Bloggers Wanted for New BHI Blogging Community

February 3, 2009


In 2009 the Better Hearing Institute will be developing a professional blogging community as well as an Internet forum for the general public to join and discuss their hearing health needs. With these web tools it is our intent to move toward an interactive website versus a static site as we have now.

Our immediate need is to recruit from the hearing health field individuals willing to participate in our blogging community by contributing to one or more topical blogs as listed below. Later on in the year we will discuss the development of our Internet forum or online discussion site; at that time we will be recruiting moderators for the discussion site.

Here is an FAQ on what we are attempting to do at BHI with our blogging community.

What’s a Blog?

A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is usually a website maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. At the BHI it will be appended and accessible through our current website www.betterhearing.org from the front page. Because of the commitment involved we will be recruiting multiple bloggers by genre increasing the chances that we will have an active and timely blog that will appeal to not only the hearing health community but to the general public interested in the latest in hearing healthcare.

Type of BHI Blog

The BHI blogs will provide commentary or news on a particular subject and will not function as a personal online diary because of multiple contributors. We would like to combine text, images, and links to other blogs, websites, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of our blogs. A blog entry may be substantial or be a very short post (microblog). Our bloggers need not worry that their submitted content be a publication quality since we will employ a fairly loose meaning to the blog contribution — that is any bit of media wherein the subject or contributor expresses his opinion or simply talks about something that they deem of importance. The entry can be scholarly and ready for publication or a short comment on a relevant article you read (with link) or a cool YouTube video, etc.

Recruitment of Bloggers

With the exception of my blog (Sergei Kochkin) I suggest that we have at least six contributors per topical area below. In addition to opening recruitment up to our advisory councils we will be allowing people on our eNewsletter distribution list to self-nominate themself.

Whomever nominates themself should be intrinsically motivated to participate. Expectations of BHI bloggers are as follows:

  • You will make at least one contribution per month.
  • You will respond to commentary or questions to your blog entries
  • You will moderate your blog entry and delete offensive commentaries
  • You may talk about technologies, brands, products or services but should limit such discussion which gives unfair advertorial exposure; exact rules for bloggers will be forthcoming.

To nominate yourself simply send your resume (may be thumbnail resume) and electronic picture to Sergei Kochkin, Executive Director of BHI (skochkin@betterhearing.org).

Indicate which topical areas you want to participate (you may blog in one or more categories below)

All names will be submitted to the BHI Board for approval.

BHI Blog Structure:

Design: Once you enter the Blog portal there will probably be some form of visual icon for each category. Each blogger will be shown with their picture every time they make a blog entry. Comments will be allowed under each blog with bloggers and the Executive Director having authority to immediately delete inappropriate or offensive comments.

Executive Director – I will cover all hearing health areas including mentions of new sections on our websites or emphasizing existing content on our website as well as other relevant websites. At times I am thinking of mentioning cool things going on in other not-for-profit organizations that mesh with ours.
 
Hearing Loss: emphasis on types, causes, and medical issues and advances.

Technology Corner: emphasis on hearing aids, cochlear implants, implants and assistive technology. Would like to see a mixture of academia, manufacturer gurus and maybe input from other hearing health associations.

Hearing Healthcare Journey: emphasis on the process of finding and receiving solutions for hearing problems. This could also include counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy articles, aural rehab, LACE and other software, trouble shooting when things go wrong etc. This would be a mixture of the “best” practitioners as well as the best in academia.

Pediatric Hearing Loss: all childhood hearing issues.

Hearing Loss Prevention: This is a hot topic in the press. I think this is a good area for hearing health practitioners to highlight that they stand for hearing preservation. It is also a way of talking about methods of prevention (e.g. custom musical ear plugs, iPod earbuds with parental volume controls, hunter ears, etc).

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears): I think there will be more people with tinnitus in MarkeTrak VIII then with hearing loss only because tinnitus is an objective indicator to the public that something is wrong with their hearing, while mild and even moderate hearing losses may not yet be in people’s awareness (e.g. 50% of non-owners have not had their hearing tested yet). This will become a hotter area as we prove that technology provides relief to some people suffering from tinnitus. Also tinnitus treatment technology will be evolving as we get into integrated hearing aids and sound therapy devices. Also a good place to debunk the scam herbal remedies, currently out there.

Blog Clutter

There are 112 million blogs out there. How will the BHI blog ever get noticed? If the content is good and commentary robust and the links to BHI grow, then eventually the blog will come up when people do a Google or Yahoo search on a specific topic. This will take time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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