Proper Attribution Tips for Healthcare Bloggers

A few words about making the best of a networked world where attribution is the simplest, easiest and cheapest way to build community and presence.

Those of you who follow this blog know that Healthcare has been slow to adopt emerging media. That’s been changing though. It’s important that the people who are in the learning stage understand the cultural ramifications of what happens online.

Blogging is ancient sport these days. It may be new to many hospitals and nurses and doctors – and even healthcare marketers and agencies! – but that doesn’t mean a kind reminder of attributing sources and inspiration properly isn’t in order.

So here’s a video with a reminding appeal to healthcare bloggers to consider linking back to the posts you read that may have influenced your thinking (or view it here):

It’s not just about being ethical (although I would argue that healthcare professionals and marketers should hold themselves to higher standards in their communications than certain other industries).

It’s actually a benefit to link out. Why? Because the economy of blogging is made of hyperlinks. That’s a big part of how Google works. That’s a big part of how people find you, spread news of your existence and expand your horizons.

It can take years to ramp up a blog.

So enjoy the ride by shooting out those thready spindles to the very people who just might help to catch you when your blog takes a dive into a snare because you thought it was all about you.

And if you’re worried about “competition”, you clearly don’t understand how this social media stuff works.

I’ve said it before: If you can’t Retweet your competition, you just don’t have what it takes to succeed in this business. Quit now and do something better with your time.

Link. Or sink.

UPDATE: Bryan Vartabedian had a great riff today over on 33charts. He’s 100% right about how much of blogging over the years became about the mechanics of search engine optimization, etc. It’s still a huge problem today. He’s also right about the narcissism involved in link-love, and that blogging is about the reader, not the blogger.

Bryan has extremely valid points and they stand alone. But that’s not the issue in this post.

The concern in this post is primarily about two completely different things.

First, it’s about being mindful of crediting back to a source that a blogger knowingly uses (not inadvertently being influenced). This is consistent with the spirit of ethical behavior and thinking (note: I wouldn’t say it’s unethical not to courteously attribute, only the kind of thinking involved in trying to appear original).

Second, linking is one of the simplest ways of helping readers. It’s a benefit to readers if it’s done elegantly – and not overdone.

Linking-out isn’t a pat on the back to the original author. It’s a finger telling the reader where you’ve been travelling in the hope that they’ll find new land.

@PhilBaumann –       @HealthIsSocial

Blogging Is No Longer…

…putting content on website in a reverse-chronological order.

Blogging is a process that takes place on and off the Web. Here’s the #hcsm-inspired tweet:

Health Is Social means that in order for the art and science of healthcare communication to be fruitful, the uses of any medium must be made as socially purposeful as possible.

Retweets don’t just happen on Twitter: When patients love what their providers do, they’ll probably tell their friends and spread good words – a process that’s otherwise known as Word of Mouth.

The same principles of conversation in social media apply to the offline world too.

You can now tweet about your experience with a physician…expound upon your tweet on your blog…update your Facebook status with a link to your post about your tweet…and then email your physician the link to your Facebook status (if it’s publicly viewable). You can even post a video of all that you just did on Youtube. All of those communications now comprise blogging, including the conversation with your physician.

Blogging is no longer blogging.

Blogging is a way of linking – and extending – the web of experiences.

@PhilBaumann

@HealthIsSocial

Health Is Social is hosting it’s first Webinar called Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice. Announcement coming within days! Get updates by email:

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