Web 2.0 Strategy for Medical Journals

I’m having a problem. I’m an editor for the Dutch/Flemish Journal of Psychiatry. Since I’m a blogger and on twitter and using many more web 2.0 tools I’m supposed to be the expert on web 2.0 and our journal. We’ve revamped our website and the journal is even on twitter. We’re planning presence on Facebook and LinkedIn and probably on some more of these 2.0 web tools.

My problem is that before using all those tools I think we need a web strategy. When being on Facebook or LinkedIn we should know what were going to do, who can subscribe, who does the selection of posts or topics, who puts them on the social web. How to respond to requests, reactions from readers and participants. In short What do you want with all those social media as a psychiatric journal?

I’ve learned from an excellent course for science editors that your journal is also a brand. We’ve the fortunate circumstances that our Journal comes with the membership of the Dutch Association of Psychiatry. All members are also subscribed to the journal, it’s part of the membership. Since it’s written in Dutch with English abstracts the audience for the journal and probably also the social media are all settled. Or should we start writing in English on the social media? On twitter it’s mostly Dutch and sometimes English. I fully agree that your journal can also be a brand. To my opinion for our journal that comes to uniform presence in the sense of lay out and content on website and social media.

It also means that to my opinion our Journal can be characterized as an organization in which customer intimacy is the main object. In a recent publication about Web 2.0-based web strategies for three different types of organizations they define several organization typologies important for the different needs of a web strategy solution. The other two organization types are Operational Excellence, and Product Leadership.

The next step is to formulate a web strategy that is effective for the specific situation of the organization. Important pases in developing a web strategy are awareness, the situation to be, the development of the web strategy and evaluation. By awareness is meant answers to important questions such as, who are the clients, is the journal and it’s editors aware of web 2.0 benefits, what are the current trends in the industry, what movements does the competition make? Also important is the question about what channels are mostly used by the readers. To my opinion our readers are not that web savvy. At present we only use a website, podcast, RSS feed and email subscriptions as well as twitter.

Since a Journal is all about information and education I think we constantly need new knowledge and keep innovating. Another important goal for a Journal is to involve readers and encourage them to collaborate and add value to our Journal in all it’s aspects. We need web 2.0 in order to obtain added value for users and improve participation in the Journals objectives.

According to the results published in the afore mentioned publication an organization based on consumer intimacy needs a few of several concepts in web strategy the most. These kind of organizations need software or web 2.0 tools that can be accessed with several devices. Just a single website approachable with a PC is not enough, we need to think about users with smart phones, iPads, netbooks, you name it. More important is the understanding of our customers needs and to be able to tailor our products and services to the customers needs. This way you can improve customer loyalty and participation. This means harnessing collective ideas of what the customers really need, as well as an excellent quality of information about the customers. This will be maximized by allowing the customers to access and use the web applications from different devices.

Another important aspect for a web strategy is multi-channeling with rich user experiences or Rich Internet Applications. A Rich Internet Application (RIA) is a web application that has many of the characteristics of desktop applications, typically delivered either by way of a site-specific browser, or via a browser plug-in. Examples are also flash, java, javascript, ajax but also html5. They improve the user friendliness of the applications and again improve the bond with the readers and improve their participation.

Still this advice is somewhat abstract, so if any of you could point me in some direction for more information on web 2.0 strategies for medical journals please let me know in the comments. Will probably share them again in a follow up post, it’s still work in development.

Senoaji Wijaya, Marco Spruit, Wim Scheper, & Johan Versendaal (2010). Web 2.0-based webstrategies for three different types of organizations Computers in Human Behavior : 10.1016/j.chb.2010.07.041