A new year and we've been chewing over how many specialist news feeds we've provided over the years.
By specialist I mean devoted to a particular area of health and medicine.By news feed I mean several news items a week - or even daily. And that's not always easy when the topic is very, very specialised. That's a little different from taking a general health news feed and tagging news stories. We do that on our own news pages and we do that for other people.
The most specialist we've ever done? It has to be hepatitis C. Not B or A, just C. We were doing that news feed that at a fascinating time when the new pegylated interferon medicines were just being developed. It was very newsy!
Via our Doctors.net.uk syndication agreement, we do cancer news for Simply4Doctors.co.uk. Doctors.net.uk members also have access to sub-categories of cancer news.
We also do haematology for bloodmed.com - or rather hematology as the style is American English.
Over the 14 years of our being in existence, the list has included:
* cancer - three times
* mental health and psychiatry (at least twice)
* hepatitis C
* medical technology.
We even started work on a news feed on medical marijuana at one point. All legitimate. That didn't work out - the flow of news was a little laid back.
The secret of a successful specialist news feed is for us to get right the likely amount of news. We also need to understand exactly what the client wants. Some want all the stories to be very specialist. Others like a broader feed, of interest to their users, with a particular emphasis on their specialist topic. When we get the match right, we get a successful service - one that's useful to users, enhances a web-site and, from our point of view, showcases what we can do.