Comments, Community, and Groups
Learning how best to use this blog and the larger website (http://www.bidmc.org/breastcaresupport) has been an ongoing process. There are a thousand things that our hospital does better than a major website can do, but it turns out that there are a couple of things that a commercial site (specifically, RevolutionHealth.com) can do better than we. I was spoiled by the very sophisticated infrastructure that they offered for an online group. We had easy, user-friendly systems to encourage postings, sharing, and protect privacy.
At BID, our IS folks are working hard to build us a site that will enable the same kinds of contact. There will, of course, be a real commitment to protecting users' privacy (since that is one of the things that a hospital knows how to do). I spoke most recently with someone at the end of last week and was told, again, that they are hopeful soon to have some solutions.
In the meantime, we are working with an imperfect medium, but one that we could all be using better. I am taking seriously my responsibility to write something on this blog everyday and am hoping that there are people out there who are reading it. In the absence of your leaving comments, there is no way for me to be sure that my typed words aren't just vanishing into cyberspace. Please take a minute, especially if you read something that has been interesting or valuable to you, to write a comment. The comment can just be: "This was helpful.", but it would be even better if you added your own perspective to the topic.
There have been a few women who have already done this--most recently, April wrote a response and question to the blog about "10 Top Ways to Return to Exercise", and I used her thoughts as a basis for the next day's essay. This made my life easier (gave me a topic for the day), and I hope that I answered her questions.
I am a huge believer in the power of community. The community of women with breast cancer that we have built at BIDMC is extraordinary. When I was writing for RevHealth, it became clear that there is a need and an opportunity to build something similar for women all over the country (or even the world). I can't do this by myself.
Our responsibility is to keep working to build a more user-friendly and inviting group website. Your role is to contribute. Please. Here's what you can do right now:
1. Write comments after any blogs of interest. Since there are now two months worth of daily writings, there is sure to be something that is relevant to you. Please, if you read and comment on something that is older than the past week or so, also add a comment to this blog that tells me that you have done so. Otherwise, I might miss it.
2. Join us tomorrow, April 21st, at 8 PM ET for our second online chat. Use the link that is posted above. If these chats succeed, we will plan additional ones and can have some that are topic-focused. Please share your suggestions.
3. Feel free to email me with anything more private: firstname.lastname@example.org I promise to respond quickly.
4. And please stay tuned for updates re an improved site.