DigiGirl's Blog

What is twitter?
Twitter is a simple, immediate way to exchange information in 140 characters or less. You can get the information you want, when you want, and you can share information the same way. It’s viral, fast, and an all around fun experiment.

Knowing it first
When the plane landed in the Hudson river, people on twitter knew it before the rest of the world b/c a guy on the ferry took a picture and tweeted it. When Michael Jackson died, I knew it before anyone else in my office b/c I saw TMZ’s tweet. The other day, I saw a tweet from MSNBC Health about the 75% increase risk of skin cancer from tanning beds if used under age 30. Within 15 minutes, I retweeted it to Phoenix Children’s 1,500 followers, and 4 of my followers retweeted it to another couple thousand people. That night, and the following night, it was on local news. I guess it’s like always having the inside scoop.

My experience
I started using twitter personally in March of this year and then convinced my boss to let me do it for work about 3 weeks later (Thx Debra). My work account has a lot more followers than my personal account, and for good reason. Phoenix Children’s Hospital is a big organization with a lot to talk about, and it’s got a powerful brand. Sadly, I’m not quite as interesting or well known 🙂

That doesn’t deter me. I love twitter. I love to talk about twitter and tell people about things I found on twitter.

What twitter is not
Twitter is not about telling people what you had for lunch, or that you drank tea instead of coffee this morning. Sure, some people actually do that, but I’m not following them.

Twitter is not a way to chat with famous people or companies. Just b/c they use twitter, doesn’t mean they’ll make time to talk to people who talk to them, although a few do.

Who to folllow?
I’m following people who do interest me, or share similar interests. As a web/marketing person, i’m interested in people talking about social media. Socially, I’m interested in my friends. As a mom, I’m interested in people talking about toddlers. As a healthcare professional, I’m interested in breaking news. As Phoenix Children’s social media person, I’m interested in what other hospitals (including our competition) are saying and doing on twitter, and what the rest of the world is saying about us.

By following people with shared interests, I get a constant feed of personalized headlines.

Why do people follow you?
1. Mostly for the same reasons.
2. Because you were recommended (follow fridays)
3. Because they looked at someone’s list of followers and saw you there.

How do you get people to follow you?
1. Have something interesting to share – and it doesn’t have to come from you.
2. Talk to other people on twitter.
3. Follow other people.
4. List yourself in twitter directories.
5. Tell people you’re on twitter.
6. Pay money for one of the twitter tools that promises tons more followers for $20. (pls don’t)

How do I know what other people find valuable?
1. Look at what is retweeted. If people like what you have to say, they will pass it along to their followers, and twitter etiquette says that they have to give you credit. (When you’re logged in, you can see who mentions you.)
2. See what generates conversation. You can reply to people in twitter publicly, or privately. The key is to monitor that conversation, or you could alienate people.

A few examples of RTs of my original tweets
1. Yikes! Risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30
2. Remember the ABC’s of H20 safety: Adult supervision, Barriers (pool fences, doors locked) & Classes (CPR, swimming lessons)
3. Diabetes in children is more common than you think. Learn about it on Phoenix Children’s website:
4. Just got our personalized FB username: http://www.facebook.com/PhoenixChildrensHospital
5. Photo of Senator John McCain with Kate M. – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit patient at Phoenix Children’s.

The best thing about twitter
It’s all about the conversations you have with real people. That’s a whole other subject to be covered next time 🙂

Comments welcome, edits, you bet!


Twitter released a new homepage a few weeks ago.

The previous “homepage” was basically a login screen, with this message:

“What is twitter?
Twitter is a service for friends, family and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

That is exactly what Twitter was built to do.

The new Twitter homepage, now centered around search and trends, also has a new message.

It says:
“Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.”

That simple statement reflects how tweeters have redefined how this social media tool is used.

As our online relationships grow, so does our ability to make the tools work for us instead of working within the tools, and if it doesn’t, well….next!

Back in central Pennsylvania, they have stop signs at intersections in neighborhoods. It’s a very hilly state, but speed bump free until you get to a shopping mall or grocery store parking lot.

Then I flew out here to Phoenix for my job interview, picked up my nice new rental car, and found my way to the hotel.  Aside from a few speed bumps at the airport, it was pretty ordinary.

The next day I was driving down a street and trying to read the signs, when all of a sudden I’m catching air and bottoming out in the nice new car. As I cringed and look back to see what the heck I ran over, I see this…..wide, yet smooth speed bump. Puzzled and curious, I turned onto another street and started to realize that these big speed bumps all over the place.

I found out later they are actually called Speed Humps. But bump or hump, they’re all there to slow you down or damage your ride if you don’t.

I have come to  appreciate the extra piles of concrete put in place to keep traffic under control. I’m a city girl and I have a little girl and pets. If something or someone runs out into the middle of the road, I can count on Phoenix’s stop signs,  humps, bumps, and dips to lessen any potential impact.

So if you’re visiting Phoenix for the first time, this girl from central PA recommends you use a GPS and keep your eyes on the road.

I lived in central Pennsylvania for 36 years. I was born in the Harrisburg Hospital, lived in West Hanover township for 9 years, then moved to Camp Hill for 8 years. I went to Shippensburg University, which is about 45 minutes southwest of Harrisburg. Then I lived in Mechanicsburg, and finally bought a house in the historic district of uptown Harrisburg. I could see the Capitol building dome from my third-floor loft. Then a few years later, my daughter was born in the Harrisburg Hospital too.

How I came to Arizona is another story, but I’ve been here for 3 1/2 years.  During that time, I’ve come to learn a lot about Arizona….and having only one other state to really compare it to, I do so all the time.

So, that’s going to be a big focus on my blog.  I’m sure it will be invaluable to anyone considering the move from central PA to AZ 🙂


so, i’ve got a meeting with our hospital’s foundation tomorrow about a social media plan.

so last night i started researching on facebook. first i tried searching facebook for expamples of “children’s hospital foundation.”  that didn’t yeild many search results at all so i searched for “hospital foundation” on facebook. after five pages of scrolling through groups and pages i gave up.

here’s what i found:

  • very few hospital foundations in the united states have facebook pages or groups
  • of the united states hospital foundations that do have a fan base, it’s under 500
  • there were about 15 hospital foundations from austrailia and the united kingdom that had more than 500 fans – the top number i saw was around 2,000

here’s why i need help:

  • i have an 11 a.m. meeting tomorrow with our hospital foundation to talk about implementing a strong social media presence
  • the very structure of the foundation is fragmented,
  • therefore they have compartmentalized goals and i’m not getting a cohesive plan from anyone

here’s what i’ve learned from a presentation by operation smile:

  • their campaign involved building relationships first
  • they gained a huge following on twitter b/c a super -famous person tweeted about them
  • they told patient stories through photos and blogs
  • they used admins, interns, and volunteers to manage the sm
  • once tribe was built, they started to incorporate asks
  • …and it worked out well

here are some ideas for a foundation strategy that we brainstormed and found from other sources:

purpose: bottom line is to raise money


  • build relationships
  • post event pictures
  • photos albums for causes
  • do polls to see what events they are likely to attend
  • give-aways, quizzes
  • share stories from foundation’s main publication – hopes and dreams
  • drive home the message that “this is where your money is going”
  • candid flip videos of fundraising stories
  • info on how groups can do fundraisers
  • contest with families like LeBonheur Children’s – they gave a handbook, letter samples, and ideas, and the families could raise money how they want but had to be approved by foundation. it went on for 8 weeks and they had a ceremony at the end.
  • corporate giving info – can we connect through linked in?

What I’ve heard from the foundation – a sample of things they want:

  • special events publishing/promoting
  • have places to bring groups together – special interest segments
  • grow supporter base for specific programs
  • and there’s one voice saying “i don’t know how, but you give us one big plan and make it happen! and btw, we can’t manage it internally and don’t have any money.”

obviously i’m in a major hurry 🙂  any input, advice, whitepapers, blogs, case studies, etc. that you could refer me to would be greatly appreciated!!!!


~michelle (aka PhxWebGirl)

Back when AOL’s chat rooms were the place to be, and match.com got popular, most people were digging through their prints of photos and scanning them in to their computer.

I did the online dating thing over ten years ago. I find it fun. I’m not one of those people who is always getting fixed up with guys, or meeting them in the produce section of the grocery store. I’ve met guys through mutual friends, through work, meeting at a bar, party, or school, but otherwise, I think the most obscure place I ever met someone that I dated was my at my hair salon, and he turned out to be gay. 

But, back to my point of this blog, the art of the self portrait.

So, we’re all out here building spaces, making profiles, and adding the visuals that are supposed to reflect who are, or how want to be perceived. Some people still use photos that others take of them. But the new wave is the digital self portrait.

I never did it, until the beginning of this year, and found it somewhat uncomfortable when I did it. But now, it’s like a freakin hobby. And looking at everyone else’s profiles, I think we’ve developed a sub-culture of self-exposure.

So, I see lots of levels of those who self-expose. And these are totally my little boxes I’m creating, and not intentded to offend or reflect any one person.

I’d like to start off with the amateurs who….don’t have any ambition to do better. These folks stand in front of the bathroom mirror, hold the camera up, and take the picture – so you see the camera in the photo. Seriously, take 10 or so by extending your arm and see what you come up with, right? It’s digital. You can delete as many as you need to.

Second level, are the ones who use their timer and take 10 seconds to run over in front of the camera and strike a pose. This takes a bunch of effort. I know, I’ve tried it. If you don’t get a good one in the first two, it’s gets time consuming. But the funny part are the poses. And guys are a bit worse than girls:) Not so much the pose, but the fact you can tell it’s a pose.

Third level, now we’re getting to the good ones. These are the people who put time into it and actually treat it more like modeling. The approach:  I’m looking photogenic right now and feelin’ creative, so I’m going to have a photo session that I can post later. They take lots of pics in interesting places and angles. They may use effects on their photos.

But the cream of MY crop are the ones that somehow manage to capture one, perfect, moment. The photo that gets the viewer so engaged, that they are absorbed in that moment too.

Beautiful. Bravo. I hope to someday aspire to that level.


  • None
  • Michele: Text me at 602-743-3073
  • phxwebgirl: Thanks for the comment tshirtfrank! What company do you work for, if I may ask :)
  • tshirtfrank: Awesome post! Twitter is one of the best ways to keep up to date and get the word out! I use it every day for personal use and have showed many busine
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