Community-Building: Better Than Chemo
On Independence Day 2011, the first-ever #BCSM tweetchat for those affected by breast cancer took place. Less than two years later, the group had attracted thousands of participants, spawned a website and a YouTube channel and earned an extensive feature in USA Today. Not bad for a group of tech novices in a space hardly wanting for pink-ribboned advocates.
#BCSM isn't a prototypical breast cancer organization. It's not your usual support group. And it's not the kind of online community that makes headlines at Mashable.
Instead, the group has been, since its founding, focused on attracting a diverse and inclusive group who shared not only cancer, but a set of shared values -- particularly a commitment to evidence -- that created a sense of authority even as it built community.
Those are lessons that can and should be adopted by those looking to connect with similarly isolated communities, and the founders of #BCSM look forward to sharing what they have learned.
- What are the keys to a successful online community?
- What are the specific challenges of running a disease-specific online community, and how can those lessons be applied to groups of hard-to-connect individuals?
- Why are online communities like #BCSM superior to in-person cancer support groups?
- How can groups such as #BCSM address the disconnect between technology and groups -- such as cancer survivors -- that can benefit from online interaction?
- How is #BCSM curated?
- Jody Schoger Self
- Alicia Staley Staley Foundation
- Deanna Attai Center For Breast Care
- Xeni Jardin BoingBoing.net
Brian Reid W2O Group
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