Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Google Reader to Facebook Journal Club Part II

The previous post on a model for using Google Reader and Facebook to create a Journal Club got a lot of responses.  I also added some refinements to the Model.  Here is a summary:

  1. Concern about residents/students having to friend the faculty members of the group:  Group members do not have to be friends. So this should not be a concern. 
  2. Using Groups vs Pages.  The biggest problem with FB Pages is that they cannot be closed or secret.  Students and residents would have concerns about their comments being visible to future employers and thus Pages are out.  
  3. Secret vs. Closed Group.  If you make the group secret, them folks cannot even find it and so the group admin has to invite each member to the group.  This requires, I think, for the invitee to be a friend of the admin.With a closed group, the group name is still visible to non-members who can ask to be invited.  The advantage of a secret group is that comments made by members and not visible to their non-member friends. Group creators should not change their group from secret to closed without approval of the members.
  4. Keeping the group active:  Members may not remember to visit the group even though they are logged into their Facebook account.  Posts on the Group wall will not show up on the members news feed.  Members will see posts by group members who are friends.  Thus members with friends who are active posters in the group will keep getting reminded to visit the group.  Admins can send e-mail notifications to group members to alert them about some critical posts.  Judicious use of this might help improve group activity.  Members can elect to get notified of posts.  None of these are ideal.  Wish FB would make for automatic posting of group messages on member walls an option.
  5. Too many posts could be intimidating.  Would be a good idea to classify/organize the posts by specialty for example.  One way to do this is to have an RSS stream for each specialty's journals.  (or create tags for each specialty in Google reader and create a public RSS feed for each tag). Them import that feed into the Group using RSS Graffiti but under "Post as" select a different person.  Thus one could create a fictitious Pulmonary Doc FB account, make that person one of the admins for the group, and post all pulmonary journal articles under that person's name.  Use an image of the lungs for that Pulmonary Doc's profile pic.  Thus all posts of journal articles related to the lungs would be tagged by an image of the lungs.

Example of creating a cardiology feed with an image of the heart for quick identification
 So that's it for a quick update.

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