Sermo is a social networking site we have been following here for a little while. It’s bloody successful – 3,000,000 comments, 30,000 discussions and the largest physicians only network with around 50,000 members. Sermo continuously reinforces its value proposition, making its community secure, more user friendly and in-line with its stated goals and vision.
The Sermo community has had a few tests over the last 8 months or so – each time with naysayers being promptly being put into place by the community. From my old politics days – it was one of the fundamentals of sovereignty that a state provides for its members during peace time and expects those members to look after it when under attack. Perhaps this tenant of nation state theory can be stretched online? I hope so – it make 3 years of my life less of a waste of time!
Initially pharma’s role in this community was seen as something to be defended against. CEO and founder of Sermo Daniel Palestrant stated in an interview with (the ridiculously named) New Paradigm; “As a doctor I thought that other doctors were tired with interacting with Pharma…then we started having more and more members of the community saying, “Hey, where’s Pharma… why aren’t they in the system?”.
Sermo sought further input asking – “Do we want Pharma in here? The result – between 60% – 80% of the community felt a need for Pharma involvement somehow.” This feedback has been taken to heart and given rise to a recent announcement a partnership with Pfizer. Reading this made me feel warm about the benefits of online communities and the requirement physicians have for us lot to be involved.