I spoke to Richard who hosts IBDhour and thought it maybe handy for those of you who enjoy a good twitter chat!
#IBDHour is a monthly Twitter chat for those who have an interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It’s possible that not all of that makes sense, so let me explain in more detail…
Twitter is a micro-blogging service, where users post messages of no more than 140 characters, with around 328 million active monthly users. Key to Twitter is the hashtag, where you can search for other people posting about the same thing as you – which is where #IBDHour is useful.
On the third Thursday of the month at 8pm UK time, I post questions from the IBDHour Twitter account and people from all over the world respond to them, starting a discussion, We have a theme each month – in the past we’ve discussed diagnosis, exercise and IBD and surviving the festive season. There have been guest hosts, IBD Nurses, patients and their partners looking for information, advice or just to find people going through something similar.
So how did it come about? Well, I have always been a fan of Twitter – I like the concise answers, the humour and the sense of being connected to people. There wasn’t anything like it that was UK based, and I wanted to do something that I could manage and try and build the use of Twitter as a support network – many UK groups seem to be via Facebook, and I know not everyone likes it. I hope that people will find that they are not alone. IBD can be very isolating. I also hope it isn’t overwhelmingly negative, but that people can see that there is a future with the condition.
In terms of the future I have a few more guest hosts lined up for 2017. We keep attracting new participants, but there is a trend towards video as the most engaging thing online – so I’m keeping an open mind as to how I could do something with that. I try and evolve #IBDHour based on feedback – so have now started posting the questions in advance – and am always on the look-out for theme suggestions, or question ideas. I’m also very happy to support anyone who’d like to host.
You can get involved by following @IBDHour on Twitter, search for the #IBDHour you can read more and see the previous events at my website Gutless Dick.
Thank you Richard, I myself have taken part in the IBDhour as I can follow it on my phone whilst I am on the The IBD and Ostomy Support Show as I fully believe we should encourage all types of awareness. I sometimes struggle with keeping up with Twitter chats however I enjoy reading the responses from participants. Next week you can read about Richard’s ostomy journey in the “Let’s Be OstoMATES” series.