A number of key developments to look out for in 2007.

1) Gwagle. Still not ready to release too many details. However, work has started – earlier than anticipated.

2) Socrates. Socrates has gone through a number of name-changes. First there was ‘WEME’ (where evidence meets experience), this changed to Socrates. Things went a bit quiet as the new project (Gwagle) was born. However, Gwagle was initially called Socrates as I thought the initial Socrates wouldn’t happen. Confused? Anyway, Socrates still might not happen but we’re feeling more confident. Basically, Socrates will attempt to harness the collective experience of health professionals. The ‘evidence’ is fine, but can be abstract and not always applicable to practice. According to Clinical Evidence, in their chapter on mild-to-moderate depression, CBT, TCAs and SSRIs are all ‘beneficial’. By placing them all in the same ‘evidence’ bracket it suggests a type of equivalence. However, in the real world what do the doctors find best? Socrates will give them the space to record their views. So, Socrates will happen, when we get some money.

3) NLH Q&A Service. We are currently reviewing our work to date with a view to re-vamping the whole service. New ideas include better search, better re-use of questions, better production of resources to better answer questions, better signposting of existing resources. Better move on……

4) TRIP search. I’m desperate to improve the search. When we launched we were pretty pleased with the search. Now, with 4 months experience we feel time to improve things. For many searches they’ll be no noticable change but for others they’ll be significant change. I’m very excited about the Digg idea, posted the other day. But that should be coupled with a modification to the text relevancy score. Currently, there are 3 main scores – text, year, publication. So, sometimes, an article might have very low text relevancy, but score very high for year and publication. As such it’ll appear quite high up – even though it’s not hugely relevant. We’re working on the best solution to this – but the problems identified and we’ve got some money to improve.

This leaves the issue of raising money:

1) Improved use of Google ads – placing them at the top of the results page. Should significantly improve income – but we’re wanting to use that space to advertise Gwagle and Socrates….

2) I notice wikipedia has an online ‘begging bowl’. So far they’ve raised (from this round) $840,000. Obviously, they are much bigger than TRIP. But might we use a similar system to raise $25,000 – who knows. If we state what improvements the money would be used for, it might make people more likely to donate. We currently get 70-80,000 searches per week, so I’m guessing we have around 100,000 users. if 5% donate $5 – we’re there. What do people think?

3) Any other suggestions…….

Have a happy 2007.