Web 2.0 in Medicine

Vesselin Dimov, M.D.

Web 2.0 is a collection of free services that make the internet more useful and interactive. There is nothing to download because they all work in your browser.

Image source: Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog

Suggested Online Services

1. RSS Feeds and Bloglines

RSS feeds are updates that are delivered by the websites when something new is published.

Its inventor, Dave Winer likens RSS to "a sushi bar where the sushi comes around in boats. When you see something you like, you grab it and eat it." The same is true with RSS content that feeds you news aggregator.

"It's like having a personal assistant who goes through every publication and blog that could possibly interest you and picks out stories to bring to your attention.", writes PC Magazine.

Bloglines is probably the best choice among the online RSS readers (aggregators). It helps you to collect the information you want in one place. Instead of visiting 20 websites per day, let them send the information to you. Subscribe to specific searches on Pubmed or any search engine and collect them in one place. Subscribe to the major medical journals RSS feeds. You can publish the updates to a private blog to make a portfolio entry.

See the tutorial "How to Subscribe to Medical RSS Feeds on Bloglines" (PDF, 590 kb).

2. Write Your Documents Online at Writely.com

Writely is a secure online word processor. It is ideal for 2-3 authors who are collaborating on an article. Writely allows you to see all the revisions in real time. No more emailing Word documents back and forth between the authors. The service has an easy export to MS Word and you can monitor the changes to your article by subscribing to the RSS feed in Bloglines. Other alternatives to Microsoft Office are NumSum (a simple Excel "replacement") and gOffice.

3. Online Favorites are Del.icio.us

You can collect your favorite websites online on Del.icio.us and make the list accessible from any computer. Add multiple tags (labels) to describe the content. This bookmarks/favorites list is easily searchable. Yahoo MyWeb2.0 takes the online bookmarking even further by letting you to save pages and images on their servers for free.

4. Blogs

Start a website in 5 minutes. You can publish your thoughts, collection of interesting cases or use it to make portfolio entries. The best overall service is provided by Google on Blogger.com. Read about the other options in Choose a Free Blogging Platform - Check Out Opera Blogs.

What Is Web 2.0 - Tim O'Reilly
RSS: The Web at Your Fingertips - PC Magazine
Innovative Web-based software challenges Windows - USA Today
Other RSS tutorials:
Bloglines: How to use Bloglines - Honeywell.com, Adding RSS feed to Bloglines - University of California Berkeley, Using Bloglines - preetamrai.com
Google Reader - How to use Google Reader - a Flash tutorial by Andy Wibbels
Sergey Brin in conversation with John Battelle about Web 2.0 - ITconversations.com
Microsoft plays catch-up - CNN/Fortune