The Dramatic Rise of Social Media in Urology: Trends in Twitter Use at the American and Canadian Urological Association Annual Meetings in 2012 and 2013.J Urol. 2014 Feb 24;
Authors: Matta R, Doiron C, Leveridge MJ
PURPOSE: Social media have become established as tools for rapid information dissemination to a broad audience. A major use has been the compilation of conference-specific messaging, known as 'tweets', via pre-selected 'hashtags' on Twitter. We analyzed Twitter use between consecutive years at the annual meetings of the American (AUA) and Canadian Urological Association (CUA) annual meetings.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Publicly available tweets containing the established meeting hashtags were abstracted from an online archive. Tweets were categorized by author type and categorized by content as either informative (based on research presented at the conference) or uninformative (unrelated to presented data) based on an established classification scheme.
RESULTS: We analyzed 5402 tweets over the combined 18 meeting days, of which 4098 were original and 1304 were rebroadcasted prior tweets. There was a large increase in Twitter use at the 2013 annual meetings (4591 tweets from 540 accounts) over the 2012 meetings (811 tweets from 134 accounts). Biotechnology analysts published the highest volume of tweets (226; 28%) in 2012; this majority shifted to urologists in 2013 (2765 tweets; 60%). In 2012, 29% were categorized as informative; this proportion increased to 41% at the 2013 meetings.
CONCLUSIONS: Twitter has emerged as a significant communication platform at urological meetings, and its use increased dramatically between 2012 and 2013. Urologists have increasingly led this discussion with an increased focus on data arising from meeting proceedings. This adjunct to traditional meeting activity merits the attention of urologists and of the professional associations that host such meetings.