156533 Scientific blogging as an important and innovative research tool to get health data in a changing societal environment

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 12:45 PM

Alexander P. Bock, MD, MPH , Dept. Health Policy & Management, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: The evolving policy trends towards more consumer-oriented health care require a rethinking of how to assess these consumers' behaviors or preferences. ‘Blogs' (from: 'web-log' to 'we-blog') are user-generated websites which may play an important role in this context. ‘Blogging' took off in the late 1990s but is nowadays used by millions every day for various reasons [even TIME magazine's person of the year 2006 is YOU]. However, the role of blogs in scientific research today remains elusive. How many people in this community know what a blog is or how it could be used for the purpose of sound data collection? Results: Based on our experience with a research blog this presentation will address the following questions: do we need a research blog? Can blogs gather valid information? What type and how much data can be gathered? Which are the target groups? What is the response rate? Strengths and weaknesses? Can a blog be controlled? Conclusion: Reliable data are of great importance in Public Health and there are certain health-related areas where the features of a blog can be useful to get these information.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define: what is a blog, how does it work, who uses it 2. Analyze: what impacts do blogs have in our society today 3. Discuss: can blogs be used for scientific data collection 4. Develop: how to set up a blog 5. Evaluate: recap of own experiences

Keywords: Data Collection, Information Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: product under investigational use

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.