1. Perry, William MA, RN

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The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before thought possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education and research.


Do you read Web logs, popularly known as blogs? Millions are being published on the Internet every day on every subject imaginable. A blog is different from a listserv or discussion group. It is a personal Web site, and the content is under the sole control of the owner. It serves as a personal journal, a platform for issues of interest to the author, and a means of forging social/professional communication among individuals of similar interests.


How do you find blogs you would like to keep following? Links mentioned by your favorite blogs is one way, but have you ever attended a blog carnival? A blog carnival offers an opportunity to read what the blog host considers the best of the best. Wikipedia describes a blog carnival as follows: "Typically, someone who wants to organize a carnival posts details of the theme or topic to their blog and asks readers to submit relevant articles for inclusion in an upcoming edition. The host then collects links to these submissions, edits and annotates them (often in very creative ways), and publishes the resulting round-up to his or her blog" (


One way of finding if there is a blog carnival on your personal or professional interests is to visit blog carnival ( At the time of the writing of this article, they have more than 4000 blogs cataloged. Three blog carnivals are listed here for your consideration.


Change of Shift. This is a blog for and largely by nurses. It began in 2006 at Emergiblog (, which was authored by an emergency department nurse in San Francisco. She initiated the Change of Shift blog carnival to "find new nurses and nursing blogs and urge them to contribute to the medical/nursing/patient blogosphere. I hope to include submissions on the topic of nursing from doctors and patients in future editions." The blog lists more than 400 subscribers.


Grand Rounds. This is a blog carnival that originated and is archived at Blogborygmi ( It has been online since 2004, and topics have ranged from case studies to political issues, business issues, and individual comments on healthcare. Although it draws primarily from established healthcare bloggers, the guidelines state as follows: "Remember, the target audience here is not other medical bloggers, or people in the healthcare industry. It's the educated but nonmedical readers coming from general-interest blogs. So write for that audience, if only for this one post (even if your blog is about echocardiography). The idea is to introduce the wider world to the growing medical blogosphere-the doctors, nurses, students, administrators, EMTs, techs, and patients who blog."


Medicine 2.0. The blog carnival of Web 2.0 and Medicine was initiated in 2007 by Bertalan Mesko, a medical student at the University of Debrecen in Hungary and is archived at Here is the mission statement on the site: "We're pretty sure that Web 2.0, the new generation of Web services, will (and already is playing) play an important role in the future of medicine. These Web tools, expert-based community sites, medical blogs, and wikis can ease the work of physicians and scientists (and medical students as well)." Among other topics, this blog frequently addresses how healthcare and medical education are being addressed in the Second Life Web site (


To follow a blog's postings, you could bookmark the Web site for frequent visits or, better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed. Once you have subscribed to a site, your computer checks for new content automatically without you having to go to each site. If you are new to RSS, I highly suggest that you visit the site "RSS in Plain English" at In about 4 minutes, you will have a clear understanding of how to take advantage of this means of collecting information. Whether you download and install a feed reader on your personal computer, use a Web-based reader such as Google Reader ( or Bloglines (, or even have them delivered as e-mail using Send Me RSS (, you will find a rich collection of commentary, perspectives, and clinical information.


Meet some new friends. Go to a carnival!


Contributed by


William Perry, MA, RN