the library is the arsenal

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My new sideline?

I came across a healthcare site called Organized Wisdom tonight in a roundabout way, and I was curious about a healthcare website with a cool name like Organized Wisdom, so I checked it out. It turns out, you can apply to become a "guide", and get paid to create informational "WisdomCards" about different healthcare issues (diseases and conditions, drugs, alternative therapies, etc). This seems like a great way for soon-to-be medical librarians to do some reference work and really dig into sources, which I may want to do after a semester of "Online Health Databases."

So then I started to wonder, how do they pay people to put all this free information out there? The answer, of course, is advertisements. Still, they seem to have a strict editorial policy keeping the ads separate from the "wisdom." Hmm...

Of course, beyond my own personal interest in getting paid to do reference work online, this does seem to bode well for reference librarians. This is a chance to do some good public service work, provide much-needed, quality information to the public at no cost, and get paid to do it. Am I overlooking the negative aspect? Can this model be applied to other fields as well?

1 comment:

ustoakes said...

Jess, thank you so much for your post and mentioning our Guide Program. I'm the co-founder of the company and will watch any feedback that comes into your site.

Expert researchers and librarians are an essential element to making OrganizedWisdom Health most useful to people searching for health information. There is so much clutter now on the Web, that we have found that a skilled person with great research ability can actually guide people to the very best resources much more effectively then technology alone. As you mentioned we do have sponsors on our WisdomCards, but we very clearly keep them separate and identify them the same way Google and many other sites do. We also keep editorial decisions completely separate from any advertising.

Thanks again for your feedback and sharing our site on your blog. It is very much appreciated.