BSAVA Congress 2014 Day 1 (Day 568)

Dr John Lewis - Wildlife Vets International

Today’s Diary entry is sponsored by Vet School Success

Well today was the start of BSAVA Congress! I love the support that BSAVA actually give to students, which is demonstrated by their free student membership and the very low cost (£86!!!) of attending congress! Now congress lasts for 4 days, and in addition to the amazing lectures there is also a great exhibition with all the latest products on display. I was originally planning to blog live as things happened, however the internet access that I was expecting just wasn’t present so kept things simple with just the @vetschooldiary twitter stream – here are my day 1 highlights from BSAVA Congress 2014…

So my day started noticing the new big screen for #bsava2014 tweets, BSAVA is embracing social media which I think is great!

#BSAVA2014 Tweets on the Big Screen

I then bumped into one of my old teachers which was really cool, before heading into the exhibition for the unveiling of the PLH Medical F1 car and to watch the opening lap by Holly!

Holly starting the PLH Medical F1 races!

Heading back I got very lucky and found the Wildlife Vets International stand with Dr John Lewis the Veterinary Director. We had a great conversation as I would love to get the opportunity to work in wildlife and zoological medicine after I graduate!

Dr John Lewis - Wildlife Vets International

Heading back into the exhibition I got scared by this somewhat stressed dog…

Scary Stressed Dog

Before grabbing some new books from Hills Nutrition to go into the university library here!

New books for the UVM Kosice Library from Hills Nutrition

I got my new vetark cd with loads of cool manuals, videos and useful information for working with exotic pets.

Vetark Wildlife Manual

I then met this very disturbing creature that I believe was meant to be a flea… Still not 100% sure I am right here though…

Think this was meant to be a giant flea...

In the evening as I am an international student I got invited to the International Delegates and Speakers reception at Birmingham Sea Life centre which was a great chance to catch up with some friends, and meet some new people. There was a new penguin exhibit opening the week after so we thought it was only rights that we checked it out to ensure animal welfare….

Sneak Peak at the new Sea life Birmingham Penguin Exhibit

To finish the evening in the underwater water tunnel I learnt how to tell male and female sharks apart. And got to see this amazing giant turtle…

Giant Turtle at Sea Life

It was an absolutely amazing start to BSAVA Congress 2014, and I really was excited for Friday!

5 ways you are failing at Twitter (Day 189)

"Thank you for following" FAIL

When it comes to Twitter I find that many small businesses, and even some larger companies make simple mistakes that drive customers away. I am a really big fan of twitter, it gives you the opportunity to get great attention to a cause from thousands of people. Today I want to go over a few mistakes that I’ve seen recently to try to help you get the most out of Twitter. So now in reverse order the biggest mistakes on twitter…

5. Not replying to tweets at you

Ok, so it can be forgiven if you are still learning how twitter works, however if someone sends a tweet with a question at you then not replying is just rude. If you wouldn’t ignore them in person why would you do it online?

4. Automatic Direct Messages without following back

A really big pet hate for me is companies that have it set up to automatically send a direct message to a person that follows them (usually broadcasting so see #1 below). Sure it works but then there are those companies that do it without following the person back so they cannot reply to the message. In this case especially if you are doing it right an asking a question the person cannot reply… Its kinda like walking up to someone in a shop, asking what they are looking for and walking away before they can answer.

3. TrueTwit

Ok, so I hate TrueTwit, it’s that thing that sends you spam messages when you follow someone telling you to “validate”. It does not actually stop spam as people can still send you tweets, instead it makes you appear like you are too good for them. Just imagine asking every person that tried to speak to you for their passport. (You can remove TrueTwit by revoking access in the Settings – Applications page here:

2. Copy and paste “Thank You for following” replies

When a new person @mentions (messages) me on twitter the first thing I do is click-through to look at the profile, this also lists the most recent tweets. Seeing something like this sends me straight away…

"Thank you for following" FAILThis shows 1 of 3 things
1. That you have nothing interesting to say.
2. That you have not looked at the persons profile so don’t even know who you are tweeting
3. That you are using automatic software to send a generic reply to people

Obviously it can be great to thank and welcome new followers, however you should do it by name, and try to start a conversation with it as well!

1. Broadcasting

The biggest mistake that people make is not getting into a social mindset when starting to work with social media! In the past marketing was all about broadcasting a message out to people with a call to action via a static advert. Social media marketing is different to this as instead of just broadcasting you can actually engage, when using twitter people have the ability to respond to you. Simple ways to start are by asking questions, retweeting posts from others sharing interesting and useful things, and by @mentioning others to get a convo going!

Hopefully you now have some idea of how to make twitter work better for you, feel free to follow my on twitter @vetschooldiary

Paying It Forward, just 16 hour till Dissertation Handin

Well, tonights diary entry is going be short as I must get back to my dissertation, I’ve been working to pretty it up and am pretty pleased with where it’s at. I am in two minds about actually taking a second project on my own back once this is finished to investigate certain areas further.

Anyways the thing I wanted to discuss today was Paying it Forward. Basically the theory is that one good thing should lead to another, or cashing in on good karma for when you need it in the future. I was asked to explain what I meant in terms of giving £1000 a year personally from my salary to help animals for the 40+ years of my career. Basically for every £1 I recieve in help now, I will make sure that £1 carries on working after I graduate as a vet directly helping animals that are in need that may not otherwise be able to get the help. Hence paying it forward, I am recieving a large supply of good karma from a large amount of people. Once I graduate I will be passing that karma on.

Basically £40,000 is:

  • £1 given by 40,000 people (see give a pound)
  • £5 given by 8,000 people
  • £10 given by 4,000 people
  • £50 given by 800 (see sponsor a day in my diary)
  • £100 given by 400 people
  • £500 given by 80 people
  • £1000 given by 40 people

I know that its possible, I need to reach these people that are able to help so every single person that retweets something on twitter, or likes it facebook, or even emails a link directly to someone is amazing and I can’t thank you enough! Please keep getting the word out there as many ways as possible!