Interested in how our clients approach creating a social network? Our latest Client Spotlight features an interview with the founders of (www.whitecoatconnect.com), a network for health-care professionals. These two medical students and a tech-savvy brother explain their idea and how they plan to launch it. Here’s Carlos Silva, and Edmond and Armond Petrossian!
SocialEngine: How did you come up with the idea to start White Coat Connect?
White Coat Connect: We were studying for Neuro-Anatomy on my dining room table, and we got so fed up from studying that we got the conversation on how our clinical professors would not add us on Facebook. The staff would tell us that their Facebook profile is for personal use only. We (Carlos and Edmond) are the more sociable-type of medical school students in that we would host cocktail parties for the clinical staff in order to know them better. The only problem with the parties was that there was only a limited amount of students and staff to invite. This idea of being able to connect with our peers and medical staff had been culminating in the back of our minds since the first day of class. The idea came to us when we wanted a more efficient and professional way to interact with our future colleagues.
SocialEngine: As medical students, what roles, if any, has social media played in your education? How do you see social media being used in medicine?
White Coat Connect: It gives us an easier way to keep in touch, and a more direct and free transfer of information. A more accessible way for health care professionals to communicate with each other was what we pictured social media being used in the field of medicine.
SocialEngine: What is your intention with White Coat Connect? What makes your community unique?
White Coat Connect: Our purpose is to connect with healthcare professionals, and to improve the logistics of healthcare through communication. What makes our communitiy unique is that we have included all medical-related jobs, so whether you are a medical school student, staff member, doctor, or researcher, there will be a niche for you in this website. A majority of the members are a group of people who are quite collaborative and they enjoy getting opinions and sharing information amongst themselves to ultimately improve patient care.
SocialEngine: As a social network for professionals, how will you stand out from a site like LinkedIn?
White Coat Connect: Other websites have a broad definition of the word “professional,” which means that almost anyone who has a job can register for the website. A lot of their focus is on gross enrollment, which means they want quantity, not quality. The level of exclusivity on our website naturally creates a community of experts all aimed toward a common goal.
SocialEngine: You are currently in beta with a small group of users. How will new members discover the community and what plans do you have to expand your memberbase?
White Coat Connect: Our current method is not to spam or lure people into the website. We try to have our school’s students and staff sign up first, and we believe through recommendations and ‘word of mouth’ that we could propagate the website and give quality members full functionality of the website’s features.
SocialEngine: Have you worked with any developers? Tell us about the development of your site.
White Coat Connect: We have not worked with any developers so far, but most of the site has been under my (Armond) development. I designed the logo thinking that it had to have some relation to the medical field, so I designed an EKG wave that resembled a ‘W.’ As you mentioned earlier, the website is in beta, so we are going to experiment with additional features for the website, such as a document upload/view plugin for sharing resumes and research papers and an internship job search.
SocialEngine: Where do you see the site in 3 years time?
White Coat Connect: We see the site having an ample amount of users to be able to harvest an adequate amount of connections. We envision the members using all of the features of the website, such as uploading documents and posting medical videos. Our ‘skeleton’ is almost complete, so in three years time we hope to have our ‘muscles and skin’ ready.
SocialEngine: So why did you choose SocialEngine?
White Coat Connect: After searching for various php scripts online such as phpfox and Dolphin, we found the SocialEngine script to be the most user-friendly and streamlined. We were pleased with the customer service that we received during our trial, and we were confident that the script was not old with its constant updates. Today, we feel that SocialEngine is the number one choice in creating a social network, and we will keep using it for a very long time.
You may contact White Coat Connect directly for any specific questions.
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