Monday, January 12, 2009

Global Health News Feeds, Part Three

In the spirit of sharing what you are already doing, I have made my Google reader subscriptions to the global health blogs I regularly follow publicly available. Most of these bloggers post once or fewer times a day so having all their posts collected in once place is incredibly convenient and no single voice (or small group of voices) drowns out all the others--something to cherish on the Internet and in life. No editing is involved--the posts are all generated automatically, although there is a delay between when the posts are published and when they appear in the feed but that is usually not a problem.

Separately, I am still maintaining a Global Health Mini-blog with my own picks of five interesting news and blog posts per day. In this case, I comb all my general news feeds looking for topics that have some bearing on global health issues.

I find this dual approach to feeds--one automated and one touched by human hands or "curated" in the new journalism lingo--necessary because we still do not have a semantic web that understands that items about malaria AND girl's education AND sanitation, etc. all fall under the rubric of "global health."

The next step would be to have a kind of Slashdot or Digg approach to global health news--where lots of folks post their own RSS collections of global health-specific items and then the group votes on the submissions. But there again, you would need some kind of mechanism to make sure that a few voices don't drown out all the others.

Of course, neither Slashdot or Digg even has a global health channel in the first place--another example of how the web often actually narrows the global conversation instead of broadening it. By the way, the Boston Globe had a great piece by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow in November 2008 about how the web drives out diversity.

Also, per John Wilpers' comment on January 8, I have agreed to share the Global Health Report's RSS feeds through Global Post, the new international news website, which is launching today.

Related posts:
How to Build Your Own Global Health News Feed
Global Health News Feeds, Part Two

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