I'm writing this post in the airport in Chicago on my way back from a weekend spent being overwhelmed with information at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. Yes, there I was, amid the techies, entrepreneurs, film fanatics and video gamers. Why was I there? Well, social media has firmly planted itself and become engrained in daily lives--it is now a way of life. The fact that SXSW has expanded to include a health and education track is proof positive.
The healthcare industry must face the fact that social media is here to stay. One glaring message from SXSW: It's now imperative that hospitals--and EVERY industry--take it seriously.
I attended many sessions over the weekend, with some focused on marketing and branding by well-known experts in the social media community. At one session, the Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman plainly said the only way to mobilize a community and get people involved in a cause is through social media.