I have reviewed our most successful (highest number of post contributions) discussions over the past year to see if there are any common ingredients that make up an engaging post. Of course, a lot depends on the topic and some ideas may have wider appeal than others. Below are just some guidelines on what has worked well in the past - please feel free to use them.
Writing discussion titles doc2doc is all about quick interactions between experts. Our users have a limited amount of time to connect with content both on doc2doc and on various social media, so a concise and direct question with the aim of provoking a response is key.
Here’s a list of the most commented on discussions between April 2011- March 2012:
1. Can evidence based Doctors believe in God?
2. Should Christian health professionals be allowed to wear a cross at work?
3. What is your favourite oral anti-diabetic drug beyond metformin?
4. What is the action of carvedilol in heart faliure?
5. ATTENTION! Graduates are being priced out of studying medicine!
6. Should doctors be struck off for talking to patients about Jesus?
7. Is it acceptable for a student to prostitute themselves to pay for medical school?
8. Was it wrong to use medical care as a reason to track down Bin Laden?
9. Does it matter which medical school you go to?
10. Is Religion Fundamental to Human Nature?
11. Greek/Euro financial crisis - is it affecting health systems?
12. Should smoking be banned in cars?
13. ''...Registrars DO NOT get pregnant'
14. How to address your Consultant?
15. Should we pay drug addicts to be sterilised?
16. Is Anders Behring Breivik sane?
17. Do you mind that some dentists call themselves Dr?
18. What Happens When You are Deprived of Sleep?
19. Should More Philosophy and Metaphysics be taught in Medical school?
20. Is it easier to be a popular than a good doctor?
As you can see, the most viewed and commented on tend to be discussions we have promoted to the main poll (which is visible on the site and promoted in email alerts). If you want to get lots of comments and posts- a simple and direct question to your audience can be the key. Most titles are relatively short and are usually framed as a question or are written in a way to gauge opinion or a reaction. Try to keep the title under 10 words long, but it can be longer if it needs to be.
However, a question format might not be appropriate for your post and there are examples of discussions which do not ask a question in the title but somewhere in the text of the post. For example:
'...Registrars DO NOT get pregnant'
Any advice on dealing with negative attitudes as I doubt this will be the last?
Rapid ecg diagnosis
What history would you ask her?
NICE hypertension treatment guidelines revision
I am curious as to our readers' views as to the advisibility of moving calcium channel blocking agents up in older persons with hypertension, if they have co-existing diabetes.
It is important that the community are informed of the latest research or guidelines. Sometimes an update on a new publication might be enough, however, if you want to give you post longevity, then asking the opinion of your audience is vital. The community are interested in your experiences and your insights and it is important to include this aspect, as well as opening it out to the floor.