Image credit violetknows on Flickr
February’s Health Activist Matchmaking Month is coming to a close and this week’s #HAChat focused on matchmaking within your online community. Matchmaking is a great way to build up your network, help people help each other, and take some of the pressure off of you as a Health Activist and community leader. Check out these tips and tricks for matchmaking and why it’s so important.
The key to being a good matchmaker is working within your online community. Members must feel welcome and feel like they are respected and supported by other community members. A great online community is filled with:
TiffanyAndLupus: honesty, mutual health/illness journey, compassion
NateOsit: a lot of strong personalities and an open and collaborative feel
KatherineS84: Supportive people, open minds, no judgment and honesty. The more you share, the more others will open up
Introducing people to each other within in your community is not only a great way to build your network but it’s also a way to take some of the burden off yourself as a community leader. Matchmaking is a way to share responsibility as well as make members of your community feel included. TiffanyAndLupus introduces lupies to each other all the time, especially if they have similar health questions, issues or concerns. Giving your members roles within your community is a great way to avoid burnout, which can be a real problem for patient advocates.
TiffanyAndLupus: Advocacy burnout is another sneaky devil & I haven’t quite yet figured out how to escape her clutches
Jason31480: Giving yourself a day(s) off is important so you dont get burned out also – and important to your OWN health …. #HAchat
Bringing others into your community to share the work is also a great way to keep your community running smoothly. And while it’s great to ask members to take on roles within your community, if you have created an open and supportive environment, you might find, as @TiffanyAndLupus did, that members will watch over each other and speak up for themselves.
In terms of introducing community members to each other, twitter is a great way to do this.
TiffanyAndLupus: Using twitter hashtags that pertain to our content can help connect us to those who are looking for community. #hachat.
NateOsit: T4 On Twitter, you can make a list of people you interact w/ frequently, and chat w/ folks regularly #HAchat
Jason31480: Yes twitter hashtags can really go a long way. I try to use the #CDSN tag when appropriate – also have a list of members on twitter #HAChat
You can also use an #ff or add a cc with a group of people that have something in common. Other ways to connect members of your community include setting up a mentor program. As Jason21480 shared, “Setting up a mentor program can be a great tool as well – matching members up together who have similar interests, symptoms, etc.”
#HA Chatters also had some great tips on how to make your daily online interactions better:
Jason3184: – pose a daily question for your members – it can be serious or fun. Such as “You know you have IBD when …” #HAChat
TiffanyAndLupus: Remember to respect your own health or you will not be able to help anyone! Take care of your needs so you can help others. #hachat
ShyDi47: We all need 2 take care of one another, @ work 2 gether @ come 2 gether as a Community that is vital either online or offline. #Hachat
TiffanyAndLupus: Humor is your friend! Use it to help lighten the day; never underestimate the power it has to travel online & help someone else. #hachat
Have any other tips on how to make your online interactions better? Think some of your community members would hit it off? Connect them today and share new ideas for connecting people here: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tune in next week for the kickoff of March’s theme: Health Activists & Healthcare Professionals.