Nancy Stordahl writes a cancer blog titled “Nancy’s Point: A Blog about Cancer and Loss.” She lost her mother to breast cancer in 2008 and then was diagnosed with it herself in 2010. I follow Nancy’s blog, as well as a few others written by cancer patients and cancer survivors, because I believe their voices and experiences make me a better marketer and community builder. Oddly, in healthcare marketing, it is very easy to be disconnected from the patient.
On May 31, 2013, Nancy wrote a post titled “When Bloggers Stop Blogging.” As a blogger, this naturally intrigued me. I understand the challenge of maintaining the drive, passion and discipline necessary to keep a blog moving forward. But Nancy was writing about her community of fellow cancer and disease bloggers. It is an amazing post followed by an incredible conversation within the comments section. If you’d like insights into the communities that people form online, true communities, read this post and the comments that follow. There is this entire world out there shared by cancer patients and people diagnosed with rare diseases (just two examples), that most of us know nothing about. And what they’re doing within these communities is important. Hospitals need to understand this part of healthcare.
Not long after reading Nancy’s post I received Marie Ennis-O’Connor’s Weekly Round Up on her blog – Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer: Making Sense of the Breast Cancer Experience Together. Marie, a cancer survivor, is co-founder of #BCCEU, Europe’s first breast cancer social media chat and is a founding member and social media manager for Health2.0 Dublin, part of the Health2.0 international movement. I love following her on Twitter. Marie takes her favorite blog posts of the week and aggregates them within this Weekly Round Up. Most of the blogs Marie mentions are written by cancer patients or cancer survivors. Marie’s blog, like Nancy’s, gives the reader an amazing look into the world of online patient communities.
If you have a moment in your week and would like to become a better healthcare marketing and community builder, I recommend visiting either of these blogs using the links embedded in this post. You’ll be better off for the experience.