Social media in radiology: early trends in Twitter microblogging at radiology's largest international meeting

J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 Apr;11(4):387-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2013.07.015. Epub 2013 Oct 17.


Purpose: Twitter is a social media microblogging platform that allows rapid exchange of information between individuals. Despite its widespread acceptance and use at various other medical specialty meetings, there are no published data evaluating its use at radiology meetings. The purpose of this study is to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the use of Twitter as a microblogging platform at recent RSNA annual meetings.

Methods: Twitter activity meta-data tagged with official meeting hashtags #RSNA11 and #RSNA12 were collected and analyzed. Multiple metrics were evaluated, including daily and hourly Twitter activity, frequency of microblogging activity over time, characteristics of the 100 most active Twitter users at each meeting, characteristics of meeting-related tweets, and the geographic origin of meeting microbloggers.

Results: The use of Twitter microblogging increased by at least 30% by all identifiable meaningful metrics between the 2011 and 2012 RSNA annual meetings, including total tweets, tweets per day, activity of the most active microbloggers, and total number of microbloggers. Similar increases were observed in numbers of North American and international microbloggers.

Conclusion: Markedly increased use of the Twitter microblogging platform at recent RSNA annual meetings demonstrates the potential to leverage this technology to engage meeting attendees, improve scientific sessions, and promote improved collaboration at national radiology meetings.

Keywords: Social media; Twitter; education; microblogging.

MeSH terms

  • Blogging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blogging / trends
  • Congresses as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Congresses as Topic / trends
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Radiology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology / trends
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Media / trends
  • Societies, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical / trends
  • United States