July 11, 2007

Chattin' about Chats

Hey everyone … my name is Wick Davis and I work on the LFA’s Website. One of my areas of responsibility, which I share with our Education & Research department, is our monthly Webchats.

Topics for Webchats are determined by a few things … what’s seasonal, or timely or appropriate. When visitors come to the LFA Website, what kinds of questions are we getting, whether in our Ask the Experts area or to our general information email address? Are there similar questions or trends that we’re noticing?

If we notice there are patterns or interest levels in certain topics emerging, we meet to determine if a Webchat is the most appropriate way to address the topic. In other instances, we talk with the volunteers on our Medical-Scientific Advisory Council to see if there are “hot topics” we should address.

Once a topic is determined, we then try to book one of the most notable rheumatologists or whatever the appropriate specialist might be in a particular area to host the Webchat.

Typically, the LFA hosts a Webchat on a Wednesday afternoon each month, usually around 3 p.m. EDT. People often ask … why 3 p.m.? Why not earlier or later in the day? There are 2 reasons for that.

  1. Since we have people joining our chats from across the country, we settled upon 3 p.m. EDT because we needed a time that could accommodate the most people in all time zones.

  2. We’ve found that most of our guest speakers have more availability in the afternoon, than in the morning. And evenings are usually not an option for them. Like everyone else, our guest speakers have families and other commitments. And like our chat attendees, our guest speakers are located throughout the U.S.

This afternoon, Dr. Gary Gilkeson, a Professor of Medicine/Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina and Chief of Rheumatology at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, will host a Webchat on Ethnicity & Lupus. It should be an interesting discussion.

You can log in to the chat here.

View our schedule of upcoming chats here.

We hope to see you at one of our chats.

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