Medical Information Matters: Call for Submissions

6 11 2010

I would like to remind you that it is almost the first Saturday of the Month and thus submission time for Medical Information Matters, the former MedLibs round.

Medical Information Matters is a monthly compilation of the “best blog post in the field of medical information”, hosted by a different blogger each time. The blogger who will host the upcoming edition is Dean Giustini.

I am sure that every librarian, and many doctors, know Dean. As a starting blogging librarian, I knew 2  international librarian bloggers: Dean Giustini and Krafty Librarian (make that 3, I forgot to mention David Rothman*) . I looked up to them and they did (and do) inspire me.
It is nice that blogging and Social Media can make distances shorter, literally and figuratively…

As far as I know, Dean has no theme for this round. But you can always submit any good quality post about medical information to the blog carnival. Whether you are a librarian, a doctor, a nurse, a patient and/or a scientist and whether your post is on searching, reference management, reliability of information, gaps in information, evidence, social media or education ( to name a few).
You can submit your own post or a good post of someone else, as long as it is in English.

So if that isn’t easy….

Please submit the URL/permalink of your post at:
http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_6092.html

If everything goes according to plan, you can read the Medical Information Matters 2.9 at the blog of Dean Giustini next Tuesday.

 

* Thanks to @DrVes via Twitter. Social Media is sooo powerful!





Kaleidoscope 2: 2010 wk 31

8 08 2010

Almost a year ago I started a new series Kaleidoscope, with a “kaleidoscope” of facts, findings, views and news gathered over the last 1-2 weeks.
It never got beyond the first edition. Perhaps the introduction of this Kaleidoscope was to overwhelming & dazzling: lets say it was very rich in content. Or as
Andrew Spong tweeted: “Part cornucopia, part cabinet of wonders, it’s @laikas Kaleidoscope 2009 wk 47″

This is  a reprise in a (somewhat) “shorter” format. Lets see how it turns out.

This edition will concentrate on Social Media (Blogging, Twitter Google Wave). I fear that I won’t keep my promise, if I deal with more topics.

Medical Grand Rounds and News from the Blogosphere

Life in the Fast Lane is the host of this weeks Grand Rounds. This edition is truly terrific, if not terrifying. Not only does it contain “killer posts”, each medblogger has also been coupled to its preferred deadly Aussie critter.
Want to know how a full time ER-doctor/educator/textbook author/blogger/editor /health search engine director manages to complete work-related tasks …when the kids are either at school or asleep(!), then read this recent interview with Mike Cadogan, the founder of Life in the Fast Lane.

Don’t forget to submit your medical blog post to next weeks Grand Rounds over at Dispatch From Second Base. Instructions and theme details can be found on the post “You are invited to Grand Rounds!“ (update here).

And certainly don’t forget to submit your post related to medical information to the MedLibs Round (about medical information) here. More details can be found at Laika’s MedLibLog and at Highlight Health, the host of the upcoming Edition.
(sorry, writing this post took longer than I thought: you have one day left for submission)

Dr Shock of the blog with the same name advises us to submit good quality, easy-to-understand posts dealing with science, environment or medicine to Scientia Pro Publica via the blog carnival submission form.

There is a new on-line science blogging community – Scientopia, till now mostly consisting of bloggers who left Scienceblogs after (but not because of) Pepsigate. New members can only be added to the collective by invitation (?). Obviously, pepsi-researchers will not be invited, but it remains to be seen who will…  Hopefully it doesn’t become an elitist club.
Virginia Heffernan (NY-Times) has an outspoken opinion about the (ex-) sciencebloggers, illustrated by this one-liner

“ScienceBlogs has become Fox News for the religion-baiting, peak-oil crowd.”

Although I don’t appreciate the ranting-style of some of the blogs myself (the sub-“South Park” blasphemy style of PZ Myers, as Virginia puts it). I don’t think most Scienceblogs deserve to be labelled as “preoccupied with trivia, name-calling and saber rattling”.
See balanced responses at: NeurodojoNeuron Culture & Neuroanthropology (anything with neuro- makes sense, I guess).
Want to understand more about ScienceBlogs and why it was such a terrific community, then read Bora Z’s (rather long) ScienceBlog farewell post.

Oh.. and there is yet another new science blogging platform: http://www.labspaces.net/, that has evolved from a science news aggregator . It looks slick.

Social Media

Speaking about Twitter, did you know that  Twitter reached its 20 billionth tweet over the weekend, a milestone that came just a few months after hitting the 10 billion tweet mark!? (read more in the Guardian)

Well and if you have no idea WHAT THE FUCK IS MY SOCIAL MEDIA “STRATEGY”? you might click the link to get some (new) ideas. You probably need to refresh the site a couple of times to find the right answer.

First-year medical school and master’s of medicine students of Stanford University will receive an i-pad at the start of the year. The extremely tech-savvy Students do appreciate the gift:

“Especially in medicine, we’re using so many different resources, including all the syllabuses and slides. I’m able to pull them up and search them whenever I need to. It’s a fantastic idea.”

Good news for Facebook friends: VoIP giant Vonage has just introduced a new iPhone, iPod touch and Android app that allows users to call their Facebook friends for free (Mashable).

It was a shock – or wasn’t it – that Google pulled the plug on Google Wave (RRW), after being available to the general public for only 78 days?  The unparalleled tool that “could change the web”, but was too complex to be understood. Here are some thoughts why Google wave failed.  Since much of the Code is open source, ambitious developers may pick up where Google left.

Votes down for the social media site Digg.com: an undercover investigation has exposed that a group of influential conservative members were involved in censorship, deliberately trying to ban progressives, by “burying them” (voting down), which effectively means these progressives don’t get enough “digs” to reach the front page where most users spend their time.

Votes up for Healthcare Social Media Europe (#HCSMEU), which just celebrated its first birthday.

Miscellanous

A very strange move: a journal has changed a previously stated conclusion of a previously published paper after a Reuters Health story about serious shortcomings in the report. Read more about it at Gary Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview Blog.

Finally for the EBM-addicts among us: The Center of Evidence Based Medicine released a new (downloadable) Levels of Evidence Table. At the CEBM-blog they stress that hierarchies of evidence have been somewhat inflexibly used, but are essentially a heuristic, or short-cut to finding the likely best evidence. At first sight the new Table looks simpler, and more easy to use.

Are you a Twitter user? Tweet this!





MedLibs Round. Update & Call for Submissions

2 04 2010

Some news about The MedLibs Round, the monthly blog carnival of blog posts on subjects pertaining to Medical Information.

A new LOGO.

Perhaps you remember that I was looking for someone who could design a logo for this blog carnival.

And you know what. Robin has offered to do so for free!

Robin is wonderful woman and the author of two great blogs I follow: Survive the Journey (http://survivethejourney.blogspot.com/) and 365 days with Cushing’s Disease (http://cushings365.posterous.com/). The latter blog documents the life of a Cushing’s Disease patient and survivor with pictures.

Of course Robin needs some help. What should the logo look like? Any ideas?

A New Name?

A new spring, a new sound (Herman Gorter’s May). Thus,  a new logo, a new name?

The name MedLibs Round suggests it is blog carnival purely meant for medical librarians and that is not the case. Or at least it is not what I had in mind, when starting this round. This blog carnival is about medical information. Sure, medical librarians play an essential role, but I would like an exchange of thought between those who need and those who search the medical information (not mutually exclusive).

And I was also thinking, if we made a more appealing name it might be easier to make a logo (not only consisting of a book).

Most suggestions consist of “Medical Information” (instead of MedLib) and Round, Ring, Circle or Carnival. Similarly, MIR stands for Information Round (or Ring) [& can be depicted as Myrrh] etc.

Not very original, so if you have better ideas, and especially more appealing ones, this is your chance.

In fact it just needs to be clear. Like Gene Genie (http://genegenie.wordpress.com/) was clearly about Genes and Genetic Diseases.

(you need not be a contributor to this round to cast your vote)

Past & upcoming MedLibs Rounds

The last MedLibs Round was hosted by Michelle Kraft at the Krafty Librarian. You can read her compilation here.

Next months we have again a wonderful bunch of people hosting the round: In May and April the EBM blogs  The Health Informaticist (link), followed by EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC (link),

But first we will welcome Nikki Dettmar of Eagle Dawg (moved to http://eagledawg.net/) as a host once again. She is eagerly awaiting your submissions.
Officially the deadline is tomorrow night, but we don’t mind you enjoying your Easter Holiday first.

Please don’t forget to submit your post(s) (the URL of the post on your blog) here.





I’ve got Good News and I’ve got Bad News

26 01 2010

If someone tells you: “I’ve got Good News and I’ve got Bad News”, you probably ask this person: “Well, tell me the bad news first!”

Laika’s MedLibLog has good and bad news for you.

The Bad News is, that this blog didn’t make it to the Finals of the sixth annual Medical Weblog Awards, organized by Medgadget. (see earlier post)

The Good news is that this keeps me from the stress that inevitably comes with following the stats and seeing how your blog is lagging more and more behind. Plus you don’t have to waste time desperately trying to mobilize your husband to just press the *$%# vote button (choosing the right person: me), no matter how many times he says he doesn’t care a bit – (“and wouldn’t it be better to spend less time on blogging anyway?”)

This reminds me of something I’ve tried to suppress, namely that this blog didn’t make it to the shortlists of the Dutch Bloggies 2009 either (see Laika’s MedLibLog on the Longlist of the DutchBloggies!)

The Good news is that many high quality blogs did make it to the finals. Including The Blog that Ate Manhattan, Clinical Cases and Images, Musings of a Distractible Mind (Best Medical Weblog) , other things amanzi (Best Literary Medical Weblog), Allergy Notes, Clinical Cases and Images, Life in the Fast Lane (Best Clinical Sciences Weblog), ScienceRoll (Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog).

Best of all, the superb blog I nominated for Best Medical WeblogDr Shock MD PhD made it to the finals as well!!

But it is hard to understand that blogs like EverythingHealth and Body in Mind with many nominations are not among the finalists. That underlines that contests are very subjective, but so are individual preferences for blogs. It is all in the game.

Anyway you can start voting for your favorite blogs tomorrow. Please have a look at the finalists here at Medgadget, so you can decide who deserves your votes.

Finally I would like to conclude with positive news concerning this blog. This week’s “Cochrane in the news” features the post on Cochrane Evidence Aid. It is on the Cochrane homepage today.

Photo Credit

Best Literary Medical Weblog
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The 2009 Medical Weblog Awards: it is time to nominate your favorite blogs

16 01 2010

The 2009 Medical Blog AwardsThe 2009 Medical Weblog Awards are here again!

MedGadget is asking for nominations for the best of medical blogs.  This is the sixth year of the competition and these awards are designed to showcase the best medblogs, and to highlight the exciting and useful role that the medical blogosphere plays in medicine and society.

You can make your nominations here by leaving a comment with your choice. Nominations will be accepted until Sunday, January 24, 2010. The finalists will be announced the next day.

The categories for this year’s awards are:

– Best Medical Weblog

– Best New Medical Weblog (established in 2009)

– Best Literary Medical Weblog

– Best Clinical Sciences Weblog

– Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog

– Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog

– Best Patient’s Blog

Perhaps you remember that this blog made it to the finals last year in the category “Best New Medical Weblog“, but was -of course- beaten by Life In The Fast Lane, the blog that is nominated at least 20 times in the current contest.

Since you obviously can’t be nominated for Best New Medical Weblog (2008) twice, I didn’t expected this blog to be nominated again. Considering the competition, I was very surprised (and certainly honored) that Laika’s MedLibLog was nominated in the section Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog, i.e. by Chris Nickson (precordialthump on Twitter), saying:

# Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog: Laika’s MedLibLog – http://laikaspoetnik.wordpress.com/ A brilliant guide to the art and science of discovering the medical information you need.

By the way, I was alerted to the nomination by Novoseek on Twitter.

Many of my favorite blogs have already been nominated, like Life In The Fast Lane, ScienceRoll,  Bitingthedust , other things amanzi, Clinical Cases and Images, Respectful Insolence and Found In Cache. Below are my nominations. I gave preference to those blogs that have not yet been nominated, but certainly deserve a place among the other nominees.

  • Best Medical Weblog : Dr Shock MD PhD, a beautiful lay-out, frequently updated, a mix of web 2.0 & medical subjects brought in an easy-to-digest way.
  • Best New Medical Weblog (established in 2009) Body in Mind, excellent new blog that fulfills its promise: “both interesting and accurate.”
  • Best Literary Medical Weblog: Other things amanziLove to read the stories. Real, rough (surgeon & South Africa) and beautifully written. (of equal quality is Bitingthedust -both already nominated)
  • Best Clinical Sciences Weblog: Sutures for a living Blog of a plastic surgeon with a lot of noteworthy information on many different subjects including surgery and quilting.
  • Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog: The Skeptical OB writes skeptic research posts as well as  interesting stories about patients.
  • Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog: The Palmdoc Chronicles. The source to consult to keep updated with the latest Medical PDA News and Updates.
  • Best Patient’s Blog :  Survive the Journey. I ‘m a real fan of this blog, written by a patient with Cushing’s Disease. It contains real life stories and researchblogging. Robin has recently started another blog  “365 days with Cushing. I almost nominated this blog, but realized in time it just started this year.

By the way it is very difficult to fit some blogs in. It would be nice to include other categories, like “Medical Education”, Evidenced Based Medicine (Science Based Medicine/Theoretical Medicine) and “Medical Student, Nurses & other health care workers”. And what about microblogs?

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Laika’s MedLibLog on the Longlist of the Dutch Bloggies!

3 11 2009

dutchbloggies_copy7Laika’s MedLibLog is nominated for the Dutch Bloggies-awards. The Dutch Bloggies is a  yearly contest by the foundation “Dutch Bloggies” that awards weblogs from Dutch-speaking regions.

Besides the overall Most Popular Weblog and Best Microblog, there are longlists for 15 categories. There are 10 blogs on each longlist. Laika’s Medliblog is nominated for best blog in category Best health & sport weblogs.

These are the blogs in this category:

Ajax Life | Catenaccio.nl | De Hardloper | Gezondheid.blog.nl | Green Jump | Laika’s MedLibLog | Marijn Fietst | Medicalfacts | SuikerWijzer | Zorg Beter Maken

I do feel like Tom Thumb amidst the giants. Apart that this site serves a small niche, it is hosted by one person in spare time on a WordPress domain. I’m getting a little intimidated by the professional looks and frequent updates of some of the self hosted blogs. But being nominated is already a great honor.

After publication of the shortlists the final winners will be announced in “het Paard van Troje” in The Hague, December 1th.

Nice to know: Colleague Librarian and fellow blogger Edwin Mijnsbergen (http://twitter.com/zbdigitaal) of the Wonderful blog ZB Digitaal was previous year’s winner in the category Education (see his blogpost)

All longlists can be viewed on http://www.dutchbloggies.nl/2009/?e=16

A better overview (without the need for clicking) is presented at JeroenMirck (link), the blog of Jeroen Mirck, journalist and chairman of the jury.

NRC-next blog (a blog of a Dutch newspaper) -nominated four times itself- also refers to the contest here.

The Volkskrant mentions the Dutch Bloggies nominations here


dutchbloggies2009-jury-totaal

The deliberation of the jury. Originally there were 5000 nominations.

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De Ivoren Toren van Thomése

28 10 2009

By way of exception I write a Dutch blog post to respond to an article in a Dutch Newspaper ridiculing speakers, writers, chatting and twittering people in a long-winded (3 pages) pompous, “literary” way, saying that they are terrorizing dictators. Although the writer, Thomése, might be right in some respects (all people  want to express their opinion, want to be heard, but nobody listens), his critique just hits the topic superficially. By doing so, the article adds to the already existing misunderstandings regarding social media. I finish my review by expressing the wish that Thomése mastered the art of Tweeting: be social, clear and comprehensive in 140 characters.

AMSTERDAM

Image by PjotrP via Flickr

nl vlag NL flagBij uitzondering een Nederlands stukje op dit blog. Ik schrijf meestal alleen over medische-wetenschappelijke zaken -in het Engels-, maar in dit geval kon ik het niet laten. Ik kreeg namelijk een aanval van acute, persisterende jeuk toen ik het stuk van Thomése in Het NRC Handelsblad van afgelopen weekend las. Een blog bericht van Jeroen Mirck (“P.F. Thomése is een kleine dictator”) kon mijn jeuk slechts enigzins verlichten.

Het stuk van Thomése in de Opinie & Debat bijlage, heeft als kop: Sprekers, schrijvers, bellers, sms’ers, chatteraars, twitteraars: allemaal kleine dictators. Eerst vallen je ogen op chatteraars en twitteraars (oh het is weer zo’n trendy anti-Twitter story op zijn Volkskrants [1]), maar dan zie je ‘sprekers, schrijvers en bellers’ staan en je vraagt je af: “wie blijft er over”?

Het vervelende van dit stuk is dat het dermate ‘literair’ (en quasi-intelligent [1]) is dat je eerst twee-en-een-halve krantenpagina door proza heen moet worstelen voordat er uberhaupt iets over deze groep “Sprekers, schrijvers, bellers, sms’ers, chatteraars, twitteraars” gezegd wordt.

Thomése wijdt ettelijke kolommen aan de introductie, een klassiek verhaal van Sartre (Erostrate uit le Mur), wat kennelijk nodig is om later zijn “kritiek in beeldspraak” te vervatten. Dit -op zich prachtige verhaal [2]- komt erop neer dat de hoofdpersoon, Paul Hilbert, gewoon is van bovenaf (de zesde etage) “neer te kijken” op mensen als waren het mieren. Hierdoor abstraheert hij mensen, ze ontmenselijken. In gedachten doodt hij willekeurige mensen -ja iedereen zou wel eens bepaalde mensen neer willen knallen, inclusief Thomése-. Wanneer Hilbert dit daadwerkelijk doet daalt hij (ook letterlijk) af naar een lager niveau en verliest hij daarbij zijn uitzonderingpositie. Hij wordt mier onder de mieren en wordt vanwege zijn daad opgejaagd tot aan het nederige toilet.

Thomése ziet in elke hedendaagse multimediale burger een Paul Hilbert, die met een killersblik op zijn eigen zesde verdieping “de gebeurtenissen op de voet volgt, zappend en surfend, alles en iedereen verwijderend uit zijn bewustzijn.”

“Er zijn te veel sprekers, te veel schrijvers, te veel bellers, sms’ers, chatters, twitteraars, allemaal kleine dictators, en allemaal willen ze laten weten – wat eigenlijk? Dat ze bestaan, om te beginnen. Hallo met mij even en dan komt het. Te veel mensen laten ongevraagd weten wat ze doen, wat ze willen en zullen (….) Maar waar zijn de lezers, de kijkers, de luisteraars? Wie moet dat allemaal aanhoren, aanschouwen, ondergaan? Zonder luisteraars kan er ook geen onderscheid meer worden gemaakt, is alles even belangrijk geworden. Er is niemand die nog tegenspreekt.”

De voorbeelden die Thomése geeft lijken vooral quotes uit discussielijsten of tweets. Het is een lukrake verzameling van uitspraken als:

“Ik mag hem wel die Scheringa”.
“Ik vind het een glibber”
Einde discussie.

Nietzeggend, inderdaad. Maar om dit nou een terroristisch-dictatoriale uitspraak te noemen die -in het openbaar gangbaar is geworden… pfff.

Een mening over iets hebben en in het openbaar ventileren is iets van alle tijden. De kruidenier van weleer ventileerde ook ongevraagd zijn mening over de heren politici, de economie of anders wel het weer. En iedere klant had ook weer zijn mening. Dat veel mensen niet de kunst verstaan te luisteren is ook niet uniek voor deze tijd.

Aan de andere kant zijn tijden zijn inderdaad veranderd: het is jachtiger, vluchtiger, consumptiever en platter geworden. Maar dat komt niet persé dóór het gebruik van multimedia.

De vergelijking van het multimediale plebs met de terroristische dictator die van 6 hoog alles oplegt loopt eigenlijk mank. Dictator ben je alleen als je mensen tot luisteren kunt dwingen en als anderen daar dus niet aan kunnen ontkomen. Luidruchtige mobiele gesprekken in de tram en stalkende schrijvers zijn uitzonderingen die deze regel bevestigen. Al zijn bellen en praten toch tamelijk pre-21ste eeuw.

Reacties op krantenartikelen, berichten, lijsten en blogs zijn wellicht vaak ontzettend eenzijdig en van een hoog wat-ben-ik-toch-origineel-en-leuk gehalte, maar het mooie is dat je het niet hoeft te lezen. Als multimediale burger (zender en ontvanger) ben je geheel vrij hierin.

En dat geldt zeker voor een nieuwe tool als Twitter. Zoals ik in een recente workshop aangaf: “Twitter is wat je er zelf van maakt.”

Doorzoek je Twitter real life op “Scheringa” of “H1N1″ dan zie je een woud aan allemaal losstaande meningen en uitspraken, meestal erg flauw of gewoon onzin. Ik doorzoek Twitter vrijwel nooit op te algemene termen en zeker niet op “trending topics”.

Veel mensen komen, net als Thomese niet verder dan deze verrekijker-visie op Twitter. Sommigen dalen even af, twitteren wat en zijn dan enorm teleurgesteld: niemand reageert. Wat ze niet begrijpen is dat Twitter een SOCIAAL MEDIUM is. Je moet een netwerk opbouwen van twitteraars die jij  interessant vindt en je moet zelf ook interessant genoeg zijn voor anderen om je te volgen. Althans als je zelf ook gehoord wilt worden.

Twitter kent nauwelijks hierarchie, er zijn geen dictators, dat werkt niet. Om beurten is iedereen schrijver en iedereen publiek, maar zo dat er een wisselwerking is. Ideaal gesproken, niet iedereen verstaat die kunst. [3]

Degene die ik volg zijn mijn menselijk filter voor ruis. Twittert iemand van de mensen die ik volg over ‘Scheringa’ of ‘H1N1′, dan is dat in de meeste gevallen waar, interessant of grappig.

Ik ontken niet dat er niet-luisterende leuteraars zijn. De kunst is om mensen te vinden die je wel boeien. Op dezelfde wijze als dat je vrienden maakt: het moet klikken. Het is allemaal eigen keus, zeker in de nieuwe (sociale) media.

Wat ik mis in Thomése’s stuk is de nuance, het is typisch de blik van iemand op de Eiffeltoren die naar beneden kijkt en enkel mieren ontwaart. Van bovenaf lijkt dat een hopeloos gewirwar en is iedereen eender.

In zijn stuk haalt Thomése Herostratus aan, de provocateur uit de klassieke oudheid die dacht: “ik kan misschien geen tempel bouwen, maar ik kan er wel een in brand steken”. Ik kan niet nalaten een vergelijking te trekken met Thomése, die wel in een ivoren toren woont en uitkijkt over de massa, die sociale media als Twitter niet doorgondt noch beheerst, maar het wel weet af te branden. Helaas verstaat hij niet de kunst dat op zijn Twitters te doen. In 140 leestekens….

  1. Bron: http://www.jeroenmirck.nl/2009/10/pf-thomese-is-een-kleine-dictator/
  2. Begin jaren 70 behoorden Simone de Beauvoir en Sartre tot mijn favoriete schrijvers.
  3. Het is voor mij mogelijk wel wat makkelijker omdat mijn aanwezigheid op Twitter vooral werkgerelateerd is.
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