Are you Web 2.0?

Social media are Web-based integrated technologies that facilitate social interaction and the construction of words, pictures, videos, and audio. They are empowering, engaging, and educating healthcare consumers and providers. While consumers use social media—including online social networks, personal blogging, wikis (user-generated encyclopedias), video-sharing, and other formats—for emotional support, they also heavily rely on them to manage health conditions.

The Internet has evolved from the information-retrieval of “Web 1.0” to “Web 2.0,” which allows people who are not necessarily technologically savvy to generate and share content (such as posting comments on this blog page). The collective wisdom harnessed by social media can yield insights well beyond the knowledge of any single patient or physician, according to Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, author of a new report, The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media.

AARP, the world's largest membership organization for the 50 plus community, has recently given its Web site a facelift. In addition to the information the organization already provides, the site will also include a social networking element.

“Right now we have 40 million members, 60% of them are online. The opportunity is to really connect people,” AARP COO Thomas C. Nelson said in an online podcast. “That's what the Internet has done in a very powerful way for younger people. With the launch of this Web site, we're going to be able to do it for older people as well.”

I’m interested in knowing if you are using or considering using social Web sites for your profession, whether it be nursing or administration, which ones are you using, and how? Does your facility or organization have a presence on social networking sites? Are you upgrading your own Web sites for new generations? Also, are your residents using these sites at all for knowledge or entertainment?

Web 2.0 Examples:

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