Friday, 27 November 2015

ClinicSpeak: who writes your blog posts for you?

Why are people suspicious of something that is free? #MSBlog #ClinicSpeak

"Yesterday on our Barts-MS Preceptorship one of the attendees asked me if (1) I write all my own blog posts and (2) if the blog really costs nothing. The answers to both these questions is yes.”


“The abstract triage system is run by the Mouse Doctor. He identifies most of the articles for the blog. The articles he allocates to me to cover are typically clinical ones; subjects he thinks are better covered by me, rather than him, or someone else in the group. He then leaves the abstracts of these articles in a draft post for me. I then open the draft read the abstract and if I find these abstracts of value I may then read the full article, before editing the abstract, writing a commentary, formatting it, inserting figures and hyperlinks, inserting other social media links, choosing suitable keywords and then posting it on the blog. Occasionally the topic may generate a question that you the readers could answer; when this occurs I set-up and embed a survey. As you are aware these surveys are not high science, but simply a quick and easy barometer; I also think they encourage reader participation. I estimate that I spend around 30-45 minutes on average per post. I typically do my posts early in the morning before work. I view the time I contribute to the blog as free time; my contribution to the common good. I don't expect to be paid for it. Regarding the software; we use Blogger, Google's free blogging platform. The only money we have spent on the blog was to pay a freelance designer a small honorarium for helping with the new skin (design). The designer we used is a friend of Alison Thomson who did his masters with Alison at the Royal College of Art. In addition, to this I pay a monthly personal subscription for a Google Pro account and to LinkedIn for my SlideShare site. I use both of these accounts to support the blog. My Google account hosts the surveys and pictures and I use SlideShare to host my presentations and some of the embedded documents. I am in the process of migrating my presentations from SlideShare to Google Docs as the latter is easier to use and much more powerful; edits on existing documents are updated in real-time.”

“I am not against us obtaining financial support for the blog. We will almost certainly need professional help when we start using the blog as a portal for continuing medical education (CME) or continuing professional development (CPD). The objective is to teach healthcare professionals (HCPs) about the management of MS using real-life cases studies. To do this we need to identify patients who are willing to allow their case histories and investigations to be presented online. We will then need to get consent and document this. We are also planning to ask clinicians from all over the world to contribute to the teaching and do this we will need to collate their biographies, mugshots and conflicts of interests when we prepare the posts. I suspect we may have to pay them a small honorarium for their time. All of this will require administration time. Hence we are in the process of applying for funds to appoint a CME/CPD administrator to coordinate this aspect of the blog. We will also ask this person to help proof read and edit the posts to make sure they are of a consistent style and quality. We also want this person to be responsible for cleaning up the log of blog keywords. We use too many keywords, have a large number of duplicates and there are many keywords with typos. This task is important as the keywords are an important feature of the blog and label each post. Keywords are important when it comes to searching for specific topics and for generating alerts using IFTTT (If this then that).”



“So in the near future our NeuroSpeak case studies on the blog will be supported by an administrator and that will need resource. However, it is getting to point that if we want the blog to evolve we will need help running it. We think it is important to use the blog for our CPD/CME activities as it will help you, people affected by MS, to understand how HCPs think and approach MS. It will also help you understand that clinical neurology is not a science, but an art, and why clinical opinions differ. It is common for clinicians to differ in their approach to the diagnosis and management of MS. The case studies will allow you to see this in real-time; more importantly it will empower you to self-manage your MS and/or become more active in the decisions your HCPs make concerning the management of your MS.”

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Team G sleep is so important to us all and I hope you get some well earned rest. Thanks for your hard work.

      Delete
  2. You guys are doing an amazing job. Now please prove your viral theory, cure MS, and get your Nobel prize!

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    1. Exactly!

      Many thanks to all of you. Especially to Prof G for starting the blog and to Prof B for bearing so much of the load

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  3. This blog is no fun without Dre. Reverse the ban.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Fanclub
      What Ban?

      It seems someone has tripped over their bottom lip because they wrote something that Google took an exception too like " Give it a shot" and put it in spam. We did not do it and did not block anything..

      Our crime was that we were too busy to check spam, so someone spits the dummy. That is their issue to deal with, if they exile themselves thats up to them..

      What happens next is not up to us. Ask the Diva:-). We can't pucker up to kiss some ass.

      Delete
    2. Gentlemen, please shake hands and make up. We're a family on this blog. Dre going away is like a brother having a barney and leaving home in anger. Let things pass.

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    3. Boo! Make Dre stay. Tell him not to go away.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for all your hard work I really do appreciate it. Hate MS :-( love all the people who help me :-)

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  5. "It will also help you understand that clinical neurology is not a science, but an art, and why clinical opinions differ. It is common for clinicians to differ in their approach to the diagnosis and management of MS. The case studies will allow you to see this in real-time; more importantly it will empower you to self-manage your MS and/or become more active in the decisions your HCPs make concerning the management of your MS.”

    Interesting comment. I understand the differences between clinicians in their approach and management of MS and I understand why it is an art rather than science. I applaud empowering MS patients and their carers to manage and be actively involved in MS decisions. But, in my experience, neurologists (as a generalisation) tend to be overly patriarchal and sensitive when their decisions are challenged. Patients are often labelled troublesome or problematic when they try to become too involved or too inquisitive about their options or decisions (particularly when they may wish for something the neurologists disagrees with). It would be interesting to hear about strategies on how to deal with this.

    Look forward to the anticipated changes to the blog. Thanks for involving us.

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  6. Prof G and team, thank you so much for all you do. This blog and your other social media pursuits, especially at conferences, has helped me, and I suspect thousands of others, get through thier diagnosis and transition into their new life. You guys rock. Maybe add a donation button?

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  7. Sounds great! I presume these posts will be open to all to read?

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  8. I really rate your posts Mouse Doctor and hearing a bit of behind the scenes is priceless.

    The email feed from Google somehow picks up too-tight line spacing. Is there some way to tweak this?

    Thanks for your work.

    Dave

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