For you Grand Rounds readers out there, if you haven't checked out the discussion on Emergiblog yet, please do so. Here's a sample of the quotes from over there.
Here’s my thoughts on the matter of GR these days.
1) It’s too long. GR is supposed to be the BEST of medical blogging, not everything that every blogger wants to submit.
2) Don’t let your theme obscure the posts. Sometimes the host doesn’t tell you about the post itself, but rather, they come up with a “cute” blurb that may or may not be representative of the post’s content. Theme’s are great, but the posts are why we read.
I think you are right on, Kim. I am pretty new to the blogosphere and in my short experience with grand rounds I would have to say it is way too long. I don’t have hours and hours to sit in front of the computer so I pick and choose rather than taking it all in.
Kim- You’re on gal, right on the money and said it well to boot. Giving permission to those who host to edit what they want to include would be a big start. Maybe there should be a limit of 25 or 30 that is about my limit for reading and probably way over what most hosts want to provide. Thanks for this.
Having also hosted twice, I have to say that it was much tougher to get excited about the quality of the writing the second time around.
All of the posts I included (and it was nearly everything submitted) had merit, and most of them were well written.
What the majority lacked, and what I read Grand Rounds for, is heart. I want to develop greater understanding of the humanity of medicine.
I would support a maximum number of allowable posts - no more than 30. It gives the host a bit of leverage for picking and choosing. As it is everyone expects to be included, and as host, you do hate to disappoint anyone.
Things I would like to see more of on GR: More stories, more literary posts. I like the multidisciplinary approach - I enjoy the perspective of the MD, the patient, the pharmacist, the pastoral care representative - Reading these always brings a fresh approach to my own practice.
Things I would like to see less of: Themes (yes, some are clever but overall they are too cutesy - they take away from the posts, themselves). And less posts! I would skim it down to no more than 20. That would in theory ensure more quality.
Kim, first let me say that this post has all the elements…well written, brave, and something to say. Way to go! I feel grand rounds should be edited. And sure, it’s no fun to be left out but I don’t think a professional medical forum should hold ‘don’t want to hurt feelings’ as a criterium.
I thinks themes need to be handled delicately…some people get so wrapped up in their theme, that the content almost becomes secondary.
I, too, like the more anecdotal posts. The posts that are patient information and educational, I close immediately and don’t read. (in otherwords, they might have gotten my hit, they did not get my readership, and if it was a first time visit, didn’t even get enough of my recognition for me to return visit). I get enough patient information from my doctor’s, nurses, physical therapists and the like as it is. What I don’t get, I can look up … I don’t need it unsolicited. I have email support groups for my specific conditons.
Since I'm hosting next week, and since I'm curious, I've put two poll questions in my sidebar for your consideration when it comes to Grand Rounds themes (yes or no) and the ideal number of Grand Rounds links per week. Please vote. This information will really help guide me in what I'm going to do.
One of the things I love about the internet and the blogosphere is the interactivity with the reader. So, place your vote now and tell your friends about this poll because it's important. Thanks so much!
I've been reading GR since I came to read medblogs that's why I link some doctors' pages on my blog though I'm not a medblogger. I'm interested in health news, and as a patient I update by reading.
Anyway, here are my observations.
1. Theme or no theme - I've read GRs with and without it. The more technically adept and those with more time and very creative ones do this or make an attempt to do it. All of them got it. The advantage is that it is more organised it doesn't look messy. So readers stay on and read. It's a headache to see links all over. It's a smorgasborg. No order. Once I see this, I exit.
However, I've read GRs with no theme and they were simple and neat!
Don't worry about content being marred and being cutesy. Content won't be coming from you but from contributors. You're merely (it's a hard job, I know) choosing and linking the best of the week.
2. Number of links - Personally, the more the merrier (read #3). For us readers, there are more options which to read. It's how you arrange those links. Please don't link the author, the title and the URL. That's why it looks messy. Link ONE only - choose whether you want the blog author, the article or the blog title.
3. Editing/Selecting articles - Take note that not all contributors and readers are physicans or connected with the medical field. So, there's bound to be a hodge-podge of topics. Some could be educational, personal accounts, etc. Why not accept it if it's well-written and has substance. It doesn't mean that you want everything to be 'light' you'll reject the more 'serious' topics. Again, take note of your readers. Not everyone wants funny stories all the time. Balance the topics. I think most of the time, it depends on what is submitted.
As the host and chief editor for that week, you have every right to reject an article if it doesn't fit the GR rules.
Simply put, be yourself, Dr. A! You have your own style, stick to that. Most of the GRs reflect the host's personality. :)
Humble thoughts from a self-proclaimed GR observer. Ha! :)
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