It has been nearly two years since Diabetes UK first branched out into the social media world of Facebook, Bebo, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter and Second Life.
Since then their popularity has increased dramatically among users as they offer a simple, easy way to find out about and leave comments about our work and to provide mutual support to help people manage their diabetes.
Social media, video sharing and virtual worlds
Our active presence on all the main social media sites is a way to reach the people who need us by setting up pages on the sites they use every day. Here are the main places you'll find us.
Dispelling the myth that social media is for purely for young people, Granddad James Walsh recently became our 6,000th Facebook member, after wanting to find out more about his 11-year-old granddaughter's condition.
Myspace and Bebo
The Myspace and Bebo social networks are most popular with young people. Diabetes UK has a group on each site aimed at young people living with diabetes, tying in with our My life websites, and four young people blogging regularly about their lives.
Take a look at our latest blogs, videos and comments on Myspace and Bebo.
Diabetes UK’s YouTube channel contains 40+ videos about our work. These include virals such as ‘The Bendy Bus’ about Type 1 diabetes, interviews and educational videos.
Take a look at our videos and tell us what you think.
Twitter is a real-time online short messaging service which lets individuals and organisations give regular status updates, or 'tweets' - famous users include Stephen Fry. Diabetes UK’s Twitter news feed has more than 380 followers and continues to grow daily.
Last year Diabetes UK launched its presence in the virtual 3-D world of Second Life, which boasts 15 million+ ‘residents’. Visitors can access Diabetes UK information and materials, contact our Careline counsellors or simply relax in the garden, watching the hummingbirds fly by.
Diabetes Support messageboard site
This community messageboard site, dedicated to diabetes, was set up and is run by a Diabetes UK volunteer and is supported by the charity. To join in and register (it’s free and takes seconds) please visitwww.diabetessupport.co.uk.
Diabetes UK member? Watch this space
As part of changes to Diabetes UK membership, our members will become Supporting Members and have a new online community on the Diabetes UK website.
The Supporting Member-only area will be an online community which can be personalised and where members will be able to share stories, photos, read blogs, comment on our work, read about the latest research news and much more.
Get involved in our online communities
The new Online communities section of our website has been launched as a one-stop shop to help you find the right social media sites to support you with your diabetes.
“We're delighted with the continuing growth and success of our online communities,” said Amanda Neylon, Digital Media Manager at Diabetes UK.
“People are really getting involved in debates and discussions, supporting each other and sharing experiences. In turn, we are taking an active part too, using the communities as further ways to provide support and information.
“We are actively listening to what people tell and ask us, providing answers to their questions and acting on feedback. For example, our forthcoming viral video campaign will focus on what you’ve told us about the myths that still exist around Type 1 diabetes in children, and the bullying that often arises through this ignorance. Watch out for it at the end of May.”