First open heart surgery on Twitter

Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital in Houston, Texas paved a new road for healthcare and social media on February 21 when they were the first to live tweet an open heart surgery. During the double coronary bypass of a 57 year-old male, surgeons tweeted and posted pictures and even YouTube videos. The informative and groundbreaking Twittercast used the hashtag #MHopenheart for users to follow.

The doctor performing the surgery, Dr. Michael Macris, wore a helmet cam that sent photos and videos to a computer. There was an additional camera in the operating room, and his colleague Dr. Paresh Patel provided updates on the surgery via tweets. The hospital later compiled all of the content from the Twittercast into a Storify that can be found here. Warning: pictures and video are pretty graphic.

Pope Benedict XVI brings Lent to Twitter

The Pope has already tweeted from the Vatican's Twitter account, but now his Lenten messages will be on Twitter and he will soon have a personal account. His new account will not always have tweets written by him, but he will approve each one.

The Vatican also launched a social networking project on Ash Wednesday called Pope2You. Each day of Lent, the account will tweet themes from that day's papal message in several languages. Over the coming months, messages from other papal speeches and documents will be tweeted as well. Msgr Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, explained "many of the key Gospel ideas are readily rendered in just 140 characters…"

Twitter celebrates J.K. Rowling

Rowling in the deep

On Thursday, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced that she would be taking a stab at writing adult fiction, and Potter fans rejoiced. Several hashtags including "Thank You J.K. Rowling" and #rowlingreturns were Trending Topics, including some relating to Harry Potter, even though the new book will reportedly be very different from the Harry Potter books. Even fictional characters such as Rowling's characters Lord Voldemort and Professor Snape tweeted about it.

Oscar gets Social

The Academy Awards were this past Sunday and while the social activity was nowhere near that of The Grammys, it still generated over 4 million social comments/mentions. Some fast facts about the award show from Mashable:

  • The "most social" moment was when Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress with 31,216 mentions per minute
  • The most mentioned actor and actress were Jean Dujardin and Meryl Streep
  • The most mentioned movie was The Artist

Another measure of how "social" an award show is how many comedic Twitter account spring up from it. In this case, we have @OscarsAudioGuy making fun of the show's sound problems, @AngiesRightLeg inspired by the slit in Angelina Jolie's leg, and @JLosNipple which "may have" made a brief appearance onstage.