Where are All of the Professionals Online? Volunteers Wanted!
- As I come back from a month filled with professional conferences and symposium, I can’t help but wonder out loud where the heck are all the professional are online. Sure, there are thousands of us here, but you wouldn’t know it from browsing the Web, that’s for certain.
Every week I receive a dozen or so requests to add links to the Web Pointer. Nine or 10 of those 12 are from laypeople or organizations which have put together usually pretty amazing and outstanding resources on specific topic areas. The other 2 or 3 are from professionals and most of the time, the professionals are adding nothing new to the Web. Little content, little information, often times just an advertisement of their practice or interests or the like. And hey, I think that’s fine and all… But professionals within the mental health field need to do much more online.
One response to this might be, “Hey John, that’s great for people like you who spend all of your time online. But for those of us trying to keep our heads above the water with managed care, I just don’t have the time to do it!” Well, I don’t spend all of my time online (contrary to popular belief) and put together this very page while I was hard at work on my internship. Sure, I had some free time on my hands, but since then, I rarely do. And yet still find time to try and update this and keep it fresh, unique, and contributing to the overall knowledge of the online world. You should too.
So I’m imploring professionals who read this, who get online now, to go beyond their colleagues’ Web pages and make a real mark and contribution online. Many others have done so and it not only reflects very well on the type of person you are, but that you realize the potential for online communication is much more than just a billboard.
I’m now looking for interested volunteers to help me out with a project. I used to maintain a set of Usenet newsgroup files which essentially replicated the Pointers found here on this Web site. Due to the work involved in maintaining this separate set of files, I haven’t updated them or posted them to the newsgroups for a few months. Since they take a different format than the Web files, it’s not just a simple matter of copying new links into them… Every one has to be reformatted, which is quite time-consuming.
If you’d like to help out the mental health community online and have the time and commitment to do this, I would appreciate a volunteer or two to begin maintaining these again. Usenet newsgroups often reach a much different audience than the Web and I feel it’s an important audience to reach out to. Please write me if you’d like to help out. I imagine it would take about 15 to 30 minutes of your time every 2 or 3 weeks or so. And an hour or two to initially bring the old files up to date.
And this is probably a good time to thank my assistant, Tammy Segraves, for all the (indirect) work she does in helping me maintain these pages and keep them current. She definitely deserves a great deal of credit for it.