Sunday, 12 October 2014

A year of #OurD

Our Diabetes
How quickly a year passes!

On Tuesday 15th October 2013 Our Diabetes held it's first ever tweet chat. The subject? Community Matters! and it asked six questions:

  • What does the #doc give you that appointments don’t?
  • Does the #doc help you get the best out of your appointments? How?

  • Is there anything the #doc doesn't do now that you’d like it to do?
  • Is there anything you’d like to see on the OurD website?

  • How do/should we get the message out to those that haven’t found the #doc?
  • How can we engage our HCPs in promoting the benefits of the online community?

I don't mind telling you, on that first night, I was nervous! Yet over the course of the chat a total of 67 people got involved despite the football and Great British Bake Off semi-final on television and the Monster Manor diabetes application launching on the same evening. You can read the summary of that first chat here.

Personally I find it a little bit sad that those last two questions still ring in my ears today and maybe we could all do that little bit more to make people aware of the #doc but, as the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day" and if it weren't for all my other commitments perhaps some more of the things people want could be achieved too.... I feel there's a New Years Resolution to be made from all that!

Maybe it would also be interesting, to have another #ourD chat, asking those six questions again and see how people respond a second time around?

In the beginning

When Our Diabetes was born I had no idea if it would be what people wanted. I had lots of doubts. Would people want to host their own chats? Would there be enough questions to last more than a few weeks? Would people find the support they needed? ...and many more too! But Laura (@ninjabetic1) convinced me that I should at least give it a try and let the community decide.

Now, one year on, I can look back and laugh at all those worries. Now I look back and feel honoured to be part of a community that looks after and supports each other; a community that reaches out and says those magical words "Me too!"; a community that shares information freely and helps improve the care that everyone receives.

So many hosts have come forward:

  • PWDs: @Jules1315, @T1Buta, @Titchylou88, @Diathlete, @ninjabetic1, @StorryT_Jewels, @xClaraBellax, @Endo_Gremlin, @vickisnotebook, @kat0302, @betabetic, @sueegreg, @Oggy2203, @VixRz and myself
  • Parents: @Colonelblighty
  • HCPs: @WeNurses, @Jade_SmithGPPA, @Parthaskar and @RNeilABlack
  • Researchers: @DomFurniss
  • Organisations: @HedgiePDiabetes, @QISMETorguk and @ABCDiab
  • Charities: @JDRFUK and @DiabetesUK
  • MPs: @JReedMP and @AdrianSandersMP

There have also been many questions asked by individuals during the #JustOneQuestions chats and of course there has been all the people that have taken part in the chats themselves.

I'm also grateful to all those that have given up their time to do the admin work that allows the chats to run so smoothly each week, people like Laura, Kate, Vicki and Mark. Our Diabetes are always looking for more people to get involved in this side of running the community, so if you fancy getting involved use the contact page on the Our Diabetes website. Equally, you can use the contact page to let Our Diabetes know you'd like to host a chat... if you aren't sure there are plenty of previous hosts that will tell you what a great experience it is!

In short, so, so many people to thank!

As a community we have:

In the end this all comes down to you.

You have been involved in making the Our Diabetes community a success and this blog post is my inadequate way of saying thank you to every single one of you.

Be proud of the community you are a part of, all the contributions you have made and know you are making a difference.

Thank you!