Yesterday and this morning, Allison and I attended the third annual Roche Diabetes Social Media Summit — a power-packed get-together of 37 diabetes bloggers and "online influencers" that allows us to pow-wow on all sorts of social media and diabetes advocacy topics. Kudos to Roche for continuing this program.

This year, the meeting was held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, directly across from the Convention Center where the annual ADA Scientific Sessions will kick off tomorrow.

No way to describe the feeling of having a reunion with our DOC online family. Love, empathy, and lots of opinions flying freely!

Here we all are:

(Allison's the one with the guitar!)

So what were the hot topics this year, after we advocates gave both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) a bit of a tongue-lashing last year?

This year, it was the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)'s head of communications Isabella Platon and JDRF CEO Jeffrey Brewer who were "on the block." Both of their talks generated lively discussions, but in very different directions.

We kind of ambushed the IDF representative, asking pointed questions about why in the world they seem so disconnected from the other major advocacy organizations in the US, and why they've been so spotty about involving the DOC in their campaigns. For example, they recently pinged us via email to take part in a new video campaign: "Show us how you are acting on diabetes by recording a video clip." Apparently, they were totally unaware of the grassroots You Can Do This campaign that our community was already engaged in. Upshot? It seems the IDF is vowing to do better.

Jefferey Brewer of JDRF was just plain impressive. It was the first time I've met him in person, and his level-headed leadership style convinced me more than ever that JDRF is going in the right direction: supporting the dual goals of cure research AND technology that can help us all live better with diabetes today.

We also did a great exercise in which we bloggers brainstormed on topics related to our own advocacy work: What are the gaps in diabetes social media now? Where can we go next? How can we better reach out to disconnected patients and to the healthcare providers who might help those patients find our community online? No easy answers, but we came up with some great visions for the future.

We'll fill you in on more soon. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for ADA Conference Reports from the 'Mine beginning Monday, June 27.

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