Tearing myself away from Twitter for a few minutes to share info about an example of pharma engagement: check out CML Earth a global social network for those affected by chronic myeloid leukemia. The site was developed and is supported by Novartis Oncology to help connect patients, patient advocacy groups and healthcare professionals touched by this rare cancer. For some reason it has not gotten as much coverage as other (albeit few) social media initiatives from pharma even though it was launched in late December (08). CML Earth allows members to create profiles where they can describe their story as well as choose responses (drop down menu) to things they love, like to eat, like to listen to, like to watch, line of work. Members determine whether or not they wish to be contacted and the language in which to do so. CML Earth supports 16 languages and is live in 38 countries. Click on "map" and you'll find lots of dots, which correspond to members throughout the world. Participants can also send hugs, smiles and high fives to each other.
The site is not easy to navigate. For example I could not change my profile from patient (which I'm not) to a different category. Finding other members is not completely intuitive - there is no directory button and only a few featured profiles on the home page. You must use the search function or go to the global map and click on the dots to find others.
Navigation issues aside, I hope the site does well and commend Novartis for taking a chance and trying to foster a community for CML patients.