Tag: Craig Stoltz

Plus Ca . .

I’ve previously whined that it’s going to be a lot harder for President Obama to take advantage of social media than it was for the Obama campaign to do so.

I’m afraid to report that proof is beginning to emerge.

Over at, the web outpost of the Obama/Biden Provisional Gover. . .I mean, Privately Funded Transition Operation, there was an earnest public solicitation of ideas about healthcare. Over 3,700 comments came in.

On the blog, you will find a 3-minute video hosted by Tom Daschle, incoming Health Care Reform Tsar [I prefer the retro spelling; it adds a certain monarchic je ne sais quois].

In the segment, the former Senator summarizes some of the extremely
valuable citizen input that came in. [He presumably read all the
comments over the holiday weekend. Someone smarter than I [[sorry, I
can’t find the link]] determined that this task would consume 29 hours.
Knock yourself out, Senator!]

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Comparing Biden’s health reform plan to Obama’s

It’s the time in the political season to make way too much of the impact a vice president can have on the presidential contest.

So I hope you don’t mind if I extend that amusing parlor sport into the arena of health care reform and consider how how Joe Biden’s original proposal for health care reform compares to Barack Obama’s.

If nothing else, it’s a good way to parse a few of the issues likely to be magnified when Obama and McCain yammer back and forth about their health care plans in the coming weeks.

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The $2,500 question

There’s some peculiar numerology going in the presidential candidates’ health reform plans.Stoltz
John McCain proposes that every American receive a $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) to help them afford health insurance bought in the private market.Barack Obama says his health care plan will save the average American family $2,500 per year.I mean, what are the chances?I suspect both campaigns are shrewd enough to know that "a couple hundred bucks a month" [middle-class citizen’s translation of $2,500 per year] is likely to get a voter’s attention. The fact that both campaigns came up with an identical figure is eerie, however. It’s enough to make you wonder whether anti-trust laws should apply to political campaigns.

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What the candidates’ searches say about them

One of the fun parlor games of Election ’08 is to look at Internet data and figure out what they mean.

The answer may be "nothing," of course.

But let’s play along and look at the latest Hitwise data on popular search terms. HitWise, a company that tracks Internet traffic, counted the search words that sent people to John McCain or Barack Obama’s websites. [Here’s a press release about the findings on the candidates’ top Internet search terms.]

"Health care" didn’t make Obama’s top 5 search terms in the first quarter of 2008. In the second quarter, health care took the number 4 slot. [Q1’s top term was "gay marriage," Q2’s "abortion."]

Meantime, "health care" took the tops spots for John McCain in both Q1 and Q2.

So: Does this mean people think they already know Obama’s healthcare plan and don’t need to search about it on the Internet? Or, don’t they have much interest in the issue?

As for McCain, do the searches mean his plan is little-known and people want information on it? Or do those interested in McCain care more about healthcare than Obama’s voters?

Retreat to the parlor and discuss, please.

iMedix: Social search that creeps me out

Oh, geez. Deb21 wants to chat again. Stoltz

Here I am, trying to look up some information about tinnitus – a.k.a. ringing in the ears, a condition which has recently afflicted a member of my family – and Deb21 [I’ve changed her handle to protect the innocent ] wants to chat. A little photo box pops up on my screen, with the icky solicitation “I’m online! Chat with me now!” There’s even an audible little ping whenever she implores me to spend some time with her.

Welcome to iMedix, a “social search” site in the personal health space.

In concept, social search is powerful: Combine the algorithmically valid but brain-dead health search results of a typical search engine with the “wisdom of the crowds” – the aggregated opinions of real humans who can validate the information they found worthwhile when dealing with the same issue. Add to that the ability to connect with those people, and (goes the theory) you’ve got something good.

Like any 2.0 community, iMedix faces the challenge of creating critical mass: A community with nobody home is in a death spiral from Day One. But building critical mass from scratch is no small task in mid-2008. Early adopters are oversubscribed to social networks and the mainstream hasn’t figured out what all the fuss is about. Every business based on network power needs people. A lot of them. Fast.

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Web Video Statistics: I Smell a Rat by Craig Stoltz

Craig Stoltz is a web consultant working in the health 2.0 space. He has previously served as health editor for the Washington Post and editorial director of Revolution Health. He blogs at Web 2.0 … Oh really? 

The web metrics firm comScore has published a tally of of how many online videos were viewed during the month of December. That number is 10 billion. That’s “b,” as in “freakin’ billion.”

Like Mike Huckabee, I didn’t major in math. But as a journalist I do have an Associate’s Degree in Rat Sniffing. And I smell a big one.

By my primitive calculations, if comScore’s stats are correct, during the month of December 2007 2,237 person-years were spent watching online video. (That’s assuming each of those 10 billion videos was watched for :30.)

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What healthcare ideas did Edwards and Giuliani leave behind?

StoltzCraig Stoltz is a web consultant working in the health 2.0 space. He has previously served as health editor for the Washington Post and editorial director of Revolution Health. He blogs at Web 2.0 … Oh really?

Whenever candidates drop out of a race, the first question is, Who’s going to get the stuff?

News reports said that both Clinton’s and Obama’s people immediately starting picking John Edwards’ pockets–for delegates, supporters, fundraisers, gold teeth, etc.–while the former candidate’s body was
still warm.

Rudy Giuliani gave it all to McCain immediately. But it’s hard to imagine that there hadn’t been
negotiations over the former mayor’s little stash of blood and treasure before the announcement was made.

But what I want to know is a bit more focused, if wonky: What happens to Edwards’ and Giuliani’s healthcare ideas now that they’re gone?    

First, let’s see if they had any.

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