February 10th, 2010

Still in search of social media authenticity

It’s not a secret I’ve been advocating for a social media PubMed feedback channel and/or presence for quite some time. Last January I thought the #pubmed hashtag would be helpful until spam took that over. That seems to have died down a bit recently though I’m not sure I’ll resubscribe to an RSS feed of it.

Others with nefarious purposes will gladly fill PubMed’s place with their name though, as observed below which refers to both their Twitter account and website of pubmedonline.com.

tweet about @PubmedOnline offering NLM search engines via Google custom search as an adword scam

I don’t mean to be rude but library-related accounts that have added this one-tweet wonder to their Twitter lists as a type of library information resource should really take a step back and review how to assess  information resource quality. Every measure applies in social media too.

David Rothman recently highlighted the CDC and HHS social media policies, although I’m still baffled as to why CDC would include the instructions specifically to not use hashtags (see page 7). I’m sure there’s rationale I’m not following yet this seems counter-intuitive to increasing awareness of your organization in an audience who may have no clue who you are, but might be willing to click your links and discover you have quality resources to share as a result of your being aware of ‘their’ hashtag. Andrew Wilson recently moved on to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) and I don’t know who is heading up the HHS social media team now. I admired his work at the beginning of the massive peanut recall though!

MedlinePlus has a verified news outlet Twitter channel, and the National Library of Medicine’s Specialized Information Services Twitter channel seems to be a hybrid of news outlet and responsive to other people’s queries. I’m hopeful for more NLM social media presence this year!

Posted at 07 17 AM | 1 Comment » | print this post

One Response to “Still in search of social media authenticity”

  1. Alison says:

    I think CDC means that you shouldn’t use # as a shortcut for the number sign, because in Twitterese # signifies a hashtag. I didn’t take it to mean that CDC was anti-hashtag. On quick glance, I notice CDC accounts do use #H1N1 and #swineflu quite a bit.

Leave a Reply