Twitter is a free social media platform that allows posts of 140 characters or fewer. It’s a place to connect with people and to share news, encouragement, support, and often, smiles. On July 21, 2010, Diabetes Social Media Advocacy held its first chat on Twitter. Guided by the tagline “Simple questions, thought-provoking responses—strengthening the diabetes community one Tweet at a time,” the DSMA Twitter chat brings people together online for a fast-paced, one-hour moderated chat each week.

The online chat takes place Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. United States EST and is identified on Twitter with the hashtag #dsma. People with diabetes (PWDs), family members, and caregivers post their responses to a list of questions and retweet and comment on the responses. The topics vary, including food and eating, the media’s portrayal of diabetes, the Food and Drug Administration, medical devices, insurance issues, public policy, and so much more.

You can participate in the weekly chat in real time or simply watch it scroll by. Some people, fondly known as lurkers, choose to read the Tweets while the chat is in progress without posting their own, and that’s fine.

You also can read transcripts of the chat at your leisure — find the archives on the DCAF blog.

To join in: It’s easy! Sign up for a free account at Twitter. Follow @diabetessocmed. And include the #dsma hashtag in your tweets. Any day, any time you can search for conversations that relate to DSMA by typing #dsma into the Twitter search box. You can view the #dsma feed in real-time below.

To suggest DSMA chat topics and questions, click here to complete the contact form.

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