunities for conversation.
  • Similarly, the FTC has seen the importance of bloggers and is treating them – however slowly – as legitimate journalists. Again, who would have thought? But were glad. It gives blogs the recognition that many of them deserve, and it gives the guidance thats also appropriate.
  • These first two, and this next one, have both probably come about for the same reason – the maturity of the web. The Internet has reached a new level of sophistication, as have a sizeable portion of its users. As a result, were thankful that that makes it easier for patients to find useful information to help them manage their health. In part, that information exists online now; and in part, patients are better at discerning whats valuable; but in sum, accurate information is able to go where it needs, and thats whats important.
  • Lets also be thankful for empathy. The new social nature of the Web has the power to connect us in a way that makes our shared human experience that much more shared. Doctors can get a bone-deep feeling of what its like to suffer from a condition. Patients can find fellow sufferers with their condition who know exactly what theyre going through. The jargon term “community can get tossed around, but we should be grateful for how meaningful it can be, and how available it is.
  • There are countless free online tools available to help us do our jobs every day. Were all so used to our RSS reader, our social network connections, our cloud documents – but do we always remember that they come to us without our buying them?
  • In good times and in bad, no matter what else is going on, this industry saves lives. Now, I dont save anyone in my job. And you probably dont either – although, if you do, thank you! But were all part of something bigger that is, its no overstatement, making a difference in the history of mankind.
  • There is a truly awe-inspiring community of social media geniuses working in healthcare right now. These are truly exciting times, and thats the biggest thing were grateful for – that we get to be part of it.

What are you thankful for this holiday week?

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