More Social Media-Mass Media Synergy

In several previous posts here on SMUG and also on the Mayo Clinic News Blog and Podcast Blog, I’ve told the story about

Now WABC TV in New York has run a story about diagnosing mysterious wrist injuries, featuring Jayson and another another patient Dr. Berger has helped return to recreational golfing. It’s on

Social media tools such as YouTube and Twitter, while not directly mentioned in the WABC story, have played a huge role in spreading the word about Dr. Berger’s research discovery.

And as a result, many more patients will, like Erin, have an opportunity for a future without chronic wrist pain.

This post, which we put on the Mayo Clinic News Blog at the time of the first USA Today article and Twitter chat, has a list of the surgeons who have trained with Dr. Berger since he discovered the UT split. We’re sure many patients have been helped by these other surgeons as well.

This latest WABC story will continue to accelerate the diffusion of this research discovery, helping to fulfill the promise of social media as outlined in Thesis 33.

And in case you’re wondering how Jayson is doing now, check out his walk-off home run from yesterday’s game.

Cooperstown Memories

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to a meeting of human resources leaders from the Hospital Association of New York State (HANYS) at the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, New York. It’s a beautiful and historic facility (I have posted some pictures below), and I enjoyed getting to interact with the HANYS group.

But one reason I was really looking forward to the trip was the chance it gave me to visit a place I had dreamed of for about 40 years, the Baseball Hall of Fame. I unfortunately only had about an hour to case the place, but here’s my video report:

It isn’t exactly the SPAM museum, the tourist attraction in my hometown of Austin, Minn. (located just 4 blocks from “Old Main”), but still is definitely worth the trip. Below are some photos, first of the Otesaga, and then the baseball shrine (click to enlarge):

The Otesaga at night
Golf hole view from the Otesaga dining room

Jason Werth’s spikes from the 2008 World Series. For more about why this was cool for me, see here, here and here.

Jayson Werth's World Series Spikes

Harmon Killebrew was my first boyhood sports hero, so it was neat to see the plaque immortalizing him:

Harmon Killebrew's Hall of Fame Plaque

And finally, here is a picture of me with Kirby Puckett’s plaque. I’m thinking this will be my new Twitter avatar:

Kirby and Me

Flip Video Camera vs. Kodak Video Camera

In many of my presentations this year I have used the video embedded immediately below to illustrate the quality available through consumer-grade video cameras, such as the Flip video camera. With my daughter Rachel’s permission, here’s an example of what you get from the Flip UltraHD, from my granddaughter Evelyn’s first birthday party in August:

Here is an example of a video I shot earlier in April with the standard definition version of the Flip video camera (before we got HD), with Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth, in a room behind the dugout at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia:

You will note that in this video there is background noise from the indoor pitching machine and batting cage, but I think in both cases the quality of the video is perfectly acceptable for use on the Web. And since the HD only costs $50 more, I think it’s well worth the extra cost. (Of course, I’m kind of partial to the subject of that HD video .)

Kodak has some similar consumer-grade video cameras, such as the Kodak Zi8 HD, and their key advantage is that they have an external microphone jack, which could improve the audio quality in some cases. If I had used that camera for the interview with Jayson Werth, for instance, the batting cage noise probably would have been less pronounced. The good news: you can put in a huge memory card to get really long recording times without having to download the files to your computer. The bad news: extra cost.

Here’s an example of a video we shot with the external microphone, and uploaded to YouTube:

One additional advantage of the Kodak is it can record in 1080p, but can also downshift to 720p or even standard definition. Here’s a brief sound bite to that effect from my colleague Joel Streed, shot and edited as 1080p.

The downside of 1080p is that for a video of any length, the processing power required is pretty immense, without much of a perceptible difference in image quality, at least for Web video.

If you don’t see yourself complicating the recording process by attaching a remote microphone to the interview subject, the Flip video camera is fine.

So, to sum up, here are the advantages I see for each of these cameras (as compared with each other):

Flip UltraHD Camcorder, 120 Minutes (Black)(Amazon Affiliate link – currently $149.99)

  1. Simplicity and cost. One-button operation and a ready-to-go camera. With the Kodak, by contrast, you really can’t shoot video unless you have purchased an SD memory card. And if you’re going to take advantage of the external microphone, that means you need to buy an external microphone. So the Flip video camera price is pretty much “all inclusive” while you will have some additional costs for the Kodak. Given the $70 difference on Amazon you see here currently between the Flip and the Kodak, you’ll likely spend at least $100 more for the Kodak.
  2. Solid, durable design (the Kodak’s USB connector seems a bit more flimsy)
  3. Can use AA batteries. (With the Kodak, you could possibly be stuck with a temporarily unusable camera if the built-in rechargeable batteries run down. On the Flip Ultra HD, if you’re in that situation you can swap out the rechargeable pack and replace it temporarily with AAs.)

Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera (Amazon affiliate link – Currently $219.99)

  1. External microphone jack. If you’re shooting in a noisy environment, this gives you the possibility of using a remote microphone to get better sound. With the Flip you need to choose where you shoot if the sound quality is important.
  2. Flexibility in storage. The Flip UltraHD holds two hours of video in its 8 GB memory. With the Kodak you can use a bigger card and record longer, although a larger card adds to the camera’s cost.
  3. Multiple resolution choices. You can record 1080p, 720p or standard definition. The Flip UltraHD is just straight 720p.

The really good news to take away from this is that there are at least a couple of good options for capturing video using consumer grade cameras for use in your professional efforts in social media, whether it’s posting videos to YouTube, Facebook or some other sharing site. Both of these cameras are light, small and therefore easy to carry in a coat pocket or purse, so you’ll never need to worry about missing an opportunity to capture video.

The first rule of video is that you can’t edit what you don’t shoot, so these cameras both make it more likely you’ll get some good material for editing.

Thesis 9: Social Media Synergy with Mass Media


This post is part of a series related to my 35 Social Media Theses, in which I will discuss and amplify upon each of the statements I believe define the social media revolution, particularly as they relate to healthcare. This relates to my example of Thesis 33, which is being demonstrated as I write this.

Even though I firmly believe in Thesis 4:

Social Media are the third millenium’s defining communications trend

…that in no way diminishes my appreciation for the power, influence and purpose of mass media. That’s why I have stated Thesis 9 as follows:

Mass media will remain powerful levers that move – and are moved by – social media buzz.

One example of this from my personal experience is, of course, the “Octogenarian Idols” story of Marlow and Frances Cowan, whose YouTube piano-playing video at Mayo Clinic has been seen 5 million times, and led to a story in the Des Moines Register and their appearance on Good Morning America and a spoof on The Tonight Show. These mass media features exposed at least another 5 million people to this special couple and their 62-year (so far) love affair.

I’m excited to be able to share another great story of social media synergy with mass media, and how it may help thousands of patients find relief for debilitating wrist pain. And it’s happening as I write this.


USA Today has a story this morning about Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth and his comeback from a career-threatening wrist injury. You can read Jayson’s story as written by Mary Brophy Marcus (@BrophyMarcUSAT – it’s also in the print edition), and for more background on the injury you can see Jayson’s Sharing Mayo Clinic story and the post I wrote on our Mayo Clinic News Blog when he hit two home runs to help send the Phillies to the World Series for the second straight year.

A big part of being able to do those posts was the Flip video camera, which I used when I was in Philadelphia earlier this year, to interview Jayson about his experience. And with those posts and having Jayson on video, Mary (and her editors) saw both the significance of Jayson’s comeback and how this is an injury that affects not just elite athletes, but everyday people.

It’s hard to know exactly how many people have a split tear of the UT ligament in their wrist, because most doctors don’t know about this type of injury. As Dr. Richard Berger, the Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon who discovered the injury type, has said, the MRI scans for these patients would typically be interpreted as normal because the ligament isn’t completely severed: it’s split lengthwise. So it may be as common as an ACL tear, but patients keep having to deal with wrist pain for which their doctors can’t find a cause.

That’s why getting this story in the mass media, in this USA Today article, is so important: it will alert many patients and doctors about a wrist pain cause they may not have considered. That’s why we scheduled a Twitter chat on #wristpain for Thursday, November 12 from 4-5 p.m. EST. Dr. Berger (@RABergerMD) will be available to answer questions and talk about the UT Split Tear injury and how it’s treated.

But this is where the real synergy comes in: Mary and her editors only had 30 column inches to devote to the story (believe me, we’re thankful for all the space they did find!) but they realized that people who think they might have a split tear will want much more in-depth information. And so they helped make it more likely that those people would be able to find the additional information, by adding this widget on the site:

Picture 4

For our part, we did this blog post about the Twitter chat that also includes a list of surgeons Dr. Berger has personally trained, so patients can come to a surgeon closer to their home. We also included a link to a scientific paper Dr. Berger has published on the subject, as well as a TV story about a bowler with the injury and an in-depth audio podcast with Dr. Berger.

The focused Twitter chat this afternoon will be great, but the other neat part about having the social media component is that it can continue long after the one-day run of the print story. People can continue to ask questions by tweeting @RABergerMD or using the #wristpain hashtag, or may leave longer questions on the wrist pain post on our Mayo Clinic News Blog.

I hope you will pass this information along to everyone you can (especially if you know of someone with wrist pain), via Twitter, Facebook or old-fashioned email. I will keep you posted on some of the results we’re seeing from this social media/mass media synergy.

Phillies Fun

As I write this I’m sitting in the press box at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where the Phillies have just defeated the Washington Nationals 13-11. It was a come-from-behind victory that featured two grand slams by the Phillies (one by Ryan Howard and the other by Raul Ibanez.) Here’s the wrap-up of the game.

I was in town to give a presentation on social media to the National Cancer Institute Public Affairs Network, and I got media credentials for the day in order to interview Jayson Werth, the Phillies’ starting right fielder, whose career was resurrected by seeing Dr. Richard Berger, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon and wrist specialist. I’ll have a post with my interview with Jayson on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog in the next day or so.

Update: here’s the post with the video interview of Jayson.

But meanwhile, here are a few of the photos from my excellent adventure (click to enlarge):

The statue of Mike Schmidt from outside the ballpark
The statue of Mike Schmidt from outside the ballpark
Me, in the Phillies' media room
Me, in the Phillies' media room


The view of batting practice from the dugout
The view of batting practice from the dugout


The lineups for the game (in the press box)
The lineups for the game (in the press box)


The grounds crew cleans up after the game
The grounds crew cleans up after the game

Thanks to the Phillies organization for their hospitality, and to Jayson for being willing to do the interview. He has a really great story, and I look forward to being able to have him tell it in his own words on Sharing Mayo Clinic.