RIP Google Reader

Photo credit: The New Yorker

The Internet has been buzzing this week about Google’s announcement that it will retire Google Reader in July along with a number of other products. Many of the products getting the axe make sense (Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect) as under utilized offerings that the company would want to pull investment away from. However, as anyone who spends a lot of time digging through online content knows, and outcry online proves, Google Reader is a valuable tool for a lot of people. Why pull the plug then? In a social media saturated world, Google has declared the RSS dead.

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Online Privacy Pearls

                                                        Photo credit: Roy Lichtenstein

The social media world was abuzz last week when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi (former head of marketing for the company) mistakenly posted a family photo to her entire Facebook following rather then just select friends. She was not aware this had happened until the photo was Tweeted publicly by one of her followers. Ms. Zuckerberg was none too happy and a Twitter scuffle about social media etiquette ensued.

Since the photo was not intended for public viewing, I won’t post it to avoid further propagation. You can view both the photo and Tweets here, however (kudos to Mark for keeping the signature hoodie on even at Christmas dinner). Both parties deleted the photo and Tweets, however many news outlets and websites captured them prior. While Randi is a person of interest in the tech world, this just goes to show that things posted online never really go away, even if you delete them.

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How Visible Are You Online?

Think of the last new patient you treated- how did they find you? Chances are they probably searched for your services online. As practice management guru Dennis Bush points out in our PT TV episode on referrals, the majority of younger patients, who often do not have a primary care physician, are turning online to find healthcare providers. Even those patients who are referred by a doctor will do a quick Google search to size up their suggestion. And informed patients in direct access states are skipping the prescription all together and searching directly for you.

Needles to say social media has become a very important aspect of a successful PT career and practice. Social media platforms are increasingly powerful networking tools, giving you a tremendous opportunity to build your practice, source new patients, score your dream job and manage your online reputation. Here are some tips to help you boost your visibility and build brand and credibility

Be Alert. Be Proactive.

Ignorance isn’t bliss for PTs online. It is critical to pay attention to and improve how you are being represented online. Even if you are not very active on social media sites, content about you and your practice is likely on the internet. You can protect your reputation by ensuring that patients and doctors who search for you find good information rather than negative reviews and comments. Here’s how to get started:

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Twitter As a Tool

Unless you are a living version of TV’s MacGyver who can get just about anything done with a paper clip and a stick of gum, you utilize a variety of tools to gain a specific outcome. Hammers are best used for driving nails, Thera-Bands for resistive exercises, your EMR for scheduling, billing and documentation. This is exactly how I suggest you look at using Twitter. There are a number of things that Twitter is really good at facilitating, particularly for PTs.

UNClutter your Content

We had the pleasure of sitting down with some practice management experts at the APTA’s annual Private Practice Section conference in Las Vegas this weekend to discuss some of their tips and tricks for an episode of PT TV. One of their main reasons for using Twitter? Finding content. All agreed that Twitter has replaced an inbox of newsletter subscriptions and bulky RSS readers as their go-to way to find and sort through content.

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