August 13, 2009

The State of the Blog

This blog has taken on a life of its own.

The internet is filled with repeated themes. It’s nice to have a limitless storehouse of information. But there’s often no way to tell what’s good quality information from everything else. So to save myself time when looking stuff up regarding kids and health, I took a Google search engine and limited the web sources to just the specific sites I liked most and trusted most. It worked so well that I decided to share it.

Let’s say there’s a website that claims to have proved that UFOs are alien spaceships. Another website refers to this as evidence. another website links with that website as evidence. The original website says that this last website has the evidence that validates their claim. The problem with limitless and uncontrolled information is that you can probably find people who agree with your ideas and can cite a website to back them up. So you cite them as a reference, and it’s sometimes awfully hard to figure out where the start of the idea really was.

When I started the blog, I was advised to keep it easy by digesting other available information sources, such as medical news or new discoveries, or local information. Then it would be a service to readers to have this predigested material for a quick overview.

I was also advised to keep it short.

The length of the posts clearly requires a commitment both on my part and especially on the part of the reader. I tried being more succinct, but it didn’t work for me and felt forced. It’s not the way I talk or the way I think. In the posts which have case stories, it’s important to convey how the case unfolded, and this can’t easily be done in brief. (The very best example of compelling case description is a column in the New York Times Magazine, called Diagnosis. It takes you from a simple symptom to an exotic diagnosis through great detective work. The author of this column just published a book about this process, which I will review soon.)

I didn’t want to be yet another source of predigested medical information. I just wasn’t interested in doing this generic task. instead, for better or worse, the material on the blog is original and can’t be found elsewhere. For that, there are links.

It certainly takes up a lot more time that I had anticipated. I’m hoping I can continue this pace!

Some internet sources say that the average time a websurfer spends on a blog is around 30-60 seconds. Others say it’s up to a minute or two. Here’s my visitors:

blog visit time 8-11-09

I know the 25% of visitors who spend an hour or more aren’t just leaving their computers on. They visit several different pages on the site.

This is a map of where my readers are from:

blog map 8-11-09.jpg

Other places pop up from time to time, such as Peru, Argentina, New Zealand, Kazakhstan.

I receive a lot of comments along the following lines:

My child had this exact same problem and her doctor didn’t know what to do. Finally we started using Nature’s Special brand of nutritional supplement and now he’s completely cured. Thank goodness we discovered the website and the life-sustaining products they sell.

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to put any advertising on the site, but obviously a lot of others wanted to use the blog for their own advertising. I filter these out.

I would like to get more comments from people who themselves have had some similar experiences, or maybe their children have.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Wolffe,

    Wonderful blog.

    I especially like the new email-subscription feature in the right-hand sidebar. By subscribing I get your posts as you post them, and consequently I read them more regularly.

    Keep up the good work. Your perspective is a valuable resource for all parents ,and health and medical care users.


Please let me know what you think. Do you know a child or situation like this?