Online self-help groups multiply peoples’ possibilities to exchange information and social support. Such possibilities are expected to be of crucial value for the ‘new’ healthcare user. However, similar to experiences from face-to-face based groups, studies of online self-help groups report high drop-out rates. Knowledge about why this happens is scarce. By means of qualitative interviews and participant observation, this article examines non-participation and withdrawal from an online self-help group for Norwegian breast cancer patients. Five conditions are identified as barriers to use; a need to avoid painful details about cancer, not being ‘ill enough’ to participate, the challenge of establishing a legitimate position in the group, the organisation of everyday life and illness phases that did not motivate for self-help group participation. I suggest that an adoption of the biomedical explanation model represents an important background for this pattern, an argument which contrasts prominent assumptions about the new healthcare user who does not accept the biomedical ‘restitution story’ in her efforts to make sense of an illness. A further suggestion is that experiences of self-help groups as arenas for successful coping need to be further considered as a barrier to use.
Healthcare marketer, Dan Dunlop, recently presented on The Role of the Healthcare Marketer as Community Builder at the Spirit of Women’s annual Pelvic Health Conference in Denver, Colorado. The video is now available to view online.
Analyst firm Gartner said that although numerous organisations have achieved social media success, failure rates are “very high” because leaders and managers expect the functionality of social technologies alone to deliver results.
“But no social technology is great enough to save efforts that ignore or omit the fundamental principles of mass collaboration.
When these efforts are omitted, people don’t view the social media environment as a place for them to meaningfully collaborate, and so adoption never really takes hold”
Despite a deluge of information about social media over the past few years, many executives still don’t have an idea of what they want to accomplish with their brand’s community management efforts. And as any savvy social media guy or gal knows, it’s pretty hard to prove your effectiveness without some agreement of what you’re trying to do.
This means that your first task will often be to explain to them what the possible goals MIGHT be, and then start from there to identify which ones are important to them.
Are you the only Community Manager or social media practitioner in your company? Allow me to shake your virtual hand. It can be a tough gig. Here are a few tips for “lone wolf” community managers to help make things, well, more manageable.