December 12, 2014

The Appeal and Challenge of Curation: An Interview with Elin Silveous (2nd in a Series)

By meredithgould

Elin Silveous

Welcome to the next post in a series of interviews with the top Twitter-based healthcare content curators. (Read the first one with Marie Ennis-O'Connor here.)

At this point, I don't remember exactly when I first encountered Elin Silveous (@ElinSilveous) but I do remember that I noticed how she provided timely, useful, thought-provoking, and delightfully quirky content. Not only was she using the #hcsm hashtag, but others emerging in the domain of healthcare.

Elin understood the value of online engagement to inform, educate and build community long before Twitter was invented. Keep reading for what this super early adopter was doing back in the days of chat rooms and bulletin boards.

If you don't already do so, add @ElinSilveous to your list of Twitterati and be prepared for a steady stream (read: near flood) of great curated content.

And here's the interview:

Meredith Gould: What about curation most appeals to you?
Elin Silveous: The appeal of curation, for me, is the opportunity to bridge the past and the future in real time. Today's digital technologies enable me to "pay it forward" by combining 30 years of award-winning experience in health care marketing and publishing with the mission of helping individuals become more informed, empowered decision makers. Curating allows me to stay abreast of the latest information while helping others stay current.

Two decades ago, as founder and host of the Better Health & Medical Forum/Network on AOL, curation primarily consisted of integrating links from the Internet to proprietary content housed on the private, or closed, AOL service. Now I share links during live Twitter chats, many of which are subsequently curated by others.

Basically, I've identified eight  "S Factors" for successful curation. They are:

Search: Search individual websites, not just the web. Though Dr. Google has its place, a Google search usually yields ads, sponsored content and Wikipedia. None of which are my primary sources of content.

Sift: Sift for nuggets. When you find one, dig deeper. And then, sift some more.

Select: Is it relevant? Timely? Will it help others (consumers, patients, providers, policy makers) become more informed, confident decision makers? If not, will it at least entertain?

Sort: There are numerous on- and offline tools and services to sort content. I prefer sorting in real-time using hashtags to label, tag, content on Twitter.

Send: Perhaps the most defining moment in curation. Once you hit send, you may not be able to edit or delete your post. And even if you can, chances are someone else has already shared your original post. So, as the saying goes, "Think before you Tweet."

Share: Sharing involves more than simply posting content. Share perspectives, opinions, analyses. Share your time and resources during spontaneous and scheduled chats.

Social: Long before social media, Walt Seifert, a 1970's  journalism professor at The Ohio State University  summed up perfectly how view today's social networking opportunities, "You have to hunt where the ducks are," and "You have to circulate to percolate."

Speed: Getting information to the right people at the right time is critical in healthcare. The same is true if you're curating content and sharing via social media. Speed is particularly important during emergency preparedness planning and response during disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes. Because of its speed, Twitter is my choice of channel for distribution.

MG: When, how and why focus on healthcare?
ES: The word curate derives from the Latin root "curare," or "to cure." And though curation may not be the cure for social media or health care marketing woes, curation can be a vital element in social media content strategy.

My curation efforts are primarily focused on, but not limited to, healthcare and medicine. I also curate information and resources in journalism, communications, media, disabilities, technology, marketing, aging, boomers, seniors, women and water because the topics are often synergistic.

Coming Monday: Elin on gathering content for curation, and deciding what stories to use.

Choose a message to share 
You have to circulate to percolate.
The Appeal and Challenge of Curation: An Interview with Elin Silveous (2nd in a Series)
Welcome to the next post in a series of interviews with the top Twitter-based healthcare content curators.

Tags: Strategy, Tactics & Best Practices

I’ve been following Elin’s postings for over twenty years. They are always so intriguing and informative. I wish everyone applied her S’s. We would all be better off.

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