I like lists. They are typically neat and definitive. I am sure that my friend @ChecklistMedic would agree that they also help bring order to the chaos that often defines our work in the field. For those of us trying to leverage social media to keep current on EMS thought (or “Community Paramedicine” or “Mobile Integrated Healthcare”), Twitter can be a chaotic cacophony of voices. While there is some value in all those voices, my time limits how many I can actively engage each day. Consequently, I look forward to each Friday when my timeline fills with thoughtful suggestions of “Friday Follows” (#FF). Please note that I said “thoughtful” suggestions. That certainly does not include the pandering lists of accounts that simply “retweeted” you this week or include some implied “quid pro quo” of mentions. So when I heard about a service called Little Bird that creates lists of influential social media accounts, I decided to give it a try. Unlike Klout, that is heavily activity-based and compares all users against all other users for a universal ranking, this new service ranks users based on relationships and topics of discussion.
Not surprisingly, my first list was focused on “EMS”, but I was surprised to find that many accounts appearing near the top of that list did not actually “discuss” EMS topics. While they have some involvement in EMS, I was really hoping to discover the accounts that shared ideas and thoughts on the condition and improvement of the field many of us still name as Emergency Medical Services. After some tweaking I created a second version. This list moved several of my own favorite accounts further down the ranking and other unsuspecting accounts appeared. I still hope to get all that worked out, but I decided to switch tactics for the moment and chose the topic as “Paramedic” instead. This avoided many of the accounts that simply refer to EMS without actually taking part in its development. Paramedics have the vested interest I wanted, but the inconsistency with which we use the term in the United States skewed the results to include a more international flavor. Maybe that isn’t always so bad though. We need to learn from each other and reach outside our comfort zones. So today, this is my #FF list!
The Top 100 Influencers of the Paramedic Topic on Twitter:
Watch for more lists to come.