May 30, 2007

Web 2.0 : A Sharing Culture


share button


am almost 2 years in the United States. I am an applicant for the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates(ECFMG). This is a country with people from all around the world. During the time I took for my preparation to pass the USMLE steps 1 and 2, I had the chance to meet people from Middle East. What I like about their culture, among many different things, is the fact that they are like a big family. They help each other while they are here. I write about that because this principle of collaboration in a group is really important to understand what the Web 2.0 can allow you to do. Before to come here I did not have a personal computer, neither free access to internet at any time. Now with both of them I can access lot of information I could not before. Today, I want to collaborate sharing some links that all international medical graduates, who wants to do their residency in the United States of America, will like. These are links to pages that contain videos of how to make physical examinations, how to have a clinical encounter with a patient in different situations. You do not need a password or to pay in order to watch the videos, you just have to make click. By watching these videos you are not breaking any law. These videos were made to help people in the medical field. So use them. I made this blog with this purpose, to share the information I can access with others, but I realize that to give the information is not enough, people must play an active role in their self-education, so if you want other links related with medicine, you can email me. If you want more material to prepare for the USMLE just check out Ebay search for "usmle videos" and watch out what you find. Or maybe you can try to use programs like emule, if you have never use programs like these before you will be amazed. Finally, if you are asking yourself why am I doing that? why do I share this information? what do I want in exchange for the information I give with my blog? the answer is simple: NOTHING, just because. I hope in the future a culture of sharing with no interest will born.

May 24, 2007

Web 2.0: Directory List Where to Start


web 2.0 directory


have been writing about Web 2.0 in this blog and I know that some of you have heard about Web 2.0 and would like to be involved with it but do not know where to start. When you look for "web 2.0" in Google 168,000,000 results will come up. If you look for "web 2.0 and medicine" 4,730,000 results will come up. This huge amount of pages that talk about Web 2.0 makes difficult to know where to start. That is reason today I will leave here a small list of Web 2.0 directories. Personaly I use Go2Web20, you have to pick the tag that best describe what you are looking for, and all the pages that are related with this tag will appear.

A tag is a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (e.g. a picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information.(Wikipedia)

Remember that "tags" are really important, we the people tag the pages, not the programmers. That is an important difference in comparison with the old web. I consider that this is a feature that make the Web 2.0 so powerful, because is the people who feed the web with their ideas.


     Web 2.0 Directory lists:
     1.- Go2Web20
     2.- Web 2.0's Top 1,000 List!
     3.- Web 2.0 Search Engine
     4.- Listio
     5.- Web 2 List

May 21, 2007

Web 2.0: A Read/Write Web


Read/Write Web


o learn how to use the web is not an easy job, it takes time. A lot of time and effort maybe, depending on how much you know about computers and how much you want to learn about them. Sometimes I think that if more people would know about the Web 2.0 and their principles, we would be living a cultural revolution, but the economical interests created around the business of knowledge are so powerful that the change will take time to become hundred percent real. It is better to let the people think they are free to do whatever they want when the true is the opposite. Sometimes I think that we live in the era of slavery. They do not domain our bodies with chains, but our mind with their ideas. For all of that it is important to learn that the web is not only to read but to write, to create, to share and to collaborate. Looking back in time I realize that the process of learning how to use the web pass through many steps:

     1.- Read only others work
     2.- Read and copy others work
     3.- Read, copy and paste others work
     4.- Read, copy, paste and remix others work
     5.- Read, copy, paste, remix and write your own work by yourself
     6.- Read, copy, paste, remix and write a work in collaboration with others

So, in which step you are? do not be afraid to use your computer and express your ideas. Take advantage of all the information and all the people you can find on the web.

May 20, 2007

Web 2.0: A Web Not Only to Read


Read-Only Web


hat we can do with our computers will depend on how curious we can be, most of the people use the web to read only, to watch videos only, to listen music only, the web used to be to do that: "to read-only". But not anymore, because the web 2.0 allow us to do lot of things without the necessity of computer literacy, but even when this is a fact, most of the people still just read and will read only while using the internet. As far as I see there is a long way to create a digital culture, to know about computers not only mean to know how to push a button. This process of learning will take time, it is really difficult to get the people engaged with the concept of digital literacy and efficient use of internet. So what we can do with our computers, What is the limit? just your imagination.

An example of what a medical student with a computer can do:

May 15, 2007

Web 2.0: The Web as a Medical Platform


The Web as a Platform


friend asked me what is the Web 2.0. I know it is not easy to explain it but I will try. Web 2.0 has many different definitions. Not all the people, who talk about it, are agree with this term. For me a definition I like is Web 2.0 is "The Web as a Platform". But what exactly this concept means? I am going to explain it in my own words, with no technical terms. The Web as a platform means that "if you want to do something with the computer you will do it online by using the browser. You do not need to install nothing or almost nothing at all in order to do that". Ten years ago each time I need to do something with the computer I follow the next steps: first I look for the software to do that, then I download the software -a huge size usually-, after that I install the software in the computer, and finally I was able to do what I was suppose to do. Now, you can do the same with your browser. You do not need a fancy operative system as Microsoft pretends to sell you its Vista. But what can you do with the browser? To explain it I am going to show you what I do with my browser.

default browser Click Here to see My customized Browser

"A web browser is a software application that enables a user to display and interact with text, images, and other information typically located on a web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network."(Wikipedia)

Firefox The first step in order to use the web as a platform is to choose the right browser. Firefox is by far better than internet explorer, more stable, safer, and it allows you total customization. If you want to learn more about why Firefox is better than IE click here. To download Firefox and to install it click here

"Toolbar is a row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when clicked, activate certain functions of the program."(Wikipedia)

Google toolbar:
Google Toolbar
Then I start with the customization of my browser. The first tool I install is Google Toolbar. There are many different toolbars you can find on internet, but this is the one I use for several reasons. To download and to install it click here

Google Toolbar Buttons:
You can customize your Google Toolbar. To do that you have to go to the right side of the bar, click in settings and then click in options. You can add or deleted features from the bar as you want. To learn about the features of the Google Toolbar click here. Here an explanation of some of the features I use:

Search only the current Web site Search only the current Web site button allows you to save a lot of time. Web sites sometimes are big that is so difficult and time consuming to find out what we are looking for. To use it you need to type your query in the search box of the toolbar and make click in the Search only the current Web site button and that's it.

Search the web for images Search the web for images button. Instead of open the Google Image page each time you look for an image, just type your query in the search box of the toolbar and make click in the Search the web for images button.

Gmail Gmail button allow you to access your gmail account directly by making click in this button. To open a Gmail account click here

Bookmark Bookmarks button. I use this button to save pages that I like but are of my interest only, instead of saving it in my account where I save web pages related with medicine and internet only.

PageRank PageRank button tells you how Google assesses the importance of the page you are viewing. The parameter Google use in order to rank a page are different, but obviously as high the rank higher the chances to find good information in a page;although this is not always true.

IE tab IE tab button. For many technical reasons some pages do not look well in Firefox. Fortunately, IE tab button allow you switch from Firefox to IE without leaving Firefox.
to download this add-on and install it click here

Google Services:
With the same Google account you can use other services Google offers, you can access your information from anywhere using a computer with internet connection. To find the service or services that best fit to your necessities visit the Google Products page. Do not forget to check Google labs. Here a list of some of the services I use:

Google Reader I wrote about RSS ( Really Simple Syndication) in a previous post, to keep myself updated with the news of the pages I like the most I use Google Reader. I can access to it just by clicking a button in my browser. To open an account click here

Google Docs and Spreadshets Services like this are many, some better than others. If you do not have Microsoft Office and need to type a document, this is the service you are looking for. There is no necessity to install a software you have to open an account only. To open an account click here

Google Analytics I use this to control the flow of my blog, to learn about what do people look in my blog, I get lot of information with this service. To open an account click here

Google Page Creator This is a service to create a web page, It is really easy to use. To open an account click here

Google Gmail Google Gmail is a wonderful email service. Not only for the almost unlimited size of the account but many other features. To open an account click here

Google Notebook When I have an idea, but I do not want to forget it to work on it later on, I use this service. To open an account click here

Google Blogger Now to create a blog is easier than years before. I use blogger in order to do that. To open an account click here

Bookmark Toolbar Folder:
With Firefox you can put direct links to you favorites page in the browser, so you can access this pages just by making click on the buttons. Here some direct links to pages I use:

ConnoteaWith huge amounts of information on internet, we have to learn how to save it, for article from different journals I read I use my Connotea account.
to open an account click here

SlideShareTo share my presentations online I use SlideShare, I access my account just by make click in this button. To open an account click here

Web 2.0 and MedicineI put a direct link in my browser to my blog, but you can put any page you like here in the bookmark toolbar folder.

Firefox Addons:
"Add-ons are small pieces of software that can add new features or tiny tweaks to your Firefox." You can customize your browser as you want and install as many add-ons as you want. Once I read a guy installed two hundred add-ons and Firefox still worked fine. You do not need to install all of them, just the ones that you need. Visit the Firefox Add-on page to find the right tool you would like to install. Here a list of the ones I use: another service to save your bookmarks online, this add-on make it easy to save and to access you account at any time from your browser. To download and install click here

Clipmarks Sometimes while reading a page, watching a video or whatever we are doing while surfing the web, we find information that we consider useful for us, but we just want to save a segment of the page. Clipmarks allow you to do that. To open an account and to install the buttons click here

FlashGotFlashgot is an useful download manager, for example it allow you to save those streaming videos you like but you can not save. To download and install click here

I tried to keep it simple but I realize I did not do well. It seems a complicated process to customize your browser, but if you paid a lot of money to have a computer, why not to get to maximum benefit from it.

May 13, 2007

Feedback : for Medicine 2.0 Your Opinion is Important


Feedback is an interesting word. I learned about it while I was taking physiology classes at the university. I consider that this is a word most of us know and use in our daily life when we practice medicine. I learned that there are to types of feedback: negative and positive. It is easy to mention negative feedback examples, but it is more difficult to think about positive feedback examples. For that matter I just can think in two examples, what occur when we have a surge of estrogen in the menstrual cycle and how an action potential in a skeletal muscle is produced when sodium channels are opened by a positive feedback. A concept of feedback I found on Wikipedia is, "Feedback is the signal that is looped back to control a system within itself". For Web 2.0 and Medicine this concept is of great importance. Feedback "reinforces effective behavior and facilitates change", what is the point of this small discussion can become a topic of interest. The fact that a commentary in a post has a huge power and can generate many different ideas is incredible. But not all of us get use to give an opinion, we are not used to do that, we still feel afraid to express our ideas to others, it is like shame about nothing. What you have to realize is that interaction with other have a enormous potential to create new ideas. Yesterday, I told a friend how easy is now to publish your ideas in a important medical magazine, I told him for example an opinion I published on the British Journal Medicine about the article Dean Giustini wrote in December 2006 about, "How Web 2.0 is Changing Medicine?". Learning how to give and how to receive feedback is paramount. It is among all those things physician must learn nowadays. We have to learn that our opinion is important. We all have something to say, so lets do it.
Recommended Links
Guidelines for Giving Feedback
Giving and Receiving Feedback

May 6, 2007

Web 2.0 and Medicine : Medicine 2.0


Medicine 2.0
A lot of people that I talk to still do not know what is the web 2.0 and do not realize how web 2.0 can be related or can be used to improve our knowledge and practice in medicine. Indeed, some people say that a doctor must be, in a hospital or in a clinic, writing prescriptions instead of being writing in front of a computer about Web 2.0. I made this presentation taking two presentations as references, the presentation of Dean Giustini about "How Web 2.0 is changing medicine" and the presentation of Bertalan Meskó about "Medicine 2.0". As we know medicine is a science and art, and to be a doctor means to know not only about medicine. But, what is web 2.0 ? what web 2.0 is about? what web 2.0 services exist? How web 2.0 can be related with medicine ? To define it, I want to use a non-technical definition, web 2.0 is just the technology anyone can use to share, to create, and to collaborate with others. It is not about the name we have to take care about, but about the fact that it is something that will form part of our daily life. For us, as doctors, the integration of web 2.0 and medicine will lead to something we could name Medicine 2.0, or a new way to see the practice of medicine. Because Medicine 2.0 is about realizing the potential of today's technology in healthcare, it is about working together, it is about getting closer to other colleagues and patients. The use of these technologies will allow us to save time, to share knowledge and experiences, to create knowledge, to collaborate and to participate with others. In such a way, we will have more time to spend involving in the humanistic part of medicine.

Recommended links:
Medicine 2.0 : A slideshow of a new era
How Web 2.0 is changing medicine

May 4, 2007

Lawrence Lessig at Google


Creative Commons
I think that to have a better idea of the changes the Web 2.0 is causing, we have to learn some principles like creative commons, collaboration, sharing, etc. By the moment, the only way you can learn those things is using the internet, because I do not see that a politic of education exists with respect to these topics, while a complete machinery to teach about copyright does. I am almost two years in the United States and I am taking classes at a Community College, and something they teach to you in each class is, "no plagiarism" . If you take an English class you will listen about copyright almost in any class, and all the books you use repeat the same thing. But nobody talks about principles like Creative Commons, collaboration, sharing, etc. That is the reason today I post this video "Authors@Google: Lawrence Lessig". He talks about copyrights, what we can do,what is allowed, who has the control, culture and Google. But mainly he explains what is RO (read only internet) and what is RW (read and write internet). He presents good examples of how, buy and consume control us, how merchants just allow us to buy their products, how do they create more market, more control about how to use, control and consume culture. For example, we buy any song we want on iTunes store, but only to play it on an Ipod. Therefore, now increasingly power to control us exists with copyright. Hence, what freedom do we have?
Fortunately, a read and write culture is born. Create, Share and Creativity have become important for business. Re-edit as you want, be free to do what you want. Nowadays, we can talk and realize about the Power of REMIX culture.

Recommended Links:
Are we a Free Culture?
Are We part of the Human Lobotomy?
What is Creative Commons?