The thing that gets us to the thing...

Matt and I wrote a wrap-up post for NephMadness that went up on MedScape today. Please go read it. In it we explain what we are trying to do with the various social media events and projects we promote for nephrology:

We have established an informal curriculum of digital mentorship. The goal is to provide a vibrant community of always-available, academically minded nephrologists who are interested in sharing their skills, knowledge, and wisdom. Most of these conversations are spontaneous. Examples include recent discussions on the relationship between sodium linked glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (a new drug for the treatment of diabetes) and diabetic ketoacidosis and another about whether one should stop antiplatelet agents before kidney biopsy. The tweets were a mixture of references, pithy bits of insight, images from primary sources, and opinions.

NephJC and NephMadness are stepping stones to this always available online community. They are important for setting the tone and attracting people who share our vision and academic values. But in the end, NephJC isn't the thing it is just the means of getting to the ultimate goal of a viable, self-perpetuating, professional network, of academically-minded, nephrologists particiapating in social media. I was reminded of this while watching the pilot of Halt and Catch Fire. The plot turns on an old article written by the protagonist, Gordon Clark, where he states that computers aren't the thing, but rather the thing that gets us to the thing.