#NewsSpeak: making sense of the Barts-MS blog

Decoding our blog posts using #hastags and labels. #NewsSpeak

As you are probably aware blogging platforms, such as Blogger, are not ideal for curating content. They simply put posts up one after the other in a long series and older posts get lost with time. The blog search engine helps find old posts and works well with the labels. 

Google Search on the web also finds  old posts. The latter works well if you include 'MS Blog',  'Barts-MS'  or 'Barts Blog' as part of the search terms. 

A smart way of following the blog is by email, i.e. you need to register using the web version of blogger. The number of people following our blog by email numbers in the thousands. This works well, but if we are doing a survey you still have to visit the site to complete it; we can't embed surveys into emails from the blog. 

We are aware that some of the posts are very technical and pwMS don't understand them. To get around this issue I hashtag all my posts with labels to allow you to filter what you read. The following is a list of the most commonly used #hashtags

#ClinicSpeak - for pwMS with information that will help with the clinical management of your MS

#ResearchSpeak - a post on the interpretation of an article related to MS research

#NeuroSpeak - a post for HCPs, in particular neurologists, about the management of MS

#NurseSpeak - a post for MS clinical nurse specialists about the management of MS

#PharmaSpeak - a post for pharmaceutical representatives

#NewsSpeak - a post on breaking news relevant to MS

#PoliticalSpeak - a post on topic linked to health policy

#TeachSpeak - these posts are related to specific posts around teaching about a specific topic. 

#SurveySpeak - a post that includes an embedded survey.

#ResultsSpeak - a post that presents the results of a survey done on the blog

#GuestPost - a post from someone who is not part of Barts-MS. These are usually invited posts, but we will accept requests (no advertising please).

#ThinkSpeak - these are posts that are me thinking aloud on a host of topics that may or may not be relevant to MS. I have now moved these posts off this blog onto Medium, a new social media platform. 

Then there are a lot of labels I use that tell you a post is relevant to a specific campaign or topic. 

#BrainHealth - about our 'Brain Health: Time is Brain' is campaign

#ThinkHand - about our campaign to increase awareness of the importance of hand function in MS

#ChariotMS - about our campaign to do a trial in pwMS who are already using wheelchairs

#CharcotProject - posts about our research initiative into the viral cause of MS

#CrowdSpeak - this usually refers to fundraising campaigns

#DigestingScience - our education initiative targeting children of people with MS

#MSResearchDay - posts advertising or discussing our Research days. 

#ECTRIMS2017 - posts about the upcoming ECTRIMS congress in Paris

#ABN2017 - posts on the 2017 Association of British Neurologists meeting

#AAN2018 - posts relevant to next year's AAN meeting

From time to time we will use bespoke #hashtags that will be self-explanatory. 

Some other tips:

Apart from using email and physical visits to the blog there are simple web tools you can use and programme to deliver notifications via email or your smartphone about posts with a specific #hashtag. I personally use IFTTT , which stands for “If this then that”. IFTTT allows you to create recipes, or short programmes, that are triggered whenever we do a post with a specific label you want to follow. Zapier is very similar to IFTTT and offers more tools, but you have to subscribe to its services. 

If you use Microsoft Office or similar email application, you can also simply use an RSS feed to deliver an email of all our blog posts to your email inbox. 

Finally, you can subscribe to different feeds from the blog (e.g. atom feed). Depending on which browser you are using and which RSS reader it uses it may, or may, not load all the posts or comments. 

CoI: none in relation to this post

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