I was recently encouraged by Six Until Me’s Kerri, to attend DSMA chats on twitter. I felt kind of stumped for a while thinking, huh? What is DSMA and how does one chat on twitter?
Today I’m interviewing the woman that started it all. We’ll find out exactly what DSMA means and why it was started and how you can join!
Cherise, How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as friendly, attentive, supporter of others, down to earth and all over the place.
What type of diabetes do you have and how long have you had it?
I was diagnosed with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) in June of 2004.
What is DSMA and why did you start it?
DSMA stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. It’s a twitter chat/discussion about anything related to diabetes, ie meters, endocrinologists, pumps, support and more.
I am not sure if you’re familiar with #hcsm (Healthcare Communications and Social Media) but that’s how I had my “AHA” moment. #hcsm is held every Sunday. I was lurking during one of the chats and it dawned on me, “The Diabetes Online Community needs something like this.” We blog, participate in communities, and tweet-why not use twitter to have an organized chat/discussion about life with diabetes, media and other things that affect us. Plus, you do not have to sit in front of the computer to participate. We all have questions or need insight on something-I ask it and PWD’s/T-3’s respond in real time! It’s amazing!!!!!
What kind of feedback have you received about this?
I never thought my “AHA” moment would have so much support and participation. The diabetes community looks forward to it. The feedback from the participants of DSMA has been phenomenal. The DOC looks forward to Wednesday nights.
How many people typically attend the chats?
There are approximately 66-95 people that participate in DSMA on a weekly bases.
What is the main purpose of DSMA? Do you have an ultimate goal in mind?
The main purpose of DSMA is to talk about diabetes, living with diabetes, and advocating for PWD’s to come together once a week to chat/discuss questions about our experience and opinions about certain topics in an organized way. My goal has been met, it’s been fantastic.
Do you have to be a diabetes blogger to attend the chats?
You do not have to be a blogger to participate or even have diabetes. If you are a person who advocates for diabetes, is curious about diabetes, is a care taker and/or parent-anyone and everyone can participate.
What is the greatest thing you personally, have gained from DSMA?
Personally, I have gained a lot of insight in the past 9 weeks about PWD’s and Parents that have children with diabetes. One of the most important things I’ve learned is T-1’s and T-2’s have a lot in common. Yes, treatments are different and our pancreas works differently but we are still people living with diabetes.
How does one join the chats and when/where do they take place?
#dsma takes place every Wednesday night at 9pm EST. You can participate in a couple of different ways.
First you have to have a twitter account. Follow @diabetessocmed for the questions and when responding include #dsma at the end of your response. You can also log on to tweetchat/room/dsma; it’s the easiest way to follow. You don’t have to have a twitter account and want to follow the chat, just search the hash tag #dsma.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about this?
Sysy- thank you for interviewing me about #dsma. I would also like to thank everyone for participating. If you have questions or topic suggestions, you can email them to admin at diabetessocmed.com.
Thanks Cherise! So remember to Go to this link to sign in to your twitter account and you’re ready to join in on the chat! (Tip: when you see “RT” this means someone “retweeted” or “reposted” a message-this is a good thing :) Oh and PWD stands for People or person With Diabetes. DOC stands for Diabetes Online Community.
For the record, I attended my first chat last week where we answered a few questions based on the topic of mental health and diabetes. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of the technology (I’m slow with this twitter stuff) but, soon I knew the abbreviations and I was chatting with all sorts of people from around the country who actually know what I’m dealing with. It was the first time I’d ever had dialogue about diabetes with fellow diabetics (aside from my younger sister). And for the first time I felt like “hey, I’m not so special” Ha ha. No. Seriously? I felt support and comfort knowing I’m not alone. Neither are you.
So if you like the idea of this and feel like you need some chicken soup for the diabetic soul join us, we’d love to chat with you.