12 Nov My Opinion About Medical Blogging
“Blog” is short for “web log.”
The term blog commonly refers to a web site that is run by one person and represents that person’s commentary, or opinion, on a particular subject. Blogs became very popular several years ago because they were “interactive.” People could read an article, or “post,” and leave their own comment! The interactive component made blogs an instant success. Spam, however, has quickly quieted this advantage, but blogs remain very popular (according to Technorati, there are well over 112 million blogs!)
Blogging software is slightly different than web-page software. Basically, blog software allows great flexibility, efficiency and convenience for the owner. For example, I am able to write and “post” with a push of the button. I don’t have to spend much time worrying about the mechanical aspects of the site nor the appearance. It allows me to make most of my time, writing and providing content. (For more technical aspects of how I created this blog, there are a few posts on the subject heading “Creating This Blog.”)
The ability to easily add new content, is perhaps, the best advantage of blogs. I can write, click and post. It is that simple. I can do it from any internet connection and from any computer.
Content is what brings you, the readers, back for more.
The content of most blogs, is the individuals personal opinion about a subject. It is the modern day “soap box.” Most medical blogs are a physician’s view of politics, health care, etc. It occupies a very “grey” area for most doctors. “Blogging” to most doctors means giving medical advice.
Medical bloggers such as kevinmd, dr. rob and dr. val commonly write and inform about health policy, politics, etc. There is usually no medical advice. These are a few of the physician pioneers that have entered the blogosphere.
“Credible Sources of Information”
Technically, www.RetineEyeDoctor.com is a blog. It uses blog software, is written (at this time) by one individual and contains content. I add to this content 4-7 times per week.
My goal, is not to provide my commentary on diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, but to provide useful information about these diseases to my readers. My goal is to inform and teach. My goal is to provide a credible source of medical information on the internet.
May be this will be a new form of “medical blogging.” I hope it catches on. More and more doctors should do this. It is our responsibility.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist