OptumHealth, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, provides personalized health management solutions and makes health care more accessible for its consumers. One of Optum’s main communication channels with consumers is via its core websites, like MyCancerHub.com. OptumHealth actively engages users in conversations and provides digital spaces that help them connect with other users, experts, and professionals.
OptumHealth’s interactive team, builds collaborative websites that are flexible, scalable, and versatile. It’s important for consumers to not only have a rich experience on sites like MyCancerHub, but an easy to use community that facilitates connection during challenging times. Similar to Caring Bridge, MyCancerHub provides multiple resources for those individuals just diagnosed with cancer, living with cancer, and caregivers. The site also provides an “Ask a Nurse” feature which connects users with health professionals. MyCancerHub encourages patients and caregivers to share stories, learn more about their condition, and exchange emotional support with each other.
Optum also provides digital services for professional communities. In one example. a 6,000 member nursing community had a business objective to build a culture of retention. By building a on-line nursing community, Optum was able to improve retention for this nursing community by allowing nurses to make valuable connections with each other, thereby upping sentiment and retention.
OptumHealth’s successes and best practices are now being considered by its parent company for use in other areas of United Health, including possible internal applications behind the firewall.
I’ve had a few colleagues and friends start or try to start using Twitter in the last few months. Since the first few weeks can be tough for Twitter newcomers, they asked me for tips on how I started using Twitter. So here’s my approach:
1. Twitter is not easy at first
a. It takes time, patience, and routine to integrate the news flow into your personal flow
b. Start by using Twitter as a daily read. Don’t worry about posting until you have a habit of returning to Twitter
c. You have to post a picture or avatar. Otherwise Tweeters won’t take you seriously.
2. Find a hook outside of work
a. For me, it was the stock market. I found people I knew from old blogs and communities and followed them. Then I followed who they followed. The nature of the market kept me coming back daily, if not hourly. The discussion during the crash last fall was epic.
b. What are your hobbies? Cooking? Wine? Running? Chances are, you can find a like-minded person or brand on twitter.
3. Use search.twitter.com
a. Going to a conference? Search it to find attendees.
b. Search brand names, places. Twitter only allows 140 characters, so nouns dominate.
4. Probably most important to early adoption – Follow lots of people right away
a. You need 50 at least to keep you coming back
b. At 100 you’ll start to see your follower bucket grow
c. Make sure you follow people who post often. Otherwise you won’t get a good news flow
5. Use power users as editors of Twitter traffic
a. Not sure who to follow? Find someone you like/trust and cherry pick who they follow
b. Rinse and repeat
6. Finally, don’t worry about “missing a day’s worth of news”
a. I pick up the stream whenever I can
b. If I miss something, that’s ok. It sometimes gets recycled and kicked back via ReTweet by someone else
c. Search fills the holes.
At the end of the day, Twitter is a news stream. Read Twitter just like you would read a newspaper. The twist is that you can eventually publish yourself. I’ll save publishing for Twitter 201.
The following Fast Foward Blog post has the most in depth review of Twitter that I have come across. It’s extremely helpful, especially when getting off the ground. FF Blog Twitter Basics
This week’s blog post is a contribution to Minnov8. In it, I explain the concept of Connected Innovation and provide an overview of my sabbatical research.
You can connect to the Minnov8 post here:
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of catching-up with Joe Pine, distinguished author and visiting scholar at MIT Design Lab. Joe is well known for his best selling books Mass Customization, The Experience Economy, and Authenticity. I first heard Joe riff on Authenticity at MIT in October of 2007, well before the mass media glommed onto authenticity as a theme in the most recent Presidential campaign. I have always found Joe’s insights to be fundamentally rooted in physics, economics, and philosophy, but most importantly, ahead of its time.
Joe shared his latest framework with me – The Multiverse. To define the Multiverse, Joe employs the classical 3-dimensional framework that defines the Universe – space, time, and matter. Joe then layers economic insights gleaned from the Stan Davis best seller Future Perfect onto his framework. In Future Perfect, Davis argued that increasingly, the physical mass of everything that has economic value is shrinking. As the economy becomes more informational and intangible, it is less dependent on physical matter to exist on its own. Think anti-matter. Using the same method, Joe concludes that there must exist a place where space, time, and matter do not exist – a virtual reality. The digital space.
Joe’s Multiverse framework provides clarity around the opportunities in the digital space. The digital space is infinite in possibilities, largely undiscovered, without boundaries, always on, and economically advantaged compared to reality. It’s the world of video games, alternate reality games, virtual worlds, social media, and new business models.
In my own experience, I have used the digital space to create a virtual presence of myself. Tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and LinkedIn allow me to make new contacts without having to do the leg work. As a result, I have expanded my personal network by orders of magnitude and established scores of new business leads and collaborations. Think of how much time it would take to have built out a massive network via person to person interaction. Reality doesn’t scale.
There is intrinsic value in having an on-line presence, and by Pine’s estimates, it might be infinite.