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The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair
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Digital Engagement Coming Into Its Own

Nov. 6, 2015 - How we connect - with each other here in the SWOG community, as well as with our external collaborators and patients - happens more and more through a laptop, iPad, or smartphone.

Problem-solving, trouble-shooting, calculating, analyzing, designing, editing, voting, debating, discussing, sharing photos, swapping stories - even practicing cancer medicine and conducting cancer research. There is no doubt about it - our work is increasingly going digital. That's why digital engagement is at the top of my five-year vision and action lists for SWOG. I want to connect us in new, better, and more efficient ways, so we can then apply those adjectives to our research. This will require fresh thinking and innovative tools.

The central linchpin is our website. As you know from the fall meeting, and from previous Front Line posts, we'll launch the new SWOG.org in 2016. We're working now with the Boston firm iFactory to identify what the website should and must include. That's where you come in.

Please (please!) take this survey surveymonkey.com/r/swogredesign and tell us the current website features that are important to you, while rating the importance of new features for the site. SWOG.org must work well for members, and also our cooperative group colleagues, our patients and their families, our friends, and the organizations and people who help fund our work. So please pass this survey on to fellow SWOG physicians, nurses, clinical research staff, advocates - anyone who uses (or should use) our website. Your opinions will be tallied and included in a report of strategic recommendations. Please know your responses will have a real and meaningful impact on SWOG.org.

While we're at it, I hope you will consider two more humble requests.

We're forming our digital engagement committee, which was approved last month by SWOG's Board of Governors in Chicago, and which will be chaired by Dr. Don Dizon from Massachusetts General Hospital. We have a great core group of members on deck. But we've got a big task ahead, and we need a few more to round out the roster. If you have interest or experience in strategic communications and leading-edge technologies - social media, web design and content management, web or mobile apps, media relations, online publications, and email, video, and other digital marketing tools - SWOG needs you. Digital engagement committee members don't necessarily need to be current SWOG members. They just need to be smart, committed, and willing to help define and deliver our online future. Interested? Contact SWOG communications manager Wendy Lawton at lawtonw@ohsu.edu or 503-348-8675.

Finally, I've got one more online-related request. Please vote now in the 2016 ASCO election bit.ly/1SwDSas. It's our professional oncology society, and its leadership matters. Thanks for considering - and clicking.