Friday: Intern Topic of the Day III “Where does Grand Rounds Go from Here?”
An interesting post from this week’s Grand Rounds. It seems the Grand Rounds are getting a little, how shall we say,…Grand!
From California Medicine Man:
Is it possible that Grand Rounds are getting too big? Perhaps those that host it might consider paring down the number of entries that are actually published more? It's getting difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff!I thought about it for a while and found that the proposal would pose a set of problems:
Perhaps we need to decide what the purpose of Grand Rounds should be? To increase the traffic of all who submit entries or to elevate and educate those that come to Grand Rounds to read and learn and gather insight from the many different perspectives represented (Physicians, nurses, researchers, administrators, payers and of course patients).
Personally, I'd opt for the latter. The great thing about the blogosphere is its democratic nature. Traffic comes to those who write clearly and have something to say. Grand Rounds should be one more way of bringing readers to the "best" of the medical blogs. Far be it for me to define what the "best" is. I'm perfectly content to have the criteria for that decision vary from week to week depending on who the host is.
I'd simply recommend that those hosts limit the number of entries on each given week. It's unrealistic to expect that every entry (or given the explosion of medical blogs, even most entries) are of equivalent interest to readers. I'd like to see the hosts worry less about potentially offending bloggers whose entries on a given edition were rejected.
I'm not in any way advocating a form of elitism here. Each blog entry should be taken at its face value for consideration. Each participant in the world of medical blogging should be judged on an equal footing by the hosts.
I think this will move us away from the more superficial objective of simply increasing traffic to our own blogs.
1. Those who write well, write well: Isn’t it possible, or even probable, that the same bloggers would get picked to be included every week. That instead of Grand Rounds reflecting the medical blogosphere that it would end up being a compilation of the ten, consistently, best bloggers. Wouldn’t that be a contradiction to why carnivals were created in the first place?
I always thought it was to give the small guys a little exposure and maybe, eventually, a bigger following.
2. The blogosphere depends on links: And although I have nothing but the highest respect for everyone involved in putting the rounds together each week. Could the prospect of a lucrative link (big blogger, lots of traffic) loom in the back of the hosts’ mind and, let’s just say, slightly bias the selection process? It’s not double blind you know.
This week’s host addressed the issue on his own blog after the carnival:
When determining what to include in Grand Rounds this week I decided to be ruthless in my exclusion decisions. I excluded posts from many bloggers including those who make up some of my most prominent sidebar links and are on my blogroll (my favorite bloggers). I hope that those whose posts were excluded don't take offense or think that I don't like your blogs. This certainly isn't the case.No offense taken, my submission was omitted, so what? But I have a level head and knew that I’d been included in the Rounds before, many times. I have a readership, a pretty good one. So I wasn’t offended.
But what about the little guy? If this was the first or second time he/she submits and he gets rejected once or twice, he may just never submit again. Well, he wouldn’t link to Grand Rounds, he wouldn’t support it. Wouldn’t we then be losing readership?
So Nick, whataya gonna do now?
And, what do you think?