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Web services facilitate communication

by Megan Fink
Public Relations
The next wave of Web-based technology focuses on consumer-generated content, online networking, media convergence and collaboration. Under the guidance of the award-winning Business Development and Marketing Web team, headed by Dave Bennett, MUSC is utilizing several services to enhance internal and external communication.
One of the latest communication endeavors from Business Development and Marketing is the use of blogs, which is the word derived from a combination of Web and logs. Blogs are Web sites that provide commentary and information about a specific topic. The most current entry often is displayed first, followed by subsequent commentaries. There are blogs on almost any topic you can imagine; cancer blogs, blogs on pharmaceutical news and even flu blogs called flubies.
MUSC has entered into the blogging community with two blogs; one from the president and the other from the hospital’s executive medical director.
MUSC President Ray Greenberg described himself as an “accidental blogger.” Ray’s Blog highlights the outstanding work and people at MUSC and provides a personal perspective of what goes into running a hospital. “My hope is to find a way to communicate informally with folks at MUSC and beyond, and to do so in an entertaining way,” said Greenberg. “My blog is unlikely to be the next ‘hot thing,’ but if it helps to get the message out about what is going on here, then it will serve a useful purpose.”
To read and post comments to Ray’s Blog, go online to
While Ray’s Blog targets both internal and external audiences, physician Pat Cawley writes an informational blog specifically for MUSC medical staff; Real-time events are posted like drug shortages and the implementation of new technology. “Not everyone receives information in the same format, so it is important, in order to maintain great communication with the medical staff, that we employ as many different methods as possible,” said Cawley. “Blogs are one method. E-mail, newsletters, wikis, paging, text messaging, and town halls are a few of the others. We must use them all.”
While blogs are fairly new to the MUSC community, other creative communication tactics like podcasts, wikis and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds have been successful new media tactics to share medical information. The latter tactic allows subscribers to stay up-to-date on news coming from their preferred publications, which is then sent to their computer in text form.
According to Bennett, MUSC houses the largest library of podcasts for an academic medical center, with more than 500 available for download. “We produce about 10-15 podcasts each week,” said Bennett.
More than 100 MUSC physicians, faculty and guests have lent their expertise and voice to podcasts, which have reached 155 countries worldwide. Bennett said their strategy is to “go beyond static text where consumers can listen in a comfortable setting.”
MUSC-affiliated podcasts and free RSS feeds from MUSC in the News, Health in the News and Health E-Newsletters can be accessed from Web site visitors can browse podcasts by topic or medical professional. Instructions for subscribing to one of the several news feeds also are listed on this site.


Friday, March 14, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.