Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hi all,

To welcome the class of 2016 and help familiarize them with the SMRT blog, I thought I’d make a brief post showing the most popular posts on the SMRT Blog to date. I’m using a few free tools to make this post, including Google Docs, with which I highly recommend that you familiarize yourselves, because I promise that you will find it useful at several points during medical school. GDocs has excellent, free, cloud-based document collaboration including spreadsheets (like the one below, these can be exported to Excel), presentations (that can be exported to PowerPoint), documents (can be exported to Word format), drawings, surveys…. they’re great. And you can work on them with your peers simultaneously, including revisions to see changes that you’ve missed, colored cursors to see what theyr’e doing in real-time… and frequent updates means it keeps getting better all the time. You’ll need a Google account to use Google Docs… but you probably ought to have one anyway.

The other free tool I’m using is a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE). For some reason, our Posterous search box is acting up, so I created the search box in this post so that it only searches our SMRT Blog. I did this because I couldn’t find an easy way to include links to the relevant posts in the spreadsheet. So the idea is that you can look through the spreadsheet below, which is sorted in order of post views, and if you see a post that looks interesting, type part of the post title in the search box below. Hopefully you’ll find the post in question pretty easily. Update: Sorry, it looks like Posterous (the site hosting our blog) doesn’t let us use these embedded CSEs like I expected. Please see the last bullet point instead for an alternative strategy that you can use with any site. Update 2: I think I figured out a way to make it work, so you will hopefully see a search box in this post.  Sorry for the back-and-forth.

Other notes relevant to this post:

  • If the spreadsheet embedded below is difficult to use on your device, here are a few links to try viewing it on a separate page or as a .pdf file .
  • I used the grep function in a powerful free text editor called TextWrangler to format the data for the spreadsheet. If you’re a power user, check it out.
  • I am highly suspicious that the hundreds of thousands of views on a few of the posts may not be real, but I have no good explanation.
  • We use Posterous to host our blog due to its good support for automatic sharing of posts to other social networks. If you’re thinking of starting a blog, there are lots of good options out there – if you’re curious about any in specific, let us know.
  • You can do a Google search for results on a specific website by adding “site:” and the URL to a regular Google search. For example, search for “amion” to find pages on our blog that mention amion. Handy!

Got to run. See you all around!


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1 comment:

  1. Another way to search a particular site through Google would be to filter/restrict searches to the site of interest. For example navigate to, in the search field type google This will return a list of results containing all instances of "google" mentioned on the site,