Taking #OTalk Forward – OTNews Article October 2013.

Thought we would share the submission article which was published in OTNews October 2013.

Thank you to the wonderful OTalk Community. You are fab, looking forward to another great year.

Taking #OTalk Forward

Since November 2012, when OTNews first reported on the #OTalk community (OTN 2012), our online community of practice has gone from strength to strength. For example the last ten months have seen the #OTalk hashtag generating 14,575,845 impressions and 10,515 tweets from 718 participants.  

The benefits of engaging and developing a community of practice have been highlighted across a range of publications and events, including Patients First and Foremost (DOH 2013) which cited #OTalk alongside #WeNurses as Actions for Cultural Change. The BAOT Eastern Regional Group invited the #OTalk team to present about professionalism online and to run a social media surgery at their study day in May 2013. May also saw Elaine Hunter guest host an #OTalk in preparation for her Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture (Hunter 2013a).

We were delighted to have our poster exploring the development of online communities of practice (OTalk 2013a) accepted for the 2013 COT conference. This was only overshadowed by being cited by Elaine Hunter during the Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture (Hunter 2013b) in which Elaine discusses transformational leadership and refers to her experience of #OTalk as a real world practice example.

The #OTalk team always strive to remain responsive to the community’s wishes, which we believe will ensure that #OTalk is constantly developing and moving forward. This has resulted in recent changes with the hashtags previously used, #OTalk and #Occhat, now being combined and #OTalk used every week. This was implemented to simplify things for new members, however there is still a commitment to continuing discussions focused on aspects of occupational science (which were previously held using #occhat).

Another exciting development has been the introduction of a Journal (Media) Club, the format of which has been decided based upon a survey of the #OTalk community. The launch event on 3rd September 2013 received an enthusiastic response from the community (OTalk 2013b). The Journal (Media) Club will provide a mixture of topics, selected and hosted by the community. We are astounded to report we already have hosts confirmed until August 2014! A twitter chat will be held the first Tuesday of each month using the #OTalk hashtag from 8-9pm. However, a new development is for the discussion to have started via the blog comments feature for the preceding month. Thus providing the opportunity to engage at any time and not being limited to 140 characters, or familiarity with twitter. The tweet chat will be used to sum up discussions and introduce the next topic.

As usual, the #OTalk team are happy to support existing or new members of the community with all aspects of engagement. Please tweet us @OTalk_Occhat, or individually if you prefer: @Helen_OTUK, @GillyGorry, @kirstyes, @Clissa89 or @Claireot.


DOH (2013) Patients First and Foremost: The Initial Government Response to the Report of The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, Department of Health, London.

Hunter EP (2013a) Making the invisible visible (blog). Available at Accessed 08.09.2013.

Hunter EP (2013b) The Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture 2013: Transformational leadership in occupational therapy – delivering change through conversations. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 76(8), 346-354.

OTalk (2013a) Levelling the Playing Field: Developing Online Communities of Practice (blog). OTalk. Accessed 08.09.2013.

OTalk (2013b) Journal (Media) Club Launch (blog). OTalk. Accessed 08.09.2013.

OTNews (2012) Talking the #OTalk. OTNews, 20(11), 42.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.