All ages and professions need to get with Web 2.0

This one is a couple of weeks old, but recently came to my attention. Richard Smith, ex-editor of the British Medical Journal, CEO of BMJ Publishing and now involved with open access journals, wrote a terrific blog on the BMJ about how doctors need to expose themselves to the world of Web 2.0/Health 2.0 and the possibilities it presents.

He writes, “Web 2.0 has the potential to improve global health greatly and to solve complex problems in health science. (However,) the barriers to these potential achievements are social and cultural, not technological.

“The machines we can fix. It’s the people – particularly old timers (that’s anybody over 40) – that are the problem.” Smith, who is 56, has some simple advice for his fellow old-timers. “The only way to really understand Web 2.0,” he says, “is to jump in and start using it.”

He recommends everyone sign up for Facebook and concludes, “The essence of Web 2.0 is that it’s bottom up and participative: it’s created by the many, not the few…. Doctors, I fear, are too fond of a top down world – because they are usually at the top. But that top down world is crumbling. Think of Nicolae Ceausescu’s statue being hauled down and smashed. That’s the old world of Web 1.0. Get with Web 2.0 in a serious way or become a yesterday’s person.”

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