What better way to spend a weekend than analysing the world of #FOAM in emergency medicine and critical care?
Yes, it is that time of the year again when we update our database pertaining to the world of EMCC (emergency medicine and critical care)
We started the collaboration project back in 2008 when we first reviewed the medical blogging ecosystem – and oh how that landscape has changed. For once where there was an arid land with dry scrub, now doth a veritable forest grow.
Initially it was easy to find the few medical blogs in active existence and review their content, author and structure. When LITFL was but a seedling, the medical blogosphere was populated with 76 blogs spanning all specialties. These were mainly single author (73) personal blogs (68) with the exception of a few notable education based blogs (such as @DrVes – Clinical Cases blog). Indeed, there were only 9 blogs which ran predominantly educational content and most (56) blogs were written anonymously. In fact there was little way of actually determining either the credentials of the original author or the country of origin of the blog (until the advent of twitter that is…). LITFL followed most of these trends starting out as a personal medblog – sandnsurf.medbrains.net with no way of determining the authors real name or location The 2012 review has seen significant changes in the medical blogging ecosystem and as a result only includes the rapidly growing field of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts. Our review covers 130 blogs in 17 different countries.
Such is the rate of growth that our manual data entry of the podcasts has become overburdened to the point of exhaustion and we now have to have submission forms for new EMCC blogs and individual EMCC podcast episodes. We have revamped the searchable podcast database and users are now able to search by blog name, geographic location, language and topic keywords to find the most appropriate podcast for them. We have made a good start on the database with >1800 podcasts now listed!
Whilst reviewing the EMCC blogs and podcasts we have made some significant changes to the way we display the blogroll.
- Addition of Blog based Pages on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Vimeo, YouTube and iTunes
- Addition of RSS feeds and iTunes subscription feeds
- Removal of blogs with no discernable signs of life for >6months
- Updating the podcast database and adding new submission forms for the latest podcasts
- EMCC blogs and podcasts have grown from 67 to 130 over the past 18 months
- Increasing participation and information dissemination through social media
- 77% – Twitter (100/130)
- 42% – Facebook (55/130)
- 20% – Google + (26/130)
- 15% – Media account such as YouTube or Vimeo (20/130)
- …but interestingly 9% (12/130) failed to provide a valid RSS Feed for blog content
- A legal disclaimer now exists on 86% of sites
- An increasing number of blogs (21%) now have multiple authors
- Audiovisual learning is on the rise with 20% of EMCC bloggers employing external multimedia and iTunes
- There is better identification of authors with 94% of blogs and podcasts citing the full name, credentials, contact form and geographical location of blog authors
- Blogging is an increasingly global collaborationwith over 17 countries represented:
- USA (75), Australia (22), Canada (5), UK (4), New Zealand (4)
- France (1), Chile (1), Germany (1), Croatia (1), Italy (3), Spain (3), Ireland (1), Israel (1), Malaysia (1), Latin America (1), Sweeden (1), Singapore (1), Scandanavia (1)
I am not sure exactly why there are so many EMCC blogs in existence, or why they are appearing with such rapidity. Maybe it is because a lot of our work is frontline, public, diverse and altruistic that there are so many stories and so many educational resources being shared freely and without reservation using the language of #FOAM.
If you think we have missed an awesome new EMCC emergency medicine and critical care blog…let us know…
One page source feed
To stop the potential for information overload the next stage is to re-instate the live ‘mixed feed‘ from all the blogs. This was initially created using Yahoo pipes and worked well for the first year or so, but was surpassed by the emergence of Medworm and the Feedly embedable unifying feed. Unfortunately Feedly has stopped allowing the iframe embed and Medworm has stopped being updated (and is now not accepting submissions from new blogs).
We are still trying to find a solution to getting back a page which has a single feed for all the EMCC blogs. Any bright ideas gratefully accepted! Our current options include:
- Write some code to embed Feedly
- Re-create Yahoo pipes feed as a single feed (with a feed with icon, date, blog name and excerpt) and allow any blog to host the ‘unified feed‘
- Testing some simple embed options – but this is very slow indeed, and will get even slower with a list of 130 blogs!
vive la FOAM
- Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan TM, Lin M. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002-2013) [PMID 24554447]
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2012
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2014
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2016
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2018
- Kovic I. Twitterverse of Emergency Physicians [Infographic]
- Emergency Medicine and Critical Care (EMCC) resources