July 14, 2009 was the day that we held the test-in where we called on 14,000 people with diabetes to share their glucose reading at the same time: 4 pm ET.
We reached out to hundreds of media outlets through a press release that we got feedback for from a number of PR specialists. Although we did have one interview about today’s event with a Hispanic station in Los Angeles, the result of the day’s activities was really the fruit of the diabetic community coming together.
The call to action was easy:
- If you were a member of TuDiabetes (or EsTuDiabetes), you were invited to post your glucose reading @ 4 pm ET in the community.
- You could also post your reading on Twitter, using the #14kpwd hashtag (this is how “conversations” can take place on Twitter, with everyone “tuning in” to the URL for the same hashtag) and linking back to http://14kpwd.org
- Last, many people also posted on Facebook or their favorite social network, linking back to http://14kpwd.org.
As the time of the test-in approached, the excitement started to build up on Twitter as if the New Year were approaching. You can sense some of this, if you take a look at the progression of tweets associated with the #14kpwd hashtag.
It will be a few days before we can establish how many people in total participated in this effort, but I would estimate well over 1,000 people participated in this beautiful exercise of online diabetes awareness.
A few thoughts linger with me after today, for which I will borrow from the words of three of our members who posted about the experience on three different places:
Khürt Williams (one of our first members) commented on Twitter:
"@Diabeticizme After today, I don’t any of us can feel alone with #diabetes #14kPWD http://14kPWD.org"
* Kathleen commented here in TuDiabetes: "To everyone that put a qualifier after their reading of "not too bad" or an explanation of why a number may have been above range....there are no good or bad numbers in diabetes. It's information to help guide us to make decisions. We have diabetes, we will have numbers above our range and that's ok. I guess I just want to ensure that we are not continuing to open ourselves up to judgment about our numbers. I want to feel good that I"m checking and being proactive regardless of the number. Frustration is ok, feeling like you did something "wrong" or that you have to explain yourself is not needed. Not here. Happy Checking!" (the bolding was mine)
- Brenda Bell (a.k.a. Tmana) shared on blogabetes:
“One of the most positive things that came out of this massive “test-in” demonstration is how many of us found other Tweeps (people on Twitter) to “follow” and to see as part of this organic, rapidly evolving online community of diabetics. Regardless of how visible we were to the rest of the Twitterverse, connecting up with others is always a Good Thing.”
So what do we do next?
We have many more friends touched by diabetes, here in TuDiabetes and elsewhere. We have a renewed confirmation that WE ARE NOT ALONE. We realize that a glucose reading is a point in time, a point in our history of living with diabetes…
I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to run by you:
In Twitter, there are hashtags such as #musicmonday, #charitytuesday and #followfriday (if you don’t have a clue as to what these mean, don’t worry). What if we institute a “day” hashtag for #diabetes? For ex #bgwednesday or #testingthursday. If you have a Twitter account, join the Twitterbetics group so we can have a discussion about this.
Besides that, we should definitely follow this effort with a broader initiative that lets us break through the noise of Twitter and beyond, in time for World Diabetes Day, November 14. For now, join the World Diabetes Day Group so we can brainstorm about ways to do this.