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Social media and workers comp

A colleague posed an interesting question last week –“does the proliferation of ‘new’ blogs, newsletters, and other internet-enabled communications vehicles pose a threat to the ‘brand’ and ‘market share’ of Managed Care Matters?”
No. In fact, the pie is growing, and it’s a better pie today than it was yesterday.

The new entrants are actually helping to expand the online media ‘market’, increasing the number of users and in many cases upgrading the conversation in the process. People who – a couple years ago – would not ever have considered reading a blog or accessing an online newsletter are now on MCM and other media outlets every day, checking to see what’s going on, voicing their opinions, taking the pulse of the market and staying abreast of their competitors.
Perhaps the most notable example of the explosive growth of social media is the Work Comp Analysis Group. Managed by Safety National’s Mark Walls, the WCAG now has over 8000 members, is constantly updated, and used by all and sundry for everything from finding out what an adjuster’s appropriate case load should be to posting jobs to coordinating social events at industry conferences.
CompTime, WorkCompWire, Workers’ Comp Insider, the dozens of state-specific WC law blogs (some of which are in the blog roll over there to your right), and the myriad other publications add a lot to the discussion.
In the olden days – three? four? years ago, most got their ‘news’ from printed media, which, while professionally assembled and of usually high quality, was limited to what the reporting staff could assemble – and the editorial staff deemed worthy of publication. Today, there is a lot more ‘news’ available a lot faster than in the old days of snail mail.
With that said, the instant news cycle – and opining on same – has it’s risks and downside as well. There’s a lot to be said for professional reporters, with high standards, specific training, and great contacts, especially when they are teamed with editors who, while working to deadline, have a LOT more time – and I’d argue ability – to consider, vet, rewrite, and factcheck than most of us in the online community enjoy.
There’s absolutely a need for that professionalism, perhaps more so now than in the past as they provide a kind of oversight, an ‘adult supervision’ role, one that adds seasoning, perspective, objectivity, and thought that may not always be present in those of us in the blog-o-sphere.

2 thoughts on “Social media and workers comp”

  1. Joe:
    You and Julie Ferguson at Work Comp Insider have certainly laid the groundwork for the workers’ comp industry to embrace the world of online media. It’s exciting to witness the evolution of the workers’ compensation community.

  2. Think that you are right — the pie is growing!
    I think that the question all of us face is what are the boundaries? Or, perhaps the better question is — are there any boundaries?
    In my post “Is it alright to pay people to blog about a product?”, I explore the boundaries of paid blogging and ask what are the limits to having a paid bogger, particularly in the healthcare industry —

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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