Social Networking for SLPs
If wasn’t for the advent of twitter the odds of you reading this right now would be very very slim. Since joining Twitter last year around this time and networking with fellow speech-language pathologists I have been on an amazing social networking journey involving Facebook, twitter, ASHA’s online community, and Pinterest. I have started my own blog azspeechguy.wordpress.com, I am co-editor of an App review site therapyapp411.com, helping sell Smarty Symbols, and possibly on the verge of developing an app. These are all things of which would have never occurred if I never signed up for Twitter and started my social networking journey. So that being said there is almost a guarantee that you are a part of some social network out there on the internet. In case of the slim chance that you aren’t not consumed with social media like I am let’s take a moment to define what a social network is:
“A social network is a map of the relationships between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds”
This map of relationships almost certainly involves Facebook, but how does Facebook help a SLP out? You’re probably saying isn’t Facebook for sharing pictures of my baby wearing sunglasses and complaining about life? Well yes it’s all for that but where the networking really occurs is with groups. Groups can either be open or closed (by invite only). The main groups I belong to and help administer are called SLPeeps andSLPs Talk Apps . SLPeeps is a group of 755 + members who are also SLPs. It’s dedicated to sharing resources, answering questions, and in general helping each other out. There are also plenty of other groups dedicated to various topics. Some of these groups include: Augmenative Communication Resources & Help, Assistive Technology,, and state/region specific groups like Arizona Apraxia Support.
There are probably less of you out there on Twitter as I have found that Twitter is an acquired taste and a little too fast moving for some to keep up with, but it is very useful and highly recommended. Twitter uses what are called hashtags. Hashtags help you to denote your post as a specific topic using the “#” symbol. The main hashtag for speech-language pathology, which is also ASHA recognized, is #SLPeeps. So if you had a link you wanted to post or had a question to ask a fellow SLP you simply just add #SLPeeps and almost instantly you have a response which is super nice! The resources and links posted daily seem to be endless!!
The new social media kid on the block is Pinterest. Pinterst has pretty much hit by storm and is quickly climbing the social media ranks. What is Pinterest you ask? It’s quite simple it’s actually a giant bulletin board based on your interests. Be it recipes, photography, crafts, sewing or in our case speech therapy there is a board for virtually everything and and anything. Where is comes in most useful is for therapy ideas. You are able to scan boards and boards for articulation, language, pragmatics, or even apps. Here is an example page of what it looks like:
ASHA Community is a giant forum based online community for audiologists and speech-language pathologists. It allows you to subscribe to certain discussion forums such as ASHA SIGs, SLP private practice, SLP Technology, Audiology, Early Intervention, NSSLHA members, Research, SLP Health care, and SLP in Schools. ASHA community unfortunately gets the short end of the stick as far as what typically gets most of my attention because I am usually consumed by facebook and twitter, which is why it’s great that ASHA is involved in both facebook and twitter.
LinkedIn is similar to Facebook but instead with a business and professional network twist to it. LinkedIn helps users engage with one another about business ideas, resume help, job experiences, and about general interests similar to the ASHA community forum and Facebook groups. LinkedIn is also a way to highlight your experience and resume. You can post your resume, interests, and expertise in your profile where potential employers can find it.