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Two interviews

Recently I gave two interviews regarding my scientific research of medical blogs and the Health Blogs Observatory.

The first one was conducted by Ed Silverman, a prize-winning journalist who used to maintain the extremely popular Pharmalot blog. He now contributes to the Association of Health Care Journalists blog, where the actual interview was published.

The second one was conduced by Norina Wendy Di Blasio, a member of the editorial staff of Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore, an Italian publisher established in 1946.Among books and journals, this Company publishes a weekly newsletter sent to 11 thousands Italian doctors. Currently they are publishing a series of interviews on Health 2.0. My interview was eventually published in both Italian and English.

Hope you will read the interviews and consider joining our team in conducting scientific research of the medical blogosphere at the Health Blogs Observatory.

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Health Blogs Observatory

Health Blogs Observatory
You should know by now that every time my posts are slower, I am creating something in the dark corner of my room :-). This was the case when I introduced the OpenECGproject, and it is the case now, when I am introducing the Health Blogs Observatory.

Health Blogs Observatory is an online research lab devoted to examination of the health blogosphere. It was created by the health bloggers and for the health bloggers.

Main goals of the project are:

Two major characteristics of the Health Blogs Observatory are collaboration and openness. This is why I would like to invite all health/medical bloggers to join the community and start contributing to it by adding their blogs to the web directory and participating in the design of the health bloggers survey.

To always stay informed about new developments at the Health Blogs Observatory, subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on Twitter.

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Growing Number of Scientific Papers About Blogs

Number of articles about blogs published in journals indexed in Medline is constantly growing. The first article was published back in 2003, but in 2008 was a substantial step forward. Are blogs becoming a hot topic among medical researchers? Take a look at the chart >

chart blog articles

These 46 articles were written by 85 authors from 20 different countries and published in 41 journals. Eighteen articles come from US and the rest are scattered all over the world.

chart world

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It’s Carnival Time!

bell ringers

My hometown of Rijeka, Croatia is famous for its carnival. Our carnival is one of the biggest in Europe. During the one held in 2001, there were 72 children carnival groups with 4.200 participants and 144 carnival groups of adults with 10.000 participants from 12 countries, watched by about 110.000 spectators.

A special attraction are definitely “the bell-ringers”, shown in the picture above. The bell ringers, with a heritage dating probably back as far as pagan times, arise special interest with their specific masks, dances and bell ringing, and symbolize the upcoming spring and fertility.

From all of this it should not come as a surprise that I will be hosting the 33rd edition of Medicine 2.0 Blog Carnival on Oct 19th. Be sure to visit the site and please submit interesting articles to me. Send your submissions by Oct 17th using my contact form.

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Medical Bloggers Follow-up Study

In our recently published article regarding medical bloggers, we have announced that we will be conducting a follow up study. So we did. We have visited again all of the health/medical blogs which we originally identified to see if they are still active. Also, we have invited the participants of the survey to take part in our short follow up survey.

Here are the results:

In our study we consulted four sources to identify medical blogs. Using these sources we found 627 unique blogs. Among these 627 blogs, only 331 were active and English-language medical blogs. At the end, 197 blogs from these 331 were included in our study because they provided direct contact information to their owners.

A year and half after our first visit, we visited those 331 blogs again and have found that 91 of them no longer exist or are inactive, since their last posts were more than 2 months old.
Medical Bloggers 1

After our article was published we informed all of the 197 bloggers who were originally invited to participate in the survey about it. This time we invited them to participate in a short follow-up survey. Thirteen of them did, and here are their characteristics.

Their mean age was 45, ranging from 27 to 73 years of age. Three females and 10 males.
Medical Bloggers 2

Most of them (11) were White and 2 Asian.
Medical bloggers 3

Again, most of them were highly educated.
Medical Bloggers 4

And from the United States.

Medical Bloggers 5

Some of them changed their blogging frequency since our last survey.
Medical Bloggers 6

However, what is most important is that they all shared interesting and useful comments and suggestions for future research. Motivated by their comments and great acceptance of our article in health/medical blogging community we are preparing fresh and bigger things regarding measuring of the health/medical blogosphere. You will be notified about them very soon.

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