#NewsSpeak: making sense of the Barts-MS blog

Decoding our blog posts using #hastags and labels. #NewsSpeak

As you are probably aware blogging platforms, such as Blogger, are not ideal for curating content. They simply put posts up one after the other in a long series and older posts get lost with time. The blog search engine helps find old posts and works well with the labels. 

Google Search on the web also finds  old posts. The latter works well if you include ‘MS Blog’,  ‘Barts-MS’  or ‘Barts Blog’ as part of the search terms. 

A smart way of following the blog is by email, i.e. you need to register using the web version of blogger. The number of people following our blog by email numbers in the thousands. This works well, but if we are doing a survey you still have to visit the site to complete it; we can’t embed surveys into emails from the blog. 

We are aware that some of the posts are very technical and pwMS don’t understand them. To get around this issue I hashtag all my posts with labels to allow you to filter what you read. The following is a list of the most commonly used #hashtags

#ClinicSpeak – for pwMS with information that will help with the clinical management of your MS

#ResearchSpeak – a post on the interpretation of an article related to MS research

#NeuroSpeak – a post for HCPs, in particular neurologists, about the management of MS

#NurseSpeak – a post for MS clinical nurse specialists about the management of MS

#PharmaSpeak – a post for pharmaceutical representatives

#NewsSpeak – a post on breaking news relevant to MS

#PoliticalSpeak – a post on topic linked to health policy

#TeachSpeak – these posts are related to specific posts around teaching about a specific topic. 

#SurveySpeak – a post that includes an embedded survey.

#ResultsSpeak – a post that presents the results of a survey done on the blog

#GuestPost – a post from someone who is not part of Barts-MS. These are usually invited posts, but we will accept requests (no advertising please).

#ThinkSpeak – these are posts that are me thinking aloud on a host of topics that may or may not be relevant to MS. I have now moved these posts off this blog onto Medium, a new social media platform. 

Then there are a lot of labels I use that tell you a post is relevant to a specific campaign or topic. 

#BrainHealth – about our ‘Brain Health: Time is Brain’ is campaign

#ThinkHand – about our campaign to increase awareness of the importance of hand function in MS

#ChariotMS – about our campaign to do a trial in pwMS who are already using wheelchairs

#CharcotProject – posts about our research initiative into the viral cause of MS

#CrowdSpeak – this usually refers to fundraising campaigns

#DigestingScience – our education initiative targeting children of people with MS

#MSResearchDay – posts advertising or discussing our Research days. 

#ECTRIMS2017 – posts about the upcoming ECTRIMS congress in Paris

#ABN2017 – posts on the 2017 Association of British Neurologists meeting

#AAN2018 – posts relevant to next year’s AAN meeting

From time to time we will use bespoke #hashtags that will be self-explanatory. 

Some other tips:

Apart from using email and physical visits to the blog there are simple web tools you can use and programme to deliver notifications via email or your smartphone about posts with a specific #hashtag. I personally use IFTTT , which stands for “If this then that”. IFTTT allows you to create recipes, or short programmes, that are triggered whenever we do a post with a specific label you want to follow. Zapier is very similar to IFTTT and offers more tools, but you have to subscribe to its services. 

If you use Microsoft Office or similar email application, you can also simply use an RSS feed to deliver an email of all our blog posts to your email inbox. 

Finally, you can subscribe to different feeds from the blog (e.g. atom feed). Depending on which browser you are using and which RSS reader it uses it may, or may, not load all the posts or comments. 

CoI: none in relation to this post

15 thoughts on “#NewsSpeak: making sense of the Barts-MS blog”

  1. Prof G I think you should continue to write #ThinkSpeak posts on this site. Most of us don't want to have to follow two, or more, sites to catch-up with your thinking.

    1. Sorry to disappoint, but as part of the professionalisation of the blog we need to focus on why the blog was started, who the blog is for and what contents is posted. The blog is not a soapbox for me to ruminate on issues unrelated to MS.

  2. I have been following this blog for years and it only makes sense now. Pity you didn't write this post years ago.

    1. Yes, please use unrelated comments and questions. We will create a new one each month. You can access this via the navigation bar on the web version of the blog.

  3. What's clear is that the Blog has gone well beyond it's aim of interpreting MS research. You've created a monster that keeps growing and wants to cover absolutely everything connected to MS e.g. Brexit, politics… If i was newly dx and came to this Blog I'd be shellshocked by it all. Who is the Blog for? Researchers. pwMS, Mouse Doctor, MS nurses, neuros, pharma? Most empires ultimately failed because they stretched out too far – I fear this Blog is going the same way.

    1. I know why I post and the audience is varied, but if we look at the research you can only post on what's published and we can only post on vitamin D, smoking, etc so many times. It becomes boring writing the same things over and over again.For example Should we do this new paper?Nr4a1 plays a crucial modulatory role in Th1/Th17 cell responses and CNS autoimmunity. Wang LM, Zhang Y, Li X, Zhang ML, Zhu L, Zhang GX, Xu YM.Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Sep 26. pii: S0889-159or simply point you to this site, that provides numerous data sets that questions the information on which the whole study is based on.http://biogps.org/#goto=genereport&id=3164or point to thishttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26523867

    2. I guess people who are newly diagnosed do come to this site.If you are newly diagnosed What do you think. We have always said that we are like an onion and you need to peel us slowly

  4. Wonder if a smaller "theory/debate" subcategory can be added (it is under the research umbrella) that will focus on the theories about the cause of MS (Ts-Bs etc) so we can have a more whole view on the trends running, and make it easier to go back to older posts to withdraw information and compare.

  5. Please pass this message to the mice and their doctor. Maybe putting a list of the hashtags you use on the left or right hand column might be a good idea as well.

  6. Another thing that would hugely help me with the more technical posts is if it was possible to kind of hyperlink the scientific terms. So that if you hovered over the word it would show to the relevant passage in the Glossary section that explains what the term means.

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