Medical Weblogs – FAQ

The new version of – The News Aggregator for Medical Topics is now oficially live.  This entry will serve as an FAQ for the new version of the site.

  • What's a medical weblog?
    A weblog is … uh .. well, let's look it up in the wikipedia:  Definition: Weblog

    So now you know what a weblog is.  What's a medical weblog?  It's a weblog with a focus on medicine.  Some medical weblogs are by physicians .. some by people with a certain disease or condition .. some by healthcare technology workers, pharmacists, EMTs, nurses, medical students, residents .. you get the idea.

    A key component of personal weblogs we've chosen for inculsion in is that they are not devoted to selling something.  Sure .. some of the weblogs have amazon ads or google ads on them, but the primary purpose of the site is not to generate revenue or sell somthing that generates revenue.  If you notice that one of the sites we include IS doing this, please let us know by using the contact form on the main page.

  • What is the history of medical weblogs?  The first medical weblog was David Theige's MedEdnews.  Inspired by Dave winer's Scripting News, David was an avid weblogger, and made many wonderful contributions to medical education with this resource.  From The Internet Archive, one can see that David's very early work – called "an Educator's Journal" - goes back to December 3, 1998.  Alas, David seems to have lost interest in blogging, as MedEdNews hasn't been updated since 2001.  

    Also inspired by Winer, Jacob Reider's weblog (ok .. that's me .. but I sound more important in the 3rd person, don't I?) was first published in its current form on November 14, 1999.  I think that this makes it the second (and longest running) medical weblog, but I'd be happy to be corrected!

    The sites generally followed Winer's style – serving as a method of sharing useful information found on the web. 

    With the maturing tools, weblogs took off – as did medical weblogs.  Steve Hoffman wrote the first (that I know of) non-physician medical weblog; Sydney Smith, and Dr Bob were early arrivals who remain some of the most popular webloggers .. and then (predictably) .. on came the next generation with a vengance.  In fact, I'm surprised that it took so long for the medical students and residents to catch on, but I think that by a few months from now the "trainee" weblogs will outnumber the attending physicians. 

  • How does work?
    With an RSS or Atom feed, Any weblog post is available in a format that other computers can read.  So asks your weblog if it has any new posts.  We do this every 30 minutes right now.  Someday soon, we'll proably accept a "ping" from your weblog so that we don't have to ask your weblog if you have a new post .. it will just tell us.  Once we get this worked out on our end, we'll tell you how to do it on your end.  Like most things weblog, It's easy. reads all of these feeds, then organizes them in reverse chronological order.  So the newest posts are on top. 
  • How are medical weblogs arranged? 
    We have several categories.  If you Think we've arranged them incorrectly, or if you're thinking one is in the wrong place, please let us know by using the contact form.
  • Why isn't my weblog in
    There are usually two reasons why we don't have you in here.
    • We don't know about your weblog.  Please let us know and we'll add you.
    • You don't have an RSS or Atom feed.  You need one for medlogs to read your weblog.  Please read the documentation for your blogging software.  It's usually a matter of turning it on. 

That's it for now.  I'll update this post as time permits.  If you have additional questions that you think I should put in the FAQ, please let me know.