“Do you have a twitter account?”
“Um…yea but I don’t use it. I don’t really know how to use twitter.”
“That’s not an excuse! Just jump on and follow #OzDOC on Tuesday at 8.30pm. You’ll learn. Tweet you then!”
That was how I got suckered into my first ever tweetchat and how I discovered the Australian Diabetes Online Community (OzDOC) and the general Diabetes Online Community. Close to three years down the track, I am still absolutely in love with the online diabetes community. We even recently just celebrated OzDOC’s third birthday!
What is OzDOC and a tweetchat? Based on Twitter, you include a hashtag (#OzDOC) in your tweets to participate in an hour chat led by a moderator who keeps discussion going by asking questions. Being a public forum, anyone can pop #OzDOC into Twitter and see all tweets which include the hashtag. The best thing is that participation is non-compulsory. So if you’re new and don’t feel comfortable with tweeting or are just not feeling up to chatting that night, you can always just watch the chat go by.
Aside from diabetes camps, finding OzDOC has been a major turning point for me since my diabetes diagnosis. Where I failed to find online support on Facebook, I found via a hashtag on Twitter. On twitter, no one cared what type of diabetes I had.
Through OzDOC I have learned many things from diabetes hacks, finding resources, to hearing various perspectives of diabetes from support networks of people with diabetes (aka type 3’s), healthcare professionals, parents of people with diabetes and people with all types of diabetes. More importantly, OzDOC restored my faith in the diabetes community and reminded me that unconditional support does exist online for anyone touched by diabetes.
#OzDOC runs every Tuesday night at 8.30pm Melbourne time every week. Come and check it out!