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The Social MEDia Course: Medical blogging

From reading medical blogs to writing them

Bertalan Mesko, MD

on 10 February 2015

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Transcript of The Social MEDia Course: Medical blogging

Medical blogging
Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD
Medical Futurist
Brought to you by
Take home messages
A blog is a perfect channel
if used in the right way.
It opens the world for new contacts, opportunities.
Choose the right platform for your purpose and follow the "3 rules of blogging"
If you blog in a consistent way with commitment and openness, you are going to succeed.
Thank you for the attention!
Send suggestions
Take the test
See other courses
What is a blog?
A website with regular entries of commentary or other materials such as graphics or video.

Entries are displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Web + log = blog
An example
Date and time when the entry was published
Title of the entry
Category under which the entry was published
Title of the blog
Archives by date and topics
Text of the entry with links and references
Image included in the entry
New expressions
Post or entry
: the item published with text and/or media materials
: A message left after a specific entry
: A category used for the entry to make it easy to find it later
: A list of blogs the author of the blog likes or endorses
: a method for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their entries
So far
Newswriters have been writing news
Everybody is writing
First blog?
17, December, 1997
Jorn Barger
Screenshots of the first blog
Over 100 million blogs since 2002
World events correlate with the number of blog entries
People are writing about what's happening
of a blogger
Blog types
Video blog
(spam blog)
Tematic blog
Company blog
Group blog
Personal blog
Quality blogging has nothing to do with...
(especially in medicine)
(number of visitors)
credentials of authors
number of entries
Who writes blogs?
(by technorati.com)
Where do they blog?
Is your blog the primary source of income?
“More researchers should engage with the blogosphere”
Nature 457, 1058 (26 February 2009)
Why should we blog?
The medical blogosphere is always different
Medical student
Medical librarian
Health lawyer
Examining the Medical Blogosphere: An Online Survey of Medical Bloggers
Kovic et al.
58% of medical blogger are 30-49 years old
Typical medical blogger
59% male

75% white

34% doctor
56% said they spend
more than 20 hours a week online
Yes, it takes time to blog
96% use ADSL connection
Yes, they are up-to-date
99% read medical news online
86% read medical news on blogs
66% read medical news via RSS
24% listen to medical news via podcasts
25%: anonymous bloggers
54% of medical bloggers have publications
44% of medical bloggers wrote medical books
Some of the best medical blogs
Blog carnivals
Bloggers collect the week's best posts of all bloggers in a specific topic from time to time.
Medicine 2.0
Selections are posted real time
Why should I blog?
Alan J. Cann uses different ways including a blog to reach his students
If you provide quality content, you can build a reputation wherever you live
A leading voice of economics through a blog written from Barcelona
Discover many ways for collaboration and making new contacts globally
Better writing skills
Become international
(realize there are no geographical limitations)
You'll see communication from a different aspect
You can reach people
Being better informed = Career advantage

Networking leads to new opportunities
What is your favourite blog story?
(asked this question on Friendfeed.com)
I got a chance to work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I got invited to write an article for Nature
I got my current job because of my blog and through reading other blogs
From an idea to great publicity
NCBI ROFL blog started as a collection of funny peer-reviewed paper
Now it's part of the Discover Magazine
From medicine to professional blogging
In 2008, he left medicine and began blogging full-time on Macrumors.com
It's a good sign concering quality if a blog is accredited
Dangers! Quality is an issue.
One story
Dr. Flea was a medical blogger, blogged about his own malpractice lawsuit, got caught by the attorney and lost the trial for sharing “prior inconsistent statements”.
Although a physician can do the same without getting into trouble
If his blog complies with the HIPAA rules.
In another case a medical student was arrested for blogging
Why would a doctor blog?
Being up-to-date
Marketing the practice
Building credibility before first meeting with patient
Likes to share, write
Is blogging dead?
No, it is just changing
Personal diary – Facebook
Photoblogs – Flickr
Videoblogs – Youtube
Linkblogs – Tumblr
Discussion - Twitter
Future: Stream your life
We know a lot about blogging now
Before starting your own blog, you should answer 3 questions
What kind of blogger would you like to be?
The Barber: knows the right people and wisdom

The Blacksmith: like the Barber but works inside a company

The Bridge: makes connections

The Window: talks about things from inside company or group

The Signpost: points out cool things of interest in his/her industry

The Pub: creates discussions to bring in people

The Newspaper: reports on news and happenings like a journalist
Where should you blog?
Many platforms
How should you blog?
The 3 rules of blogging
Be open to those who offer you content/products, etc. to write about
Be committed and blog whenever you can, know your goals and evaluate
Write about the same group of topics and post often
How to make your blog more attractive?
Get a logo
Add Skype contact
Add e-mail as image (not in text - beware of spammers)
Add automatic podcast (Odiogo.com)
Add analytics service (e.g. Google Analytics or Sitemeter.com)
Add license (forget copyright, blogging is about sharing)
"Academic papers cited by bloggers are far more likely to be downloaded.

Blogging economists are regarded more highly than non-bloggers with the same publishing record."
Number of blog carnivals has been declining for years
Blogs provide content and express opinion on healthcare that you can never find in a medical paper.

A blog can be a perfect channel for making new contacts with people all over the world and is an excellent tool for career building.
How to cite a blog?
Since August of 2007, blogs can be cited by peer-reviewed journals with the guidelines of The National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health:
by HONcode (Health on the Net Foundation);
by Webicina.com that curates social media in medicine;
meets the rules of The Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics (HBCE);
or complies with the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rules that defines in 18 identifies what a doctor should not mention about a patient online.

All geographical subdivisions smaller than a State, including street address, city, county, precinct, zip code, and their equivalent geocodes, except for the initial three digits of a zip code, if according to the current publicly available data from the Bureau of the Census: (1) The geographic unit formed by combining all zip codes with the same three initial digits contains more than 20,000 people; and (2) The initial three digits of a zip code for all such geographic units containing 20,000 or fewer people is changed to 000.

All elements of dates (except year) for dates directly related to an individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death; and all ages over 89 and all elements of dates (including year) indicative of such age, except that such ages and elements may be aggregated into a single category of age 90 or older;

Phone numbers;

Fax numbers;

Electronic mail addresses;

Social Security numbers;

Medical record numbers;

Health plan beneficiary numbers;

Account numbers;

Certificate/license numbers;

Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers;

Device identifiers and serial numbers;

Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs);

Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers;

Biometric identifiers, including finger and voice prints;

Full face photographic images and any comparable images;

Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code (note this does not mean the unique code assigned by the investigator to code the data)
Always ask yourself questions:

What if my patients will read this?

What if my colleagues will read this?

What if the whole world will read this?

Is the information I published accurate and cited properly?
Streaming all kinds of information and channels
The oldest one
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