Friday, March 12, 2010

Gladwell, Blogs, Connectors, Mavens, and Ezra Klein as Salesman: The DMCB's Insight About the 51 Vote Majority & Health Care Reform

In its presentation at the Jefferson hosted Population Health and Disease Management Colloquium, the Disease Management Care Blog discussed health communication and social media. Among its many insights was a Gladwellesque view on blogs and their dynamic in 'tipping' policy debates: there are connectors (e.g., the excellent HealthHombre), mavens (e.g., the expert Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review) and then there are the salesmen (what better example than the energetic, enthusiastic and likeable Ezra Klein?).

And speaking of Ezra, what's there not to like? His sharply written posts are a study in the art of communication and new media, he's appeared in that summit of hip popular culture, The Daily Show, he posts vegetarian recipes and regularly sports fashionable amounts of facial hair. And salesman he is. The parliamentarian ruling on the health care bill is good news, the opinion polls on health reform show widespread support for the Democrats, Senator Harry Reid is a civics lesson in political aplomb and geniality, increasing Federal spending to reduce the deficit should be a no-brainer if only opponents would listen to us media elites and, finally, passing health reform on 51 votes is a marvelously grand idea.

That latter point is important and didn't occur to the naive DMCB. If health reform does make it, that may mean that there is a silver lining: a similar bicameral simple majority may be all that will be needed to revamp it. Hmmmm.......

And a DMCB afterthought: The editors at the New England Journal of Medicine could save themselves a lot of work over the faux centrist Health Care Reform Center by simply substituting links to Ezra. That way they could devote more space to a) what they're good at: publishing important cutting edge research and b) thinking how to make the research results understandably accessible to an increasingly savvy and skeptical public

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