Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
21Mar/120

Afternoon Recap: Healthcare 2.0 Social Media Camp (Part 2 of 2)

Session 1 Workshops

Last week, I enjoyed curating the Healthcare 2.0 Social Media Camp (part 1 of 2) organized by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (BCPSQC) and since then, they've compiled a few more posts including the panel and keynotes along with six reasons why a doctor should consider social media. Below are some of the sessions' recaps extracted with the use of the speakers' slides:

Social Media & Twitter 101

The "Poetry" of Tweeting

It was nice to see some familiar speakers and to be able to support them by being in attendance: Janet Madsen from the Positive Women's Network and Kemp Edmonds from Hootsuite, who's also the current Social Media Club Vancouver president, both covered the basics of social media.

  • Janet started by asking us if our audience understood our message and to figure out who they were, then to engage with them. The use of hashtags were useful to connect with topics or other chat communities on Twitter. Words matter. She emphasized how important it was to choose the right words and that reading a message out loud could help avoid making mistakes. The language should be concise, precise and engaging. Giving credits to others and thanking others in the social media community shouldn't be underestimated.
  • Kemp started off his presentation by saying that if you're going to be on social media, you should be helpful and create value. The first few tips were related to common sense and included being responsible, being transparent, taking ownership, respect, brand protection, and to not forget your day job [unless your job is social media]. He continued by warning beginners that you must understand the language for each platform. For example, a tweet will come across well on Twitter but most likely not on Facebook and/or LinkedIn. Relating the talk to healthcare, he went on to remind us that as our society starts to spend more time online, we also grow our influence to our family and peers; online reviews are becoming very influential. For health professionals, social media can help connect stakeholders, new apps can be preventative, and can even help manage our own health.

Video: How To + Success Stories

Videos for healthcare professionals can be extremely effective and this session helped us understand the basics, in's and out's on how to leverage this medium, and how to get started. The two speakers included Abisaac Saraga from Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Andrew Nguyen from Lemongrass Media.

  • Abisaac showed us several creative videos made by several health organizations. The first one was on prevention and showed an entire hospital staff washing their hands in different locations. It was playful, entertaining and with the music, the message came across well. Another one was a humourous rap song delivering another health message with several people playing different acting roles. Another way to engage with videos were to create video contests where your audience would be the one submitting entries and the public would be the ones voting on YouTube. Your communities will feel engaged and even get creative in their participation.
  • Andrew started off by having us consider three main questions: 1) What is my story? People remember stories, not facts. Consider the hero, the challenge and the triumph in a story. 2) Who is my audience? There are a primary and secondary audiences. You must find a way to make your story stick. 3) Who can best tell your story? They could be experts, advocates or actors. If you decide to hire a production company, it's important to ensure that they understand what you're trying to convey, so the story comes across clearly on screen and is received correctly by your own audience.

Understanding Web Analytics

For the analytics session, the two speakers were Ben Johnson from Frontier Consulting and Michaela Montaner from the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.

  • Ben introduced social measurements by saying that your organization must choose its primary goals or purposes. Different digital strategies will lead to different behaviours. One way to track certain behaviours is to look at heatmaps and by running tests and experiments, heatmaps will show you where your users are clicking the most. If you want to test your creativity with search, you can experiment with Google ads by testing new ideas or concepts and by segmenting locations, interests, etc...He went on to go over Google Analytics where you can view advanced segments, visitor flow and multi-channels funnels.
  • Michaela discussed knowledge translation, how one of their stories that they ran got picked up by a Mexican media and how that translated into more hits. Two questions that she brought before even diving into the world of analytics were: 1) What's your goal? 2) Is social media a fit for you and your community? Once you figure those out, then you can talk about what you'd like to measure.

What are your hopes for a better health care system?

This was a full day of learning and you can also view the session highlights put together by BCPSQC or view most of the presentation decks from that day. In the world of healthcare, there is definitely a strong potential with the development and growth of social media and technology. In conclusion, this was a definitely a great way to connect with others in the healthcare industry and share your thoughts and ideas to further the progress of this industry as a whole.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

15Mar/120

Morning Recap: Healthcare 2.0 Social Media Camp (Part 1 of 2)

Quality Forum 2012 - Healthcare 2.0: Social Media Camp

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure to attend the Healthcare 2.0 Social Media Camp organized by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (BCPSQC) which Canadian Web Hosting proudly supported.

What is Healthcare 2.0 Social Media Camp all about?

This all day event held at the Four Seasons Vancouver hotel, trended online throughout the social media landscape in Canada, and brought together healthcare communicators, Quality Forum participants and social media experts with a health focus. The discussions surrounded the current state of healthcare, where it was going and the importance and role of social media in our present time and in the future. The BCPSQC team (on Twitter: @BCPSQC) encouraged all of the participants to tweet using the official hashtag #SocialMediaCamp; about half of the room raised their hands when asked if they used Twitter or not. In addition to having a big screen projecting the live tweets (a hit!), they collected all of the tweets for later viewing or for those attendees who missed out. My recap below captures and organizes several key points from the keynote and the panel by using their archived feed to make it easier for you visually to sift through the packed content from this full morning.

Join the #SocialMediaCamp conversation on Twitter

Opening Keynote: Pat Rich (Director & Editor-in-Chief Online Content from the Canadian Medical Association)

Pat noted that this was one of the first conferences in Canada to focus on social media in health care - a great accomplishment for BCPSQC that we applauded! During this talk, he brought up Health Care Social Media Canada (on Twitter: @hcsmca) that hosted a tweet chat every Wednesday at 1 pm EST (2 pm AST, noon CST, 11 am MST, 10 am PST) using the hashtag #hcsmca for anyone who wanted to join a lively discussion. Other hashtags brought up were #cdnhealth for Canadian Health/Health Care and #bchc for BC Health & health care social media Canada. Pat helped launch social media guidelines for physicians and is a great resource for anyone in the healthcare industry. He talked about getting doctors involved in social media and how we needed them on there. Funny enough, Pat claimed that he'd rather be tweeting than talking and that he was also having a hard time not getting distracted by the Twitter Wall. A current lack of information surrounded a lack of comprehensive data on physicians' (and other healthcare providers') use of social media especially in Canada. On the other hand, in the United States, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions found that 6% of physicians reported using social media to interact with patients. Despite this new need, 80% of doctors say social media poses risks especially about preserving the patient-doctor privacy; the current data is not showing benefits yet and the regulatory environment is definitely a current barrier. Social media is effective to communicate with patients, the public and for monitoring public health trends and also for research. Posting videos to YouTube makes a great educational tool and shouldn't be overlooked. Towards the end, he recommended a list of top physicians on social media (Twitter) including @CanadianEMR, @WCBADoctorBrian, and @docmikeevans.

Panel: The Potential of Social Media To Change How We Do Health Care

The panelists included Katherine Dodds (Founder & Creative Director from Hello Cool World), Pat Rich (mentioned above) and David Hume (Executive Director of Citizen Engagement from Government of British Columbia) and moderated by Pamela Fayerman (Medical/Health Issues Reporter from Vancouver Sun)

From left to right: Pat (@cmaer), Katherine (@katatcoolworld), David (@dbhume), & Pamela (@medicinematters), Ajay (@masalapuri)

Social media is conversational and ought to be shared. Aside from the fact that Pat joked about tweeting while on the panel at #SocialMediaCamp (shown above most likely tweeting). He quickly concluded that it would probably not be practical but also impolite, meanwhile, Alissa Sadler (one of the Health Talks participants later that night) responded in a playful manner saying that if there was any conferences to do so, the Healthcare 2.0 Quality Forum would have been it. Even before the panel started, it's easy to see that social media is about having (or jumping into) a conversation - personal, conversational, collaborative, interactive, and it's for people who want to engage with you, or hear from, per one of the popular retweeted tweets. One of the best quotes from Pamela is that "all information is social." She also emphasized the fact that podcasts were essential components to embed in your social media campaigns.

Do's and dont's with blogging, social media best practices and your own audience. When it came to blogging, Pat recommended to not use your blog as a press release and to not use ghostwriters - this comment got the crowd going. Diving further into the blogging conversation, if your own CEO was going to blog, the main tip was to make sure that he or she actually wrote it, not your Public Relations department because it would make the conversation more authentic and successful in the long run. Telling a great story is always important, however, in the world of healthcare, while there is huge value to sharing patients' stories, one could only do so with their blessings and approval. One participant (@researchgirlca) added that no matter which industry you're looking at, this rule applies to all types of media "in response to David's smart comment on expectation of responsibility." David made his own point by saying that "we trust employees to hold info in confidence across the board. So, why should social media be any different?" An interesting point made was that within this space especially, one shouldn't underestimate the power of social media since it is a way to connect for those who might otherwise be alone. Our friends from Ayogo Games that we recently sponsored grabbed an important comment by tweeting that "social media will force doctors to revisit and wrestle with boundaries between personal and professional." The idea of focusing on your own customers applies across any industries and without any surprise, this very important point comes up again with a mention saying that an organization should always focus on what your client needs first! David adds that if social media doesn't work for your audience, then you shouldn't use it! For example, one question to ponder as you decide whether to utilize social media tools is: "do you want to talk to seniors or to the people who support them?" The main points to consider are who you're trying to reach and then the ways that you'll go about that.

Social media and technology challenges and constraints, and monitoring it using champions from your team. As BCPSQC summarized, the panel covered the hidden costs of social media and how tech literacy and the divide affected its usage across borders. A recurring theme was that social media wasn't free and that it needed to be maintained all the time rather than setting it and forgetting about it like a Crock pot per one of the participant's analogies. Embedded videos were another ways to reach your own community and while measuring stats were important, Kat made a great point that qualitative results mattered just as much, since stats didn't always tell the story. One other barrier was that adopting new technologies meant budgetary constraints and concerns about privacy to health authorities. Pat advised health organizations to identify their own social media champions within your organization. In the end, social media must be part of a broader strategy, not a stand alone task which is why it was highly important to identify the hard outcomes that you were after. Regarding Facebook, Pat advised to not start a Facebook account for your organization only because others were doing it.

Pin board: how can social media be better leveraged for your work?

Key takeaways from the panel: audience, participants and strategic goals. The last question asked for one single takeaway that could fit in one tweet. Kat said "audience" first, David said "participants first and Pat said that he would tweet it and proceeded by tweeting "my view - consider your goals and use strategically."

Following the end of the panel, BCPSQC led us to choose one of the breakout sessions to attend, split in three levels, and since BCPSQC's team had some avid skiers, they used entertaining ski run symbols to help us navigate which sessions to attend - quirky and creative. Finally, since this was social, BCPSQC made sure to record the keynotes, the panel, and the Health Talks (in Part 2) to share and distribute later. Please stay tuned by checking out the BCPSQC site and feel free to check out the speakers' short biographies' information for the day including Twitter handles, websites and other social media ways to connect.

Part 2 will cover some of the break out sessions and the Health Talks from that evening, so please check our blog again in a few days. Meanwhile, I invite you to get social with us on Twitter at @cawebhosting or by checking out our full photo gallery on our Facebook Page. Maybe, you'll find yourself in the crowd.

Below are other recaps from around the web:
Hello Cool World Goes to Camp! by Hello Cool World
Taking HIV Connections and Community Online by Positive Women’s Network
Social Media: Why It Matters for Health! by ImmunizeBC

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

21Nov/110

Two Reasons Why Offline Networking are Important for You and your Business

This past September during Social Media Week in Vancouver, one of the most profound comments that I encountered came from Scott Dawson (@sdd), a local mortgage broker, who strives to meet someone from Twitter offline on a weekly basis (I'm not certain if he still does now) and a few weeks ago, his comment indirectly rang true when it came to offline connections. At a recent technology event, the advanced computing & technology divisions from Ingram Micro (@IngramMicroInc) discussed how Cisco and EMC technology can help lead clients with utilizing a converged infrastructure path to create a flexible, scalable IT infrastructure of a next generation data centre. There, I met an IT staff member from the University of British Columbia (@ubcnews) with whom we started discussing startups and technology.

He made me think about our connections within our community here. Once again, the community topic comes up. As a company, we spend our time helping our customers host and build websites that connect their own customers to the virtual world and all of our business and most of their business occur online. Oftentimes, we  seldom get to connect offline with people. Locally, there are many events to attend to make those offline connections and build or further relationships with your peers in your industry, prospective clients or other professionals within the area. The opportunities are everywhere.

It's good to leave the internet alone once in a while.

While there are many reasons why you should spend time offline with your own community, here are two main thoughts as to why building offline relationships are important:

1) Connecting with the Human Side
When you interact online with your customers or peers, a lot of time is spent over emails or perhaps, the phone or even texting. For those of us who love social media, that communication occurs over platforms such as Twitter and/or Facebook or many other platforms. While we can interact online and learn more about one another via those mediums, there’s nothing like shaking someone's hand and being able to view their body languages as we interact offline. As most of us know, communication happens visually rather than with vocal words. Online or even over video chat, it's almost impossible to have a sense of the physical energy between you and a person. For example, if you were making small talks and happened to make a joke, there wouldn't be anything like watching that person smile and laugh in front of you. It's important to take the time to make those offline connections and leave technology behind to feel human once in a while.

2) Having a Reason to Unplug
This point is straightforward and says it all. Especially in our world, we spend so much time online for various reasons including reading the news, listening to podcasts, watching all sorts of videos, interacting with friends, families and our customers, calling one another across the world for free, playing online games and the list goes on. In my case, I attend and organize many tweetups and rarely put my smart phone down; I'm also guilty of this situation. When unplugged, even though, you may miss a few things happening online, the action of being unplugged allows you to really take in your surroundings and pay close attention to the live conversations happening around you. If you're on your phone the entire time, you will miss something, in the physical world.

Closing Thoughts
Once in a while, we even have to remind ourselves to unplug as a team which is sometimes a challenge when you think of our webhosting world that goes on 365 days a year, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. For that, we can feel reassured that thanks to our excellent support staff, we can allow one another to take those breaks offline and connect with one another whether it's over coffee or a team lunch. So think about turning off your electronic devices and leaving the internet alone once in a while and go get some fresh air, say, at English Bay, or if you are on Twitter, you could also ask @downtownvan; they're full of ideas.

We'll see you there.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

30Aug/110

Canadian Web Hosting Ltd. Reinforces the Importance of Data Privacy

Traditionally, the US has been the industry leader when it comes to Web hosting providers. But there are growing concerns, since the Patriot Act was passed on October 26, 2001, and because of that, online privacy is not considered by most experts to be secured in the United States.  To get a better understanding, one only has to look at a very recent example where data thought to be protected but was actually available under the scope of the Patriot Act.

Europe, long known to have strict security and privacy requirements, has traditionally been a location for businesses to store their data and it was thought that European datacentres were protected from the Patriot Act.  In June of 2011, Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft UK, confirmed that “Office 365 cloud data stored at European datacentres could still be handed over to American officials,”and went as far as saying that “Microsoft cannot provide guarantees and neither can any other company.”  The issue is based on the fact that Microsoft’s headquarters are located in the US, and it is obligated to abide by American regulations, meaning that any data stored on their servers is subject to seizure and inspection.

Because of this, many businesses are now looking for alternatives including “offshore hosting,” often scaled out to include Third World locations where the perceived notion is that these offshore marketplaces will prevent their data from being captured under the rules of the Patriot Act.  But the notion is often flawed as offshore hosting is often priced well above their US counterparts and they’re often located in areas with a poor technological infrastructure — meaning slow speed, and slow resolution of technical problems.

So what choices does a business owner have to protect their customer’s data and their business? Staying with a US hosting company is getting risky from a privacy point of view, and Europe no longer provides the safe haven it used to. More and more businesses are turning to their neighbors to the north. Canadian web hosting companies — like Canadian Web Hosting Ltd. (www.canadianwebhosting.com) — are located in areas that have comparable capacity to deliver infrastructure solutions and premium web hosting services.

Cities like Vancouver and Toronto have excellent staffing and infrastructure, comparable high-speed connectivity to major US population centres, and in some cases it is better than popular US hosts located in the major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or Dallas.   In addition, service providers like Canadian Web Hosting Ltd. are now beginning to offer pricing for services like Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, VPS and shared hosting at rates that are very competitive.  So if Canadian web hosting and US web hosting services are similar, what separates a Canadian web hosting company from their counterparts?

To fully understand this, you have to first off look at how Canadians view privacy.   If you read the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s website (a government website), you will see the following statement, “Privacy has long been considered a fundamental right in Canada.  The Government of Canada is recognized internationally as a leader in the creation of privacy laws and policies.”  Then, they go on to say that the chances of personal information being accessed under the Patriot Act are “remote” and that to date the “federal government is not aware of any such cases where information about a Canadian was accessed.“

Moreover, Canadian privacy laws protect individual Canadians. One recent example occurred when The Privacy Commissioner of Canada forced Facebook to amend their privacy practices and policies for not only Facebook users in Canada but around the world because Facebook breached the Canadian privacy laws. This example shows the depth of the matter and how all companies including Facebook need to improve their privacy practices.

What really separates Canadian web hosting companies from their counterparts is the safeguards that the Government of Canada has implemented to protect personal information. The primary method has been through the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which requires web hosting organizations engaged in commercial activities to obtain individuals’ consent to the collection, or disclosure of their personal information.  As an example, Canadian Web Hosting Ltd. maintains full compliance with PIPEDA and ensures that the following privacy requirements are met:

Consent must be garnered for collection of personal information
Collection of personal information limited to reasonable purposes
Limits use and disclosure of personal information
Limits access to personal information
Stored personal information must be accurate and complete
Designates the role of the Privacy Officer
Policies and procedures for breaches of privacy
Measures for resolution of complaints
Special rules for employment relationships

Further than that, provincial governments have implemented secondary standards that say that even if disclosure is permitted through PIPEDA, regional statutes such as the Business Records Protection Act (Ontario), which essentially says that business records cannot be removed from Ontario.

Until the US government provides additional clarity into the uses of the Patriot Act, web hosting customers who are concerned about privacy and security of their data should look north of the border.   Companies like Canadian Web Hosting Ltd. who are 100% Canadian owned and operated can deliver industry-best web hosting services, but are also contractually obligated through regulations to protect the data included in their datacentre.