Two tHI bloggers are going to be speaking about the group blog experience at HLG Conference 2010. Our paper is “The Health Informaticist: collaborative blogging for health, fun and, erm, profit” (PDF). As part of this paper we plan to talk about what makes a group blog different and highlight some good examples / practice.
Reflecting the fact that professional learning extends beyond the Health Informatics domain we are interested in all great group blogs.
A few group blogs that we read include:
inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe really shows what a group blog can do with collaborative posts and interesting varied view points. The latest post is a highly pertinent one to current debates (ahem cilipfuture ahem) on the real work of librarianship
TechCrunch and TechCrunchEurope both written by lots of different people, frequently updated and with a good mixture of new developments, product reviews and more in depth debate. Not very health informatics but definitely web 2.0
Its All Good A blog from five OCLC staff about all things present and future that impact libraries and library users. A bit of everything library related.
PubMed Search Strategies A highly specialised use of the group blog format. Brilliant sharing tool for no cost but a little time.
BoingBoing Regular items from Cory Doctorow (and others) on copyright / IP and plenty of library love mixed in with all manner of interesting stuff from the web and beyond. Once got me summoned to my managers office to explain what I was doing looking at website with the url boingboing.net – answer trying to read an item on censorship only to find it blocked by websense.
So over to you… Do you group blog? Which ones do you read? What makes a great group blog? And have you ever had a disaster through participating in one?
The Health Informaticist is hosting the May edition of the Medlib’s Round – Blog Carnival.
||A rotating carnival of the best of the medical library blogosphere. Written in English (bilingual posts allowed)
||medical library, library 2.0, medical librarianship, EBM, PubMed, bibliographic databases, information literacy, web 2.0 tools,
||medicine, health & fitness
||first Saturday of every month
You can see the March edition here with the April edition here covering e-patients, iPad and opportunities.
Use the online form to submit your article for the May edition.
We welcome submissions on any aspect of medical librarianship / health informatics. We particularly welcome blog posts that take a view on the role of professional organisations in the future of the profession (in the light of the Defining our Professional Future
work currently underway at CILIP).
We look forward to some excellent submissions
A sort of twitter shared Google buzz was launched this week, I certainly noted it had started without my input with someone eagerly waiting to follow my updates. Oh well, nothing is free as an interesting documentary on the consequences of not paying for web services The cost of free explored. The cost of gmail is that when you email or search for anything this data is fed into marketing and you are targeted according to this information is all well and good if it’s stuff that’s useful but it delved into the case of a woman whose identity was figured out by looking at the searches she did which included her friends’ health problems so the old nugget of freedom v privacy.
The iPad may make ebooks interesting but this has knock on effects for the print industry. Paul Carr on TechCrunch says we’re back to the days of the Net Book Agreement as publishers struggle to scrape profit from something that more and more is becoming like the music industry.
Google now includes real time searching and I recently came across a Phil Bradley presentation that include this as well. Could this be useful for health information? I find Twitter search useful to keep up to date in my field and as I’m working for an organisation who are affected by political fluctuations then Tweetminster may be useful too. Searchengineland looked at where the results are coming from and there is ambiguity as to whether there are fees involved in appearing in a search but this is in fact aggregated search and not real time search and Google has developed social search for Twitter Google Experimental Labs whereby when you search for things you can see who in your social circle has written about it, sort of like a search within your followers or facebook friends. I can definitely see real time search being useful when tracking drugs in development or seeing what patients think of a treatment. It’s just the next stage of the semantic web…
A law library friend recently waded into debate with Ben Goldacre about accessing journals via Athens (access management system for those unacquainted with the oxymoronic lingo) whereby she tried and failed to communicate the info pro’s frustrations at not being able to make everything available, now, remotely etc. We are (and this includes me now being given journal subscriptions at work) the middle men and women controlling the spending of finite budgets on resources that meet the needs of our constituents (are you seeing the analogy with the NHS as a whole??). Ben argued that if something wasn’t accessible via Athens (or whatever because quite rightly who cares what it’s called) then it was a massive fail. Indeed. I used to work on helpdesk in academia and had to explain that even if something was listed in our holdings we might not have access to what they wanted (common in NHSland where there are multiple embargoes for recent content). This situation is indeed ridiculous in a context where we promote evidence based medicine. If we don’t have access to information then how can we work? Richard Smith of the BMJ writes how in the third world this is tantamount to criminal. Unlike the NHS procurement process there are solutions. The open access debate is where commerce meets morals, where free distribution via the web is slowing denting but not diminishing publisher’s stronghold on subscription based journals. What are we to do, refuse to subscribe en masse? This clearly needs to be communicated to users that we are on their side and that we do not wish to restrict use to articles or any information. I am not convinced we can make this argument alone and people like the trustees of Biomed Central will have to push for this.
Publishers seem to become a little more relaxed about allowing freedom of information in its truest sense if there is a crisis, thus resources such as Ebsco’s Influenza evidence based portal is accessible.
It is arguably not just clinicians but the public who should be able to access information. I went to a debate with the aforementioned Ben Goldacre and the Science Minister Lord Drayson about whether science journalism is any good and it was clear from the journalists there that they were confused about why it was not a good idea to report single trials which may be contradictory (Ben tried in vain to explain systematic reviews). Lord Drayson argued that reporting is good and hype has a place in science reporting. However without access to original data (and the source being made clear in said pun laden article) then it would be difficult for people to make up their own minds about the quality and believability of a study. Ben praised Behind the Headlines, available via NHS Choices and NHS Evidence (I feared it had disappeared but the Cancer Specialist Collection at least has this higher up the page than the news which is promising).