Let’s Keep Talking

I’d like to keep talking about the 2010 Roche Social Media Summit.  There is unfinished business.

I haven’t read many blog posts about it yet (I’m chronically behind on my blog reading.  I will get to them soon – I promise!), so maybe a lot of this has been covered somewhere already.  Forgive me if I’m covering ground already stampeded flat.

I felt some subtle ripples of discontent in the comments to my blog post, and I want to explore those more, and see if I can’t encourage more of you to share your thoughts with me.  One person who needs no encouragement to share his thoughts with me is Dean.

I am so thankful for my friend Dean (deanusa). He lives in the Twin Cities Metro Area, and I’m lucky to get an opportunity to meet up with him, face to face, pretty regularly.  Dean has lived a long time with type 1 diabetes, and I always learn so much from him.

Dean commented that he may have believed the Roche thing was something more than it really is.  Which got me thinking.  What do people think the Roche summits are?

He shared with me some of his thoughts, and there was some additional feedback from Lyrheca & Mike.  I also had a chance to talk with Dean in person.  Seems like these Social Media Summits, which have HUGE potential to change the world, are coming off as nothing more than marketing.

I hate that.  Or I hate that they are perceived as that.

Maybe it’s true?  I don’t know.  There is sure to be some marketing benefits to Roche, as everyone who attended writes and talks about them at least once a year, but I think there’s more.  At least I hope there’s more.

I will be the first to admit that I’m naive about much of this stuff, and I’m also optimistic to a fault.  Could it be that Roche is still curious about this new “Social Media” stuff, and they don’t really know how to get involved legitimately?  Are they scared of all of the regulations and possible trouble it may cause them?  Are they a big, slow-moving company?  Sure.  But two years is a long time They have had since July of 2009 (thanks Mike), are they doing enough, fast enough?

So what is it really all about?  I don’t feel like I know for sure.  There’s still some guarded skepticism I have, though I can’t really identify where it is coming from and why I’m having such trouble letting go of it.

I’ve worked hard over the past bunch of years to build a reputation as a stand-up guy.  It is important to me that you feel I’m trustworthy, ethical, and honest.   Am I damaging my reputation by attending these sorts of things?  As an unemployed freelance writer/consultant,  I could never afford to attend this stuff unless my expenses are covered.  Is that Ok with you?

I want to know what you all really think about this stuff.  I love the opportunity to see my friends, which was the most important thing for me.  I also learned a lot and hopefully we shared some of our opinions with the folks at Roche.  Having an opportunity to talk openly with the ADA would never happen unless some big company leverages their influence to get them in there (which was very brave for both of them).   We’ll see where it goes from here, of course, but are you Ok with how it all went down?

When I talked to Dean about what he wanted to see from it, he said that he would like to see Roche interact with the online community more often through the year.  He would like to see them really work to build a relationship with everyone out there, and do good things for the community.  To him, it seems like a big, once a year, flash in the pan type of thing, which dies down until next time.  How does that sit with you?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  What are your thoughts?

There are a few more things I’d like to clarify and ask about as well:

– I am not exactly clear on what “Social Media” means.  Is it possible that there is more to “Social Media” than blogging – which is where I come from?  Who else needs to come to these things?  Are we too heavy on bloggers, and not heavy enough on other “Social Media” channels? What are those other channels?
– I know nothing about how people get picked to be invited.  I wish there was a little more transparency here. I think I have paid my dues in the Diabetes Online Community (and hope to continue doing so), but should that mean I’m automatically invited to stuff like this?

Please folks, let me know how you feel about this stuff.  I need your input to help me know if I’m doing the right things or not.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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