Another Social Media Eye Opener

Facebook EMSYou know, sometimes all this social media stuff can be a hassle. I like posting, tweeting, blogging and the rest. But occasionally I get sick of the anonymous opinions the sharing of pictures, political banter and “I need 1 million likes to quit smoking” nonsense.

Still social media has once again proven useful and while I am sure there are many ways it was useful during the Boston Marathon Bombing this past week. For me it was useful in a personal way. I have met many people in EMS through social media and have continued that relationship via phone and at conferences (at least those that mother nature lets me get to). Two of these connections are Greg Friese and Carissa Caramanis O’Brien.

When I first turned on the TV and saw what was happening I immediately went to FaceBook and Twitter to see if they were OK. Greg was running in the marathon and Carissa lives in Boston. To my relief there were postings from them both that they were OK. Several actually, many of my other social media connections where way ahead of me and were posting inquires to their safety not only on their personal pages but also on fan pages as well. All in an effort to gain knowledge of their well being.

I was relieved to know they were alright and also sat back a moment and realized how useful Facebook can be. I think about the days when it was much harder to get information like this. I remember 9/11 when I was at ground zero and people I knew could not find out how I was. I remember my brother who worked in the area and fellow responders and how none of us knew if we were safe injured or trapped.

Having social media and a wide net of people who can reach out, pass the word on and give information allowed media like Facebook and Twitter to show that they are indeed more than kitten videos, one sided political rants and meme pictures.

That they are more than methods to show an out of control paramedic or racist EMT. That they can show EMS and responders do much more than that. That most if us do just what all the pictures, videos and news reports have shown the past week. Running toward the dangers, stepping into situations others cannot and asking for nothing in return.

Kudos to the Boston EMS professionals, firefighters and law enforcement for a great job done by all. While you can’t believe everything you see on Facebook. The pictures and videos from this event tell no lies.

Tonight 4/21/13 on the live podcast we will be discussing the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Texas explosion and other related topics. Join us at 7PM EST to chat live or even call in toll free

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/emss/2013/04/21/ems-situational-awareness-vs-the-situation

ems facebook

Social Media Oopsies In EMS

299-Purple-256This was a special video Google + Hangout of Office Hours. A first for me and co-host Josh Knapp from wantynu.com. We talk about the growing issues with social media and EMS providers being fired and put in the public spotlight for videos, Facebook posts and tweets. Some deserving and others maybe not so much.

What do you think? Is social media and your work as an EMS provider off limits or should you be able to have  your freedom of speech no matter what it is?


Watch the video of this episode over on Youtube at http://youtu.be/cAbu7tQLSFo



Visit our sponsor EMS Manager and get a free trial of their EMS employee and management software. Get it here.

Check out Jim’s Facebook fan page over at Facebook.com/TheEMSProfessional
Visit Josh’s main site to get your hands on his one of kind oxygen wrench models.

Making Time And Choosing Wisely

If you are like me you most likely get a few Facebook group or page requests each week, some you join others get ignored. There are actually a few Facebook pages and groups out there that can benefit you as a EMS provider by offering news information, a snapshot of that users blog or podcast and more importantly give you a way to interact in the social media  arena with your favorite bloggers or join in on active conversations regarding EMS or other topics you enjoy.

So, how do you choose which group or page is worth your time and energy? Some points I look for when joining a group are:

  • Group or Page activity – I try and see how active a group is. How many posts there are, how often they get new posts and even how many admins there are. This helps me determine if I spend my time on that page and wind up posting a comment, that people will actually see the post and join in the conversation.
  • Spam content – I also look to see how much spam a page is getting and if it is controlled or not. If admins are not controlling spam, then I may not spend time on that page or group just to read the latest money making ideas.
  • Number of members – Now this depends on the group or page. If the group is specifically targeted to a smaller niche. I will still join if I feel the benefit is there for content and interaction.
  • Content – I like groups and pages that give snippets from their blog or podcast, key points related to that niche and inside scoop that may be related to that topic that might be harder to find if I were to try and locate it on my own via a Google search.

I am also aware that time can be factor and being selective at times with your Facebook activity is important for both personal and professional time management. So I always suggest using your mobile device to view Facebook updates of your favorite groups as well. While it might be a little harder to comment on a post or link this way depending on your mobile device, you can at least make a mental note to visit that group page later on. Other things you can do to avoid allowing Facebook to become a time hog are:

  • Try to keep your Facebook group activity to maybe twice a day. But DO check your groups and pages at least every other day to be sure you are taking advantage of what you joined for in the first place.
  • Make sure you subscribe to comment feeds on what you post or like so that you can target a visit to that group and join in that discussion. This will help you avoid the constant group browsing, if you cant keep your visits down to one or two per day.
  • Avoid the temptation to jump in a group to comment after each response or like. Let your co-members take part as well to give the comment thread a chance to grow. Otherwise you run the risk of it being a public chat between you and one or two other members rather than the whole group.

So, join the groups that interest you or that you may benefit from. Don’t just jump on because of a title or member count. Look at the type of content, spam levels and activity. This can at least help you make a wiser decision when it comes to your Facebook time and group messages you receive in your inbox. 

Connect with me at:

FaceBook at http://facebook.com/TheEMSProfessional

Check out these Facebook Groups

EMS Podcasts – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=124682167579356

FaceBook Paramedics – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2223126402

LaGuardia CC Paramedic Program – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=60941846802

Other Facebook pages you might enjoy.

Chronicles of EMS – http://www.facebook.com/COEMS

JEMS – http://www.facebook.com/jemsfans

EMS Blogs – http://www.facebook.com/EMSBlogs

EMSEducast – http://www.facebook.com/EMSEduCast

EMSWorld – http://www.facebook.com/EMSWorldFans