Word of the Week: Our 100th entry
For the past 99 weeks, the Dodge Communications blog has served up a new term or phrase each Friday that we thought every healthcare marketer should be familiar with. These “Words of the Week” all pertain to social media or the Web in some way, and many of them have a direct connection to the healthcare industry. For the 100th edition, we thought it would be fun to take a look at where we’ve been and where we might be going. The social media landscape is a crowded one. It seems as if for every social media tool out there, there is another tool available to make use of the original easier. Socialmention enhances your ability to search Twitter, and OpenID lets you use one set of login credentials for a multitude of sites. Now that your life is a little easier, let’s make it more convenient. With Digsby, your instant messaging, social networking and email all take place in one convenient desktop client. Excellent! Now let’s do something about your time-consuming daily news search. Search engines are nice, but there’s got to be something out there that will do all the work for you, right? Of course there is. Visit Alltop, an Internet news aggregator, to have instant access to the most recent headlines from the top news sources. For those of us interested in healthcare technology, Alltop’s Healthcare IT page was listed as one of the top three sources for healthcare IT news on the Web. Also in the top three is HITSphere, an aggregator solely dedicated to those in healthcare.
Lest you think our goal here at Word of the Week is to send you on a wild goose chase around the Internet, we also took some time out to simply educate. Terms such as E-patient and mHealth have found strong footing in the healthcare marketing arena. Authority, social bookmarking and API should all be familiar concepts to anyone who spends time online, and meta tags and white hat need to have a permanent place in the vernacular of those who build websites. A few of the sites we’ve written about have really taken off. Groupon has been a tremendous success, and the group-buying phenomenon is showing no signs of slowing down. Tools such as Evernote, Dropbox and Pinterest continue to rise in popularity, both inside the workplace and out. Their creative concepts and ease of use are what keep people coming back. Of course, not every good idea turns out to be a winner. And there’s no better case study for this than the Internet’s leading brand. Google may have the best search engine and most popular email platform, but with social media, the company continues to fall short. We wrote about Google Wave before Word of the Week was born, we witnessed the rise and fall of Google Buzz, and we are still watching Google+ struggle to gain traction. (Currently, one scroll from top to bottom on my Google+ feed has updates going back more than two months. That same single scroll on Facebook has updates going back one hour.) Experts can give countless explanations as to why Google’s social media initiatives have failed to catch on, the most common of which being users’ unwillingness to migrate their social (media) lives from an established location to a new site that doesn’t seem to offer anything better. But I personally find it unfathomable that a company like Google continues to fail in this sector of the Web, an industry it otherwise dominates. So what does this all mean? The Internet is constantly evolving. This is both a good thing and a challenge. For one, we’ll be able to keep publishing Word of the Week posts, but as marketers, we have to work hard to stay on top of not only what’s new, but what is relevant. As the tools we write about come and go, our desire for the functions they perform will always remain. We have to constantly ask ourselves, “How can we best help our clients, and which tools can best help us succeed?”