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medical blogs not protecting the patient

Physicians and nurses who maintain blogs are not taking sufficient measures to protect the identity of the patients about whom they write, according to a study published last week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Los Angeles Times reports. For the 2006 study, author Tara Lagu — a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar and an internal medicine specialist — examined 271 blogs that were maintained by physicians or nurses.

The study found that about 65% of the blogs are written anonymously. The remainder included identifying names of their authors. About 45 blogs, or 17%, “included sufficient information for patients to identify their doctors or themselves,” the study said. About 42% of the blogs contained accounts of private interactions with patients and three blogs displayed photographic images of patients that easily made them recognizable. Despite only a few blogs including conflict of interest disclosures, 11.4% of the blogs contained postings that promoted specific pharmaceutical or medical device products.

According to the Times, some of the physicians and nurses use their blogs “to blow off steam and share their experiences in a profession that most agree has become more trying in recent years,” while others use their blogs to share interesting information, such as medical studies. Lagu said that at least half of the blogs discuss health care policy and other politics-related issues. A few also use blogs as educational tools.

Lagu said that as blogs increasingly become a way for medical personnel to discuss their work and share their frustrations, privacy has become an issue. “It’s time for us to take some responsibility and really think of how we can maintain the integrity of this process,” she said


resources on small business blogs

Small Business Blogs

It stands to reason that budding businesspeople would be attracted to Weblogs, those do-it-yourself publishing sites that embody the very spirit of entrepreneurism. What do blogs add to the small-business dialogue that a whole host of magazines, cable channels and Web sites don’t? In addition to transmitting news, industry gossip and occasional rants, the best small business blogs offer interactivity, allowing readers to chime into the dialogue with their own bright ideas. There are, unfortunately, too many small business blogs peddling the same prosaic resources you can get from a simple google search. The better ones at least offer fresh insight on the mundane and first-hand accounts from the entrepreneurial front lines. — Lea Goldman

Forbes Favorite – Forbes Favorite Forbes Best of The Web pick – Forbes Best of The Web pick
Read our Review for: Visit:
Duct Tape Marketing Forbes Favorite www.ducttapemarketing.com/weblog.php
All Business Blog Center Forbes Best of The Web pick www.allbusiness.com/blog/metablog.asp
Church of the Customer Forbes Best of The Web pick customerevangelists.typepad.com/blog
Fresh Inc Forbes Best of The Web pick blog.inc.com
Small Business Trends Forbes Best of The Web pick www.smallbusinesses.blogspot.com
BusinessWorks businessworks.blogspot.com
Entrepreneurial Mind forum.belmont.edu/cornwall
Small Business Brief www.smallbusinessbrief.com

your online reputation

Today’s consumer is smarter than yesterday’s consumer, and with the technology available to make educated purchasing decisions efficiently and quickly, Web-savvy buyers are making the most of the tools they have at their disposal. Online reviews are permeating the Web in all shapes and sizes, from reviews of a local pizza shop to posted commentary on a new piece of software. Consumer-generated content is the new word-of-mouth advertising Learn how you can enhance your email marketing program today. Free Trial - Click Here., and its increase in popularity is attributable to the simplicity with which reviews can be posted on virtually anything.

In today’s connected world, business hours don’t exist, and consumers seem to have less free time. Maximizing the time they do have is important, and more consumers are looking to the Web to find that trusted merchant for that item or service.

However, risks can be associated with this new dynamic in purchasing behavior for the consumer and the merchant. For merchants, when a qualified consumer is looking for the best and most trusted vendor of a particular product, reviews can be skewed. The very nature of consumer-generated content on the Web suggests that in some circumstances, unknowing merchants are at an enormous disadvantage.

For consumers, non-authentic reviews can be misleading. Consumers can be swayed by an overwhelmingly positive review and select a merchant based on that alone, potentially overlooking a trusted, reputable merchant.

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Managing Purchases and Reputation

While educated consumers often are cautious about where and how they make purchases online, most consumers simply don’t know which merchants are the most trustworthy. This can represent an incredibly dangerous situation, where the consumer can put him or herself at risk for shady merchants to take orders without the intent to fill them. Additionally, there are untrustworthy merchants who set up shop specifically to steal from novice consumers who freely offer their personal and credit card information, thinking they are making a simple purchase. Much of today’s cybercrime is directly attributable to the uninformed consumer.

However, an informed and experienced online consumer knows where and when to make purchases on the Web. Experience can mean everything from regularly making purchases on a certain site to paying bills online regularly. It’s important for consumers to know where and when to provide personal information while making any purchase online, and consumers can make those determinations through online reviews. Consumers who post online reviews are often helping other consumers find reputable merchants.

For merchants, understanding today’s consumer means knowing consumer behavior and knowing where consumer-generated content is posted, relevant to their business. Smart merchants know that it’s essential to comprehend the increasing number of sites that feature reviews and the power they have within the business community. When reputable merchants are actively involved in the world of online reviews, they are typically much more successful than those who aren’t paying attention. Those who are paying attention most likely will have embarked on a reputation management program, where they are proactively managing reviews with their customers.

The world of reviews can impact merchants in any number of ways. Any person — a competitor, a highly emotional (and perhaps irrational) customer, or even someone who has never done business with the merchant — can post a review, whether it’s authentic or completely inaccurate, and this can sink a small business HP LaserJet M3035 MFP series -  Starting at $1,599. Save up to $500. Click Here.. Conversely, a merchant who understands the value of consumer-generated content and decides to take proactive measures through an effective reputation management program can manage content.

This is perhaps the easiest way for the merchant to not only have a say in what’s being posted online but also attempt to resolve any real gripes that might be posted elsewhere. Effective reputation management platforms typically consist of an easy and automated way to collect, manage and promote authentic customer reviews on their sites.

Best Practices for Managing Your Online Reputation

Today’s Web-savvy consumers are looking for a few key features before they buy online that merchants should employ, such as the following:

  • Site Security and PrivacyThe Web can be an enormous maze to navigate for online purchasers. Security typically plays a major role in consumer and merchant confidence. In fact, a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project study reported that 75 percent of participants do not like sending personal or credit card information over the Internet. Despite this fear, almost 70 percent of the respondents feel that shopping online saves time, and almost 80 percent feel it is convenient, the report also states.Secure sites should have trust seals like VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) Latest News about VeriSign, or McAfee Latest News about McAfee, which ensure that a Web site is safe and that a consumer’s personal information will be protected. It’s not just the seal or the logo that represents this level of trust; it’s the authentication or validation technology behind it. Only a handful of companies can truly secure an online transaction or verify that a Web site employs safe practices.
  • Customer Reviews and FeedbackConsumers look for online reviews and feedback of businesses. They share experiences and opinions about businesses across the Web, and more than 80 percent of those who read reviews said that their purchasing decisions have been directly influenced by those reviews, according to Deloitte & Touche.Consumer-generated reviews, especially if authenticated (i.e. via e-mail or other authentication techniques) and validated by a third party, are a powerful tool and can provide valuable insight into a merchant or product. Consumers look for online reviews and ratings about brick-and-mortar businesses, as well.

    On the flip side, always highlight to visitors that you’re open to customer feedback, by making it easy for consumers to actually give you feedback, and by being proactive by asking for it at every relevant opportunity — for example on checkout pages, outbound e-mails and other customer communications.

  • Policies and Contact InformationThere’s nothing worse than being promised a gift to arrive by a certain date and then not getting it in time or simply not getting the product ordered. Shoppers can determine the quality of a business by the way it handles any customer complaints or disputes.A reputable business should display contact information clearly, including a physical address and phone number; have strong return and refund policies; and provide a mechanism to collect feedback and resolve any disputes that may arise. Additionally, bonded merchants guarantee purchases with a bond from a trusted third party.

Consumers don’t always arrive at a retailer’s site directly or with previous knowledge of the site. By providing security Free Trial. Security Software As A Service From Webroot. information, online reviews and displaying clear policies, consumers will have a better handle on the business itself, feel more confident, and can make more informed shopping decisions.

What is the purpose of a business blog?

There was some feedback from my interview on Blog Squad Radio last week about the Compendium Approach to Business Blogging was too Corporate.

I posted this reply:

I wanted to thank you both for a great session last week. Your questions were insightful and I really appreciate your open-mindedness for some of these new concepts.

A successful relationship requires direct communication. To get the right to build a relationship with a customer or prospect you have to first be found, second build credibility that a relationship with you will add value to the prospect or customer.

Blogging is spectacular for this stage of the relationship. From that point however 99% of the time that relationship is going to evolve to leverage some other medium…which might include face-to-face, email, telephone or even paper based things like catalogs.

You guys are a perfect case to show that a successful blogging program shouldn’t be measured by the number of comments…but from the amount of traffic and conversions.Thanks again,

Chris Baggott, CEO
Compendium Blogware

Advanced Business Blogging Strategy, requires that your employee and constituent content should be mostly about your business. Blog about your solutions, your customers, your aspirations as it relates to your products & services. This is what people are searching for…great blog information that helps them and builds trust.

blogging for business

Big Corporatations try and make things so complicated. I always say that innovation starts at the bottom…the so called Minor Leagues. Think sports marketing, everything cool in sports marketing (bat night, concerts, fireworks…even frisbee dogs) started in Minor League Baseball.

This is especially true in business blogging. With the advent of Affordable blogging software, some of our best bloggers turn out to be coming not from the ivory towers of the fortune 500, but from the SMB’s. Forget Jonathan Schwartz or Robert Scoble…

Root Beer Float Recipe from Business Blogger Lizan Brand of Greenfield LiquorsIf you want to emulate great Blogging Best Practices, pay attention to Lizan Brand.

Lizan is focused on Blogging for Search. She highlights high value and unusual products using all the best SEO tactics including the right keywords, geo targeting and blended search favorites like video. Why?

So when someone is looking for a specific product or a drink recipe in Greenfield or any of the surrounding communities like the big city of Indianapolis, she’s the number one choice.

As a result, she has been featured in the Indianapolis paper which is over 20 miles from her store. This week she was featured in DMNews (trust me, she doesn’t consider herself a direct marketer) and the things that she blogs about, she is now buying by the case. This is the best thing about Business Blogging, telling a great story about things that move your business forward.

Sure Greenfield Liquors sells 6 packs of cold Miller Lite, but her profits come from high end wine and Liquor. Blogging on these topics rings the cash register.