The Wheel


I am a big believer in not re-inventing the wheel and an interesting feature of social media is that sharing, borrowing and evolving is fine.  We don’t always have to come up with new inventions,sometimes we can apply new uses to old principles or tap into things that are already in a social space to drive home our own messages. A while ago I came across a prime example of this whilst reading Eric Qualmans book Socialnomics (2011) (not a nursing book!)  he tells the story of dancing Matt:

Matt quit his job to travel the world & whilst travelling produced a series of videos of himself “dancing”and the videos went Viral……..

A chewing gum company saw the videos and then sponsored Matt to travel more and continue making the videos, they were savvy enough not to change anything about “Dancing Matt” they did not reinvent the wheel, as the current format worked, they simply added their name at the end of each video.  The chewing gum company took something that worked and tapped into it ….. they didn’t try to change anything they merely associated themselves with something that worked. This is a prime example of really embracing social media – we should no longer say we need to do that or “keep up with the Joneses” …. In a social space it’s more about asking “can we join in with that?” Taking something that works and working along side it was traditionally never an option … but now we should start to think differently: collaboration, using old for new, sharing and evolving is key.

In healthcare we have often done things our own way …. how many hospitals use the same paperwork or even have the same uniform? Healthcare often develops things that are not needed – our own social networks are a prime example. But what if we started sharing and using what is out there?  If something is tried and tested and works why not use it ? I realise that this may be troubling for some healthcare organisations but I dare you to think socially about your work and look and see what’s out there before you start something new. If we think and do things differently, if we do things socially then who knows what we can achieve – after all a square wheel is about as much use as a chocolate teapot!

In my next few blogs I will be firmly not re-inventing the wheel by taking a tried and tested nursing model and applying it to existing in a social space.




Qualman E (2011) Socialnomics. New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons

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