I had a GREAT question last week. A faculty member wanted a list of hashtags and accounts for him to follow for his research interests. I’m not going to give all of the answer here, but I thought it would be useful to look at how I’d start out to answer a question like this.
The faculty member is one who works in pediatric psychology/psychiatry, so let’s just start with that broader category. The first thing I tried was to search in Twitter using the common ‘lingo’ “pediatric psychology” or abbreviation, “Ped Psych.” That found people, but not a hashtag. Finding people is a good thing. So I looked to see if there was a common hashtag that people in this area are using. Um, well, no.
For a next step, I went to the Symplur Hashtag Project and searched. No luck again. There are other pediatric specialties that do, with the notable examples of #pedpc for pediatric palliative care, #PedRySm for pediatric rheumatology symposium, and #pnpchat for pediatric nurse practitioners. But ped psych, not so much. I’m guessing maybe that has something to do with why this faculty member wasn’t already on Twitter, if his people aren’t already there. And this is both embarrassing and discouraging, at least at this level.
The strategy that proved to be most effective for this topic was to search conferences in that area (SPPAC), and then individual conditions (#ADHD, #Anxiety, #autism, #ASD, #Bipolar, #Depression, #EatingDisorders, #OCD, #PTSD)virtually all of what had multiple hashtags in use.
The trick was to combine either specific or general mental health hashtags and terms with population hashtags or terms. Here are a couple examples.
General mental health:
(#mh OR #mental OR #mentalhealth OR #mentalillness OR #mhsm)
While there doesn’t seem to be a unified or overarching community of folk using Twitter to discuss pediatric psychology and/or mental health, there are certainly many people there working in specific subsections of the broad topic. Most notable was that the professionals tweeting on these topics are using slightly different tags than the general public. The preferred tag from the public to indicate children is #Kids or #Teens, while the pros are using #Children or #Peds. To get to relatively professional tweets on child psychology, I ended up using:
What kind of stuff did I find? Here are a few.
— Hands To Guide You (@H2GYInc) April 18, 2014
— Dawn McKinney MSN (@napernurse) April 14, 2014
— HealthyPlace (@HealthyPlace) April 1, 2014
— MyBackToTheWall PTSD (@MyBackToTheWall) March 25, 2014
— Global Med Education (@GlobalMedEd) March 25, 2014
— Dawn McKinney MSN (@napernurse) March 3, 2014