Surviving Grand Rounds
I succesfully hosted Grand Rounds Tuesday. Beforehand, I'd have defined success as getting some sort of finished product up within a few hours of the deadline, but the comments would suggest I exceeded that goal by a comfortable margin (although someone always complains)
I really enjoyed hosting, it makes you feel special for the week before and after. Sort of like getting married but without the long-term commitment. I also learned the identity of several anonymous or quasi-anonymous bloggers, although some identities still elude em. I want to do a post soon about the pros and cons of non-anonymous blogging.
In the end, it was far less difficult than I'd anticipated. I got 41 submissions by the 5PM monday deadline, accepted 2 more that trickled in just a few minutes late and was mostly done by 7PM. I rejected 2 submissions that came in hours late (after I'd gone to bed) including one from a prominent medical blogger, then got up to check all the links (missing one and one was to the blog, not the specfic post) make a few minor edits and posted by 7am. Others have reportedly gotten 90 submissions, so I may have gotten off easy.
A few thoughts for future hosts or those interested in hosting
1. Pick a format early, stick to it. I decided >1 week out that I'd do a "top ten" and then break the others up into categories loosely based on the NEJM. That worked out fine. I also knew I wanted to do the pictures the way I did
2. Enter posts as they come in. I got my first post 10 days before GR, and got about 10-12 in the last 24 hours. By entering posts daily, I didn't have a ton to do at the end. I moved some posts into and out of the top 10, but that was simple cut and paste.
By the end I could read a post, write my blurb and link in about 3 minutes. Of course, there were so many good posts on so many good blogs I did spend some time checking them out.
3. I didn't think including everyone substantially increase my workload. By the time I'd read the post, it was pretty simple to link and write a blurb. Plus, I saved time by not worrying about whether or not to include a post, which I think some hosts have agonized over. I just linked in whatever appropriate category. If later I felt a post deserved to be in the top 10 I moved its link up (or vice-versa). I got lots of positive comments about including everyone so in my opinion that is the way to go.
4. Save often! Barbados Butterfly warned me about this, so after every session I not only backed up on blogger but copied the whole HTML text into word. Having been so diligent, I had not a single problem.
5. I sent emails to everyone who submitted. A few hosts have done that when I've submitted in the past and I really liked it. One thing I didn't do, but would in the future, is to include the link to GR in the follow up post. You have to have your http address set a week before, so that would be easy to do and might increase incoming links to GR
More discussion about GR is here, here, and here. I like the idea of using technology so readers can choose the most interesting post, but don't quite understand how that will work, other than having a dedicated Grand Rounds hosting site, which defeats some of the purpose of GR.
Well that's it for now. GR this week is a A chance to cut is a chance to cure, and I'll be working on updating my blogroll to reflect all the great medical blogs out there.