Pharmaceutical companies are utilizing social networks at an increasing rate. In Sarah Kliff’s article on Newsweek.com, she covers just one of them–Inspire.com. According to Ms. Kliff, Inspire’s nearly 100,000 users aren’t just sharing with each other (and the 62 nonprofits who partner with the site), they’re also receiving targeted information from pharmaceutical companies who use the site as a recruiting tool for drug studies. Opening this door between patients and drugmakers has some obvious benefits but also raises a host of ethical and medical dilemmas. Kliff goes on to describe this phenomenon as a Pharma Facebook, of sorts. According to Kliff’s research, three of the four pharmaceuticals working with Inspire declined to discuss their interest in social networks, or even reveal their names. The fourth, Merck, declined multiple requests for an interview but did issue a brief statement on their commitment to “rapid and effective enrollment of appropriate patients into trials” as to allow for “timely development of innovative medicines.” As a social media expert, what do you think are the benefits of this outlet for pharmaceutical companies to connect with patients? Do you see any blaring negatives? Let us know your thoughts here or on Twitter.
Sarah Lacy of TechCrunch.com, contends that social networks are good for kids. Her theory that sites like Facebook and Twitter are more about extending your real identity and relationships online and that’s what makes them so addictive: The little endorphin rushes from reconnecting with an old friend, the ability to passively stay in touch with people you care about but don’t have the time to call everyday. It seems Ms.Lacy looks to social networks as extensions of ‘real life’ personalities–but then again, what is real life? As far as her theory on social networks being okay for kids–its a new way to grow up, and for many parents, teachers and professionals, that can be difficult to accept. We’d like to hear your thoughts.
Now you can “Text Fresh” thanks to the Subway’s unveiling of text message ordering in NYC. Hungry cube dwellers need not waste precious time away from the office waiting in line–they need to simply text and enjoy. According to The Consumerist, it sounds convenient once you’ve jumped through the registration hoops, although the clear downside is you’re storing credit card info on a third-party site, which is the sort of thing that always seems to come back up as a bad idea when a company’s database is breached. If you’re comfortable with that risk, however, have at it.
Do you see more companies doing this in the future? What about using social media networks to order food? Let us know your thoughts here or on Twitter.
Someone on the Community 2.0 Twitter recently mentioned this funny video Ben Widker for Twitter. Ben believes, “You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter, and if you aren’t there already, you missed it.” It makes a strong case for the use of Twitter in your business.