Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Blogging’ Category

Social Media in Medicine Course: Week 4, Medical blogging

My university course at the Semmelweis University has been running with a great audience since early September and last week the topic was medical blogging. Students have a lot of questions and they seem to like these topics. Fortunately, the materials, hand-outs, the presentations are published on The Social MEDia Course as well as a test through which they can see how much they learnt.

 

Next week, I’m going to talk about microblogging with a special focus on Twitter from the medical perspective with many examples.

Exploding head syndrome: From blog post to community

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about a weird condition, the exploding head syndrome which generated a huge traffic and about 200 comments. Not short ones, but really interesting, detailed, true patient stories from around the world and my post is now 4th in the global ranking of relevant search results.

Exploding head syndrome is a rare condition that causes the sufferer to occasionally experience a tremendously loud noise as if from within his or her own head, usually described as an explosion or a roar. This usually occurs within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not the result of a dream. Although perceived as tremendously loud, the noise is usually not accompanied by pain.

That’s how a blog post designed for a specialized audience in a special topic can become a real database of relevant information for patients. Real example of the long tail effect.

An excerpt from one of the comments:

I’m not alone and this is such a relief!!! I think we need a Facebook page. I’ve had this off and on for about 15 years – just had one last night and I’m still out of sorts from it. I awaken terrified with my heart pounding from the sound of an enormous BANG in my head. When this happens I wake up clutching my face – often as I awaken I think “I am dead”. Unlike other people though, I do experience a physical sensation on my face – nose and mouth area – like someone has lightly slapped my face.

explod

HighBeam Research features Scienceroll: Top 10 medical research blogs

I got the honor to be included in the list of top 10 medical research blogs of 2011 by HighBeam Research.

Blogs and online libraries have grown to be valuable resources for students, professors, working professionals and the general public who have not traditionally had such easy access. As an organization involved with medical research and providing medical resources, HighBeam Research would like to acknowledge our favorite medical blogs.

These top 10 blogs for medical research were handpicked by the HighBeam Research staff as our favorites and included based on their level of insightful and original content as well as the authority and trust that the authors enjoy in the Medical space.

Kerri Morrone Sparling: Why an e-patient should blog!

Kerri Morrone Sparling has been a world-famous, influental diabetes blogger for years with many blog awards and many many readers day by day. She has been honest about her condition sharing tips and tricks with fellow patients. I recently asked her to send me a video in which she describes why an e-patient should write a blog and why it could be beneficial, how it can make a difference. Here it is:

Blogger announces own death after battle with cancer

There is a really moving story on CNN.com about a blogger who left a post mortem message on his blog after his battle with cancer. I’ve seen many blogs which just became archives after the blogger (mainly cancer patients) passed away. This is the first time in my experience when the blogger made this transition himself.

“Here it is. I’m dead,” read the last internet post of Derek K. Miller, who died last week after more than four years of blogging about his struggle with colorectal cancer.

“In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote — the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive,” he wrote on his blog, penmachine.com.

Social Media in Medicine course: Medical blogging

The 2nd week fo the world’s first university course focusing on medicine and social media focused on medical blogging. Here are the links and definitions I mentioned.

In the second slideshow, I described how to start a new blog step-by-step.

  • You need to answer 3 questions first before starting a blog:
  • What kind of blogger will I be? (there are 7 types)
  • Where should I blog? WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Typepad.com, etc.
  • How should I blog?
  • My “3 blogging rule” described what you need to become a good blogger: commitment, consistency and openness
  • Shared many examples about how to build a successful medical blog.

Take-home message:

A medical blog can be a perfect channel to make new contacts, find new opportunities and share your ideas with the world.

The 2 slideshows are described in details on Webicina.com’s e-guide:

See you next week when we will talk about Twitter in Medicine and also how to keep yourself up-to-date with RSS.

The 10 Types of Physican Bloggers

One of my favourite blogs just featured a nice picture that presents the 10 typical types of medical bloggers.

Here they are:

  • Dr. Funny
  • Dr. Mommy
  • Dr. Boring
  • Dr. Didactic
  • Dr. Product Placement
  • Dr. Resident
  • Dr. No Longer A Doctor
  • Dr. Political
  • Dr. Miracle
  • Dr. Whiny

Which type do you belong to?

Click on the image for the original source and size.

Interview with Dr. Flea

I use the famous story of Dr. Flea, an anonymous medical “star-blogger” , who had a malpractice lawsuit but kept on blogging about the situation in my Internet in Medicine course when I tell students about the potential troubles around blogging as a doctor. His story in a nutshell (reviews 1, 2 and 3):

In May 2007 Robert Lindeman, a pediatrician from the Boston area, found himself uncomfortably in the public eye when the Boston Globe exposed his pseudonymous life as a blogger in a sensational front page story. The reason? Dr. Lindeman, who clearly loves writing, had been live-blogging under the name “Flea” about his experiences as a medical malpractice defendant. The plaintiff’s attorney found out, he was exposed on the witness stand, and the case immediately settled. His site came down and he disappaeared from the blogosphere.

Now Dr. Robert Lindeman kindly accepted my invitation and gave a short interview about the whole issue and about what has happened since then.

1) You replied to my Facebook message as Flea. Do you still prefer using this name online?

For my old blogging friends, I like to use my old moniker, even if they know my real name. It helps me reconnect with a period of my career that I miss very much.

2) Please tell your story briefly to the readers. What happened to Dr. Flea years ago?

VERY BRIEFLY, a mother in my practice sued me for malpractice. My terrific lawyer and my med-mal insurance company agreed that I had not committed malpractice, so the matter went to trial. I made the heinous mistake of giving the play-by-play of the trial live at my blog. A colleague of the plaintiff’s attorney, who trolls medical blogs, tipped her off that I was doing this. She asked me about it at trial. We settled that day. The blog was full of sources of what attorneys call “prior inconsistent statements”. In laypersons terms, these are statements that can make your opponent look like a schmuck at trial. Seeing no way to defend these statements on the fly, we gave up. I took down the blog the same day. I killed Flea.

3) What about the aftermath? Did this story change the way you practice medicine?

I’m gratified to say that this has NOT changed the way I practice medicine. All that has changed is that I know now that I have survived a shark attack. If it happens again, God-forbid, I know I can survive that one too.

4) A year later, you gave an interview to an injury law blogger and you told him an advice for new medical bloggers: Do not blog anonymously. Do you still think the same?

No question, anonymous blogging is dumb. Period. Don’t do it.

5) Please tell us what you do now and whether you plan to update/manage any online presence such as blogs, Twitter accounts, etc.

I severely limit anything that I write in any forum, electronic or otherwise. I granted this interview primarily because I made these statements in an interview already. The sharks are in the water, Berci. It is foolish to try to behave as if it were otherwise.

6) What do you think about the growing importance of social media in medicine and healtchare?

Social media have helped amplify the voices of the minority, present company included, but only to a certain extent. Crap information that goes viral on the web is still crap information. We all have access to a lot more information than we used to. But we are no wiser.

Go ahead and create a medium that increases the collective wisdom and you’ll really have something.

Internet in Medicine University Course: Medical blogging

We just finished the second lecture of the “Internet in Medicine” university credit course which was dedicated to medical blogging. Here is the summary of my presentations.

  • Definition of blog, post, trackback, pingback, comment, tag.
  • First blog: Jorn Barger, 1997
  • Technorati statistics about the state of the entire blogosphere
  • Blogs in plain English:

In the second slideshow, I described how to start a new blog step-by-step.

  • You need to answer 3 questions first before starting a blog:
  • What kind of blogger will I be?
  • Where should I blog? WordPress.com
  • How should I blog?
  • My “3 blogging rule” described what you need to become a good blogger: commitment, consistency and openness
  • Shared many examples about how to build a successful medical blog.

Take-home message:

A medical blog can be a perfect channel to make new contacts, find new opportunities and share your ideas with the world.

The 2 slideshows are described in details on Webicina.com’s e-guide:

See you next week when we will talk about Twitter in Medicine and also how to keep yourself up-to-date with RSS.

Interview about Webicina and Health 2.0

Walter Jessen, PhD at the famous Highlight Health Blog did an interview with me about doing PhD in genomics, health 2.0, Webicina, Scienceroll and many other issues. Check it out on HighlightHealth. He also created a word cloud of my tweets:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,241 other followers

%d bloggers like this: