Using The Internet To Network: The PNGDoctors Yahoo Focus Group Experience.

Firstly let me make it very clear that I am not benefiting financially in any way or form from Yahoo to write this post. It is my own experience and just want to share it.

The rapid development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is providing new ways for sharing information and networking. Internet technology can be utilized to share and disseminate information and create focus discussion groups with members located in different parts of the world. PNGdoctors Internet Group is an online focus group that was formed in 2005. The main objective of the discussion group is to share ideas and discuss issues affecting the health of Papua New Guineans. Initially the group was intended for medical officers and other health workers only but it was soon realized that there was a need for non-medical members who have an interest in the welfare of Papua New Guineans. The group membership also widened to include non-Papua New Guineans who were either former Papua New Guinea (PNG) residents or were linked to PNG one way or the other. The group members are located in PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Australia, Japan, UK and USA.

One of the achievements of the group since it started has been the registration of an online journal (ISSN 1993-7687) focusing on science and technology as is relevant to PNG. The scope of the journal covers life sciences including medical science, physical sciences, technology and engineering. The main objective of the journal is to encourage graduate students from PNG studying in PNG and abroad to write scientific papers and at the same time provide a platform to publish their writings.

The group has not been very active for the last 2 years. I think that is due to several factors including but not limited to ICT technology access and cost in PNG, new focus in career, moving, lost interest and the most important of all I think is Facebook. But that is not say we do not keep contact using other social media available on the Internet. We had fun and enjoyed the discussions. You can check the group website to view topics and themes discussed.

You can download a power point presentation I prepared for a seminar to share our experience. You can download it here.

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About rodney itaki

I am a medical doctor from Papua New Guinea. My posts focuses on current and emerging health issues in PNG.
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