A blog on curation and the diversity of networks in social media

Carol Read RN/MSc

Networks suround us as patients, carers, researchers, health and soical care workers.  It seems the deeper you dig into the subject, the more networks you find. How do you curate such a vast subject? This blog draws together knowledge from my perspective as I start on the journey of unpacking the concept of network leadership.

When I was asked to curate the content for the source4networks site the only way to begin the task was to start from where I am, as a clinician and a patient.  From there my aim was to work outwards and co-create case studies of networks and narratives of network leaders.  I do not profess to know every kind of network, therefore my hope is that others will contact the site to share their stories.  As a network or a network leader in line with the mission of this site you are only excluded by default i.e. if you do not contact us, we may not know about you.

One of the areas that I want to explore in my blogs are the different ways of working in networks, how people make a connection across sectors and find shared purpose.  One of the most unusual networks to develop in this way is the connection on social media under the hashtag of #Twitterdisco - caring for those that care.  The network has grown over a short period of time in the most unique circumstances.  There is now a virtual disco on twitter weekly and because of demand a real disco has been set up bringing people together to have fun in health and care.  I will be asking the network leaders to complete a blog for the site to update you on the incredible way that a single hashtag can bring individuals together.

Likewise Sarah Millican, the comedian instigated a twitter event over christmas where people could #JoinIn if they were on their own during this time.  We all know that loneliness is a major problem which can impact on health, so why not try to do something about it.  I started to notice tweets under this hashtag on my twitter feed over the christmas period and was curious to find out what was going on.  To see all these amazing people who were on their own at christmas contributing to supporting others, being kind, linked to a network and generally having an amazing time.

Finally I wanted to flag up a great post by Paul Taylor on making sense of social media and learning.  Paul blogs regularly on subjects around social media, innovation and housing sharing insight which is relevent for novices and people more experienced in using the connection ability of twitter and blogs.  The post highlights key ways to develop your own social media approach for bringing networks together and is definately worth following as a network leader.

My next blog will share more from the network community and developments from the work behing the scenes co-designing the site.