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Avoiding Health Reform Information Overload: A work in progress

Avoiding Health Reform Information Overload: A work in progress

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Sorry, Jody Ranck. I'm giving up on NetVibes for right now and will stick to my Google and Yahoo readers.

I was energized by Ranck's excellent March 14 presentation to USC/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellows on how journalists can better cope with information overload. You can see a roundup of the tools he recommends here and follow him at his Nomadologies blog.

As a public health and technology consultant, Ranck spends at least two hours a day consuming information online, and recommends a number of advanced aggregator tools including NetVibes and Yahoo Pipes to organize his reading.

 I thought I'd give NetVibes a try by setting up a health reform news page. I lost patience after an hour or so, although I admit I should have spent more time on it.

I couldn't easily see the titles for my information sources (an icon's not good enough) and some of the sources I'd hoped to include, such as the Los Angeles Times' health reform stories, didn't have the appropriate RSS feed. NetVibes also has a language bug or two, offering me the "Tweets de JCohnTNR."

Here's what my NetVibes page looked like:

So it's back to Google and Yahoo readers for me, although I might try playing with Yahoo Pipes when I can spare a couple of hours. If you want to set up your own reader for following health reform, consider these sources for your RSS feeds:

Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review: Bob Laszewski, a Washington, D.C.-area health care consultant and former insurance executive, dives deep into the policy and financial details of the various reform efforts.

Ezra Klein: The Washington Post blog of superwonk Ezra Klein offers his insightful analysis of health reform from an economic policy perspective.

The Treatment: Jonathan Cohn, the New Republic writer and author of "Sick," is one of the country's most knowledgeable health policy journalists. A fan of single-payer reform, he nevertheless offers a balanced view of the policy and politics surrounding the current health reform debate.

Prescriptions: Written by New York Times reporters, this health reform blog offers breaking news and analysis of the various legislative proposals and arguments for and against them.

New York Times Health Reform Topic Page: offers background, breaking news and pictures


Picture of Rebecca Plevin

Don't worry, Barbara. I got fed up with NetVibes after about 15 minutes :) But I did set up a Google Reader page, so that's a start! Thanks again for those health reform resources!

Picture of Courtney McNamara

Have to say I would be lost without my Netvibes.

How do I deal with health reform information overload? I start wondering about what makes people sick in the first place and what type of policies keep them healthy.

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