Given the events of late, there are questions I have to address, the biggest of which only I can answer: should I continue this blog? Certainly from an economic standpoint to date, this blog has been more of a liability than an asset. So now I have to be realistic and really ask myself, why continue?
I’m not sure. There are many arguments to support blogging as a physician: marketing yourself or your practice, advertising and making a buck, education (both for yourself or your patients), working with an online community of like-minded souls, or creating an online presence getting your voice heard on a national and international level. It all sounds so great, doesn’t it? I mean, I had it all figured out when I started! (Not.)
But blogging, as I’ve found, also exposes one to malicious verbal attacks and subpoenas. As such, it is risky. There is no question that placing one’s online self in the world for all to see adds vulnerability and potential liability. When I told a colleague Friday about my recent predicament he responded, “Why the hell would anyone want to blog?”
I hope my experience makes every physician consider this question carefully.
But perhaps the question is not as simple as that. Perhaps physicians who choose to blog should ask ourselves how best we should maintain our increasingly economically important online presence while minimizing our risk to do so. In that vein, what rules for commenting should physicians impose? Should only anonymous commenters be restricted? What would that do to the quality and content of information discussed? Should all comments be reviewed before publishing them, risking the perception of censorship? Or should a blog be pulled underground, accessible only by registration? Should one blog anonymously or non-anonymously? How important are these blogs, really, to patients? All I know is that patients have found me repeatedly because of my online presence, but I have to question if the vitriol demonstrated by a few makes it worth it.
I’d appreciate the blog-o-sphere’s suggestions and commentary. I am certain that what is here will stay in its current form. But as I move forward to my next iteration, whatever that might be, it’d be helpful to hear your thoughts – even from anonymous commenters, although now, unfortunately, comments will be reviewed before posting.