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Progress report on PND web site

By Jeffrey Barg

One of the most exciting—and maddening—aspects of publishing on a web site is its radical malleability. Exciting, because inherent in the medium is the capacity to constantly update, enhance and experiment with the site. Maddening, because of the practical limitations on how much you can update, enhance and experiment with, without being able to use the excuse that it is too late to make any changes.

We have taken advantage—if not full advantage—of this malleability since the site was launched in December. Beginning in January, for example, Physician’s News Digest has undergone a major transformation from a monthly news service to a daily news service. In January, we began updating our web site news briefs on a daily basis—with each day’s new ones at the top of the page—and providing a free e-mailed version of just the new daily news briefs for those who have signed up for the service on our web site.

We have made numerous other changes, from small format changes that no one will ever notice to major changes that a handful of people will notice. Most notably:

• We have added index pages for each department of the publication (e.g., cover stories, spotlight interview, medicine & law) organized in chronological order. So if you click on the cover story divider on the current issue’s index page or on “cover story” at the bottom of any page, you will get a page with a blurb and link to this month’s cover story, followed by last month’s cover story, the month before that, and so on.

• Keyword search capability is up and running. Simply click on “search” at the top or bottom of any page and our search page will load. Then select a keyword or phrase from the scroll box, and pertinent material from the entire web site, including current issue, past issues, supporting links and discussion forum, will be listed, with the ability to view each item in its entirety by clicking on its title.

• An extensive database of upcoming CME programs may be searched by month, topic, sponsor, title and location.

• Our discussion forum has generated a diverse and lively exchange of views on CAT Fund and tort reform.

The enthusiastic response we have received from many of our readers has been very encouraging. In fact, we have received more responses from readers via the Internet in the past two months than we had in the prior two years. Keep them coming. Given the medium’s malleability, your feedback is all the more vital.

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