Diva Marketing Talks About Sponsored Niche Communities (a la Sermo) with Dr. Daniel Palestrant & Dr. Richard Thrasher


Diva Marketing Talks is a live, internet radio show.  30-minutes. 2-guests. 1-topic about social media marketing. Why? To help you understand how to participate in the "new" conversation without getting blown-up. Miss today's show? You can pick it up as a podcast.

Today's Diva Marketing Talks explores an innovative, new model for a social media community. Dr. Daniel Palestrant, Founder CEO of Sermo, and Dr. Richard Thrasher, community member, join me to talk about Sermo, an online community open only to doctors (a niche) where for a fee sponsors can listen in, ask questions but not fully participate.

Big question: Would this model work for other verticals/market segments like moms or golfers or accountants or patients?

Topic for February 26, 2008: Where the Docs Are .. Someone Waits For Them. Paid Sponsors in a Social Networking Community.

Time: 6:30p - 7p Eastern/ 5:30p - 6p Central/ 4:30p -5p Mountain/ 3:30p - 4p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924


Drr_daniel_palestrant_2 Daniel Palestrant

Daniel Palestrant is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge-based Sermo, Inc. As CEO, Daniel is responsible for the overall vision of the Sermo community and business. His main tasks focus on ensuring that Sermo is a valuable resource to physicians while building a profitable and socially responsible enterprise.

Daniel's first experiences with Healthcare Informatics came when he conceived, designed, proposed and managed deployment of CIBUR (CIGNA Internet Based Universal Resource), one of the first commercial Web-based healthcare resources for physicians and allied health professionals. No stranger to the entrepreneurial side of medicine, Daniel founded his first company, Azygos, Inc., in 1998. During that time, he successfully raised $2.2MM in funding and deployed the company's first clinical application on schedule and on budget, before selling the company to BioNetrix in May of 2001.

After selling Azygos, Daniel joined BioNetrix (Now BNX Systems) as Director of Health Care. During his time at BNX Systems, Daniel helped numerous healthcare-focused businesses increase network security, improve patient privacy safeguards and comply with HIPAA. Daniel has done clinical and laboratory research in transplant immunology. He has a B.S. in biology from Johns Hopkins University, completed medical school at Duke University, and trained in General Surgery at Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital, in Boston before leaving to launch Sermo.

Dr_thrasher Dr. Richard Thrasher

Dr. Richard Thrasher is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology. He established ENT practice - The Ear, Nose, & Throat Center at McKinney. He is also an active member of the Sermo community.

Dr. Thrasher received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and his medical degree from the University of Connecticut. He completed a general surgery internship in Denver before going on to an Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. While in residency, Dr. Thrasher spent significant time at Denver Children’s hospital (routinely rated in the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country) and has a particular interest in pediatric ENT.

Upon completing residency, Dr. Thrasher served on clinical faculty with the University of Nebraska Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery while he served as a Major in the USAF for 3 years at Offutt AFB in Nebraska. During this time he won three awards for best instructor as a clinical preceptor for family medicine residents and physician assistant students. He also served as medical director of the surgical service and chief of otolaryngology at his base hospital.

Dr. Thrasher was the first otolaryngologist in Nebraska, and first in the Air Force, to perform the new Balloon Sinuplasty® surgery. He was also the first otolaryngologist in Nebraska to perform an innovative base of tongue procedure for sleep apnea and is one of only 6-7 surgeons in the country currently doing this procedure. He has extensive experience performing the Pillar Palatal Implant® procedure for snoring. He has authored several publications and remains active in pursuing clinical research in sinusitis and sleep apnea.

Dr. Thrasher’s special interests include pediatric ENT, snoring/ obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid surgery, and sinus surgery. He is an active golfer and self-proclaimed technology geek. He lives in Plano with his wife and 2 children but hopes to move to McKinney in the next several months.

Tips From The Diva Bag

Complements of Dr. Richard Thrasher

  • Log on frequently and just observe how things work for a little while. Some may feel comfortable seeing the personality of the site within a couple of days, some may need some more time. But I would observe how the interaction works first before just jumping in with a post. There is an etiquette on-line that is not always readily apparent to novices.
  • When you do begin to interact, do so frequently. If you make a comment or post a topic, follow up on it frequently to see if there is any feedback regarding your input. This will definitely bring you into the community. Those who post and run will not feel like they develop a relationship with other users as well.
  • Avoid trying to make overt discriminatory comments—this is the surest way to be ostracized. Whether you have a bias toward something whether it’s race, gender, educational background, etc, if you make those types of comments known, you will be quickly attacked. I have seen this on many on-line communities. Most importantly be open-minded of the opinions of others and at least respectful even if they’re factually wrong. There are definitely better ways to handle differences of opinion than through attacks.
  • Disclose, disclose, disclose. If you market yourself or a product on Sermo and do not disclose a financial interest, but one is discovered, you will immediately be ostracized by the community at large. If you fully disclose your interest in the marketing, you stand a fighting chance of having a constructive discussion of your particular topic.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about patients who have a diagnosis that you can’t figure out or who has an adverse event that you want to discuss. Often these are the best discussions on Sermo.

Can't call in but have a question? Drop a comment and I'll ask it for you. Let me know what you'd like Diva Talks to chat about. Don't forget Diva Marketing Talks morphs into a podcast.

Update: Enoch Choi, MedHelp of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation joined the conversation. If you have any interest in healthcare in the U.S. or where physicians' interest are in changing the healthcare system do not miss the After Show. In Ophra style, the After Show continues on a free for all flow for as long as the conversation goes on.


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Thanks for having us, it was a blast!

Posted by: Enoch Choi, MD on Feb 26, 2008 8:30:43 PM

Enoch - thanks for dialing in and joining in. you were a great addition to the conversation.

Posted by: Toby on Feb 26, 2008 8:56:34 PM

Dr. Richard Thrasher has been a pioneer in his field and it is a real pleasure to know these kind of persons.

Posted by: Reviewriches on Jun 19, 2008 10:52:57 AM

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