Archive for October 12, 2010

The Drs. website

I believe that the Drs website is a great example of cross production in mass media today. They have several of the TV-aired clips online, as well as online-exclusive clips for web users. The advertisements that you see in the commercials also appear online, which is a package deal for users of indirect payment. Putting the show online also allows for globalization to countries that might not be able to see the show when it airs on television.

The website’s two top uses as media are for information and self understanding because its main goal is to provide medical advice. I read the disclaimer, which states the site is “ published for educational and informational purposes only, and are not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice…”.

Yet, I believe the information on the site can be trusted because the doctors featured on the show represent all aspects of the field, all are accredited, and all are just sharing their opinions right there on the show. So it’s like instantly getting four opinions as you watch the show.  Some media consumers will use this site as a decision making tool, even if unadvised.

The website also aims to entertain its visitors by keeping content interesting, sometimes touching on personal subjects. There are videos pertaining to everyone on the site, making visitors (…me) stop and watch, for their health’s sake.  All of this information coincides with the top uses as media for the TV show also.

There is also an online community on the website through message boards and online contact with the featured doctors. There are blogs that I felt were somewhat unproductive. I saw them more as advertisements and people blogging about personal doctors visits which I don’t care to hear.

Even if the information on the website has a disclaimer to be opinion only, it would be nice if there was a database of simple medical terms and conditions. It could be complied by experts and people with exposure to the listed conditions. It could become something like Wikipedia, but focused around health. This would be a big job for one person to put on the website, so making it a UGC makes the task more do-able.