Can social media make a difference in Sydney?

Hi I’m Chris, a psychologist from Liverpool, England. I have been working on a MNDA funded doctoral research project investigating some of the psychosocial issues in MND and how they relate to quality of life. I’ll be presenting some of the results from this study in Sydney.

It will be my third time attending a MNDA symposium and I’m looking forward to the usual brilliant organisation, great atmosphere and engaging presentations from the world’s leading MND researchers.

One thing I am hopeful for at the Sydney conference is that there will be greater uptake of social media such as Twitter and this Research and Care Community (ReCCoB) blog to network and share our views during the conference. As well as being an efficient way of communicating with delegates, I know there will be a lot of young researchers like myself that won’t be able to attend a conference so far away (for us Europeans) who will benefit from being kept up to date on conference proceedings.

I appreciate there are a number of Twitter sceptics out there, but there really is a great deal more going on than Stephen Fry and Lady GaGa talking about what they had for breakfast. In fact, Twitter is increasingly being adopted by scientists across all disciplines to network and share their work and ideas. There is serious potential for MND professionals and researchers, like us, to get involved and start building networks that will allow for greater collaboration as well as faster and wider dissemination of ideas. There is already a good deal of discussion about motor neurone disease in the ‘twittersphere’ already here, here and here, so you won’t be alone.
So as part of your preparation for the symposium, why don’t you sign up for Twitter and familiarise yourself with it before coming to Sydney. A great place to start, especially if you’re still a little unsure, is this gentle introduction. Then, during the Sydney symposium you’ll be able to keep up to date with the latest information coming from the ReCCoB blogs and share your work and ideas during the conference using the #alssymp hashtag. Maybe you’ll get some great local knowledge on the best places to eat, visit and enjoy when you’re in Sydney too. And if you do simply want to tell the world how much you enjoyed your breakfast, well there is plenty of space for that too!

See you in Sydney

Chris (@masterofpogs on Twitter)

Some recommended ‘tweeters’ to get you started