Website – A connected group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity, usually maintained by one person or organisation and devoted to a single topic or several closely related topics. Random House Dictionary – 2014
Gian Luigi Lenzi (GLL): The EAN website is to become the primary source of information on European neurology. Can you briefly describe/illustrate your plans to achieve this?
Tim von Oertzen (TvO): The website is an essential tool for EAN to communicate and interact with its members and with the public. To fulfill this role its users should easily find the information they are looking for within an intuitive design. We will provide information on the EAN, its programmes and initiatives as well as on neurology in Europe. The website should promote networking and cooperation of members of the EAN which will be located in the members area. As on the current website, the EAN and previous EFNS guidelines will be accessible as well as the annual meeting programme and registration links. The current website contains well over 1000 sites and this will grow manifold over the next few years. It will be important to have a good team of other enthusiastic European neurologists working with me. It will be important to keep the website available for all devices computers, tablets and smart phones. European Neurology has advanced substantially over the last decades and the website of the EAN will reflect this.
GLL: The EAN organises educational initiatives throughout the year in Europe and beyond. Do you plan to incorporate/implement the educational as well as scientific content of the EAN website?
TvO: Education is a substantial part of EAN’s activities and will therefore be represented on the website. Next to the established educational programmes which could be further supported by content on the website. And of course we will have a clear link to eBrain which is an excellent educational tool. I am currently exploring new ideas of further ways to implement educational exchange within the EAN via the website.
GLL: Which role do you attribute to social media such as Twitter and Facebook?
TvO: Social media are another communication channel for EAN and its members and particular the younger generation. We will explore intensifying the use of Facebook and Twitter. This will need continuous engagement of dedicated people to continuously post and tweet the most essential information on European neurology and the EAN. In the first instance I will focus on the new set up of the website.
GLL: Neuropenews is EAN’s news blog issued on a monthly basis. How can Neuropenews be complimentary to the EAN website? Can both media cross-fertilise and improve?
TvO: I’m definitely convinced that website and Neuropenews deliver concomitant information. Neuropenews is the constant stream of news and the website will be the steady pool of information. The website offers also the advantage of the members only area. I have some ideas to provide even better access to Neuropenews and other resources of the EAN via the website. Again, it is early days and we have to develop those ideas over the next few months. I am looking forward to work closely with the current and future editors of Neuropenews.
GLL: How do you see the role of Liaison Committee, where you are an ex officio member, as related to the website and its contents?
TvO: The Liaison Committee is very important to represent the EAN within the wider European neurology community (including organisations), to our patients and carers as well as associated areas and for political lobbying. The website will be an important tool to communicate EAN’s (LC’s) ideas and activities to those mentioned above. On the other hand, in order to provide information about resources from national neurological societies and other organisations and institutions the LC will be key to liaise appropriately. As an ex officio member of the Liaison Committee I am looking forward to work closely with the committee and listen carefully to its members advice.
Tim von Oertzen is Head of the Department of Neurology, OÖ Landesnervenklinik in Linz, Austria