Health Info & Social Networks: Some Unexpected News


Online Health Info Wordle
I’ve read quite a bit the last couple of years about battle for the search market: how Facebook is challenging Google in online search  because people want to search within their own social networks (e.g. Facebook vs. Google: It’s On in SearchHow Facebook Could Beat Google to Win the Net , and Wired’s Facebook vs. Google). So I was more than a little surprised to read some recent findings about health information search by the Pew Internet team in their new report, Health Online 2013. Beyond their main findings (59% of adults in the United States have looked online for health information in the past year), they found that people don’t start their search for health information with their social networks. Continue reading

What’s Ahead for Social Work This Coming Year?


Crystal Ball

Welcoming in a new year always brings a chance to consider what might be up ahead. Given who I am, many (but not all) of my predictions relate to social work and technology. This is not to suggest that these are the only notable trends for this year, only that this is what I’m noticing and thinking about.

Predictions: What 2013 Will Bring for Social Work

1. More and more social workers exploring how to use the Internet as a way to connect, and more and more non-profits figuring out they need to learn how to leverage the Internet. This trend began accelerating last year with the advent of more social work chats on Twitter (in part, because of the great work from @SWSCMedia). I think we’ll continue seeing more colleagues using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn professionally this year. And with the start of Google+ Communities I think we’ll see more social workers using them to connect. We already have one thriving community there, started by Jonathan Singer (of the Social Work Podcast fame), called Social Work and Technology. Nonprofits who are looking for some guidance in this world would do well to look at the work of Beth Kanter , including her two books on the topic: The Networked NonProfit, and Measuring the Networked NonProfit, both of which are available on Amazon.

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