Be Careful What You Ask For

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When you start blogging, you keep close track on the number of people visiting.  I remember looking at the different countries everyone came from and the thrill I had when there were comments left on my post.  The ultimate goal for any blogger, of course, is a large readership. 

It seems that goal has been met – at least for now.  It is quite a different feeling to be standing in front of a bigger audience now.  It has also caused some new problems.

The first problem is that of time.  The more successful you are at blogging, the more you tend to blog.  This cuts into time from other things – work and family are the usual casualties.  I suppose I don\’t have to blog any more often than I did before, but there is more pressure to produce when there are more readers.  A successful post leads to the obvious question: \”what next?\”  The solution to this problem is self-discipline, which I need to continue working for.  My tendency is to obsess.

The second problem is one I did not expect.  I have been contacted by several reporters that saw the piece in the NY Times, one of which is local.  So do I want to be interviewed about my blog in a place that my own patients are likely to see me or read about me?  Despite the fact that I have made no major attempts to hide my identity, the number of my own patients who have read and/or commented on it is small.

Do I really want them reading my blog?

What about the llamas?  What about \”Ask Dr. Rob?\”

What if they send me e-mails?  What if they want to talk about blogging in the office visits?  Life will no longer be normal (whatever normal is).

Plus, this attention is taking even more of my time from me.

I am not sure what to do.  This is getting to be a little more than a hobby (but it pays the same).

Yep.  Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it!

36 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Ask For”

  1. I think you are enjoying the attention. If you didn’t want people to read your blog, why did you create it?

  2. I think you are enjoying the attention. If you didn’t want people to read your blog, why did you create it?

  3. Maybe not…I write a blog and I don’t care if anyone reads it or not. It’s mostly for me, an online diary of sorts.
    I’m not a doctor but sometimes I write or post things that I hope people from “real life” don’t read but it’s something that I want to say.

    I think that there’s more to create a blog than getting attention.

  4. Maybe not…I write a blog and I don’t care if anyone reads it or not. It’s mostly for me, an online diary of sorts.
    I’m not a doctor but sometimes I write or post things that I hope people from “real life” don’t read but it’s something that I want to say.

    I think that there’s more to create a blog than getting attention.

  5. Your post makes a strong case for why medbloggers should blog anonymously. Takes some of the pressure off, I guess. I’m sorry your blog is starting to feel like a chore. It’s one of the quality ones. Would hate to see it go.

  6. Your post makes a strong case for why medbloggers should blog anonymously. Takes some of the pressure off, I guess. I’m sorry your blog is starting to feel like a chore. It’s one of the quality ones. Would hate to see it go.

  7. “What about the llamas? What about ?Ask Dr. Rob?? I think it would be kind of neat to find out my doc had a sense of humor, so certainly leave them up.
    I don’t agree that the purpose of all blogs is to get a large readership. I am much happier with my small group of faithful readers who have stayed around through all the turmoil that is my life, the last three years, than I was having many hundreds of guests who were just there for what I was knocking myself out to give them. it wasn’t worth it. Is it for you? That’s the question.

  8. “What about the llamas? What about ?Ask Dr. Rob?? I think it would be kind of neat to find out my doc had a sense of humor, so certainly leave them up.
    I don’t agree that the purpose of all blogs is to get a large readership. I am much happier with my small group of faithful readers who have stayed around through all the turmoil that is my life, the last three years, than I was having many hundreds of guests who were just there for what I was knocking myself out to give them. it wasn’t worth it. Is it for you? That’s the question.

  9. I say do the interview. Just because. No problems with patients knowing you have a great sense of humor (they probably know already!)
    I knew Emergiblog had become more than a hobby when I realized I made enough to affect my taxes and started saving reciepts for deductions!

  10. I say do the interview. Just because. No problems with patients knowing you have a great sense of humor (they probably know already!)
    I knew Emergiblog had become more than a hobby when I realized I made enough to affect my taxes and started saving reciepts for deductions!

  11. I don’t see anything wrong with doing the interviews, just be careful how you answer the questions. Think about how you want to be presented in the article and try to make sure your answers are reflective of that image as you won’t get to “proof-read” it.
    I agree with Cathy, there is nothing on this blog that would bother me if you were my physician. As for the balance of work, family, and hobbies, etc, that is an ongoing struggle no matter what the hobby (ie golf, singing in a choir, etc). Or you may have to decide that it’s time (or not) to take it to a level where it might make you some money. Don’t do that unless you really want to invest more time.

    Whatever you decide, we hope you will be around for a long while. I’m sure Zippy hopes so too.

  12. I was not implying that I would change. I was just worried that my patients would see a side of me that was limited to the Blogosphere. I am what I am and would not change. I was known to the blogging world, but now am starting to be known in the real world as well. That is what is posing a difficulty for me. I certainly intend to keep doing llamas and “ask Dr. Rob.” I just don’t want patients talking about it with me in the exam room.
    My real dilemma is whether I should talk to the local reporter. I think that cat is out of the bag, but hesitate to go further.

  13. I was not implying that I would change. I was just worried that my patients would see a side of me that was limited to the Blogosphere. I am what I am and would not change. I was known to the blogging world, but now am starting to be known in the real world as well. That is what is posing a difficulty for me. I certainly intend to keep doing llamas and “ask Dr. Rob.” I just don’t want patients talking about it with me in the exam room.
    My real dilemma is whether I should talk to the local reporter. I think that cat is out of the bag, but hesitate to go further.

  14. I don’t see anything wrong with doing the interviews, just be careful how you answer the questions. Think about how you want to be presented in the article and try to make sure your answers are reflective of that image as you won’t get to “proof-read” it.
    I agree with Cathy, there is nothing on this blog that would bother me if you were my physician. As for the balance of work, family, and hobbies, etc, that is an ongoing struggle no matter what the hobby (ie golf, singing in a choir, etc). Or you may have to decide that it’s time (or not) to take it to a level where it might make you some money. Don’t do that unless you really want to invest more time.

    Whatever you decide, we hope you will be around for a long while. I’m sure Zippy hopes so too.

  15. Well Dr. Rob…the blogging world is the real world….if you can’t put your name on what you write, it’s not credible, nor meaningful..Be proud, maintain your integrity.My blog is not well read, and I don’t get many comments….but I have found I write more for myself than my readers….I no longer care what others think, I listen, but usually it has little impact. As you know medical care is running off in the wrong directions trying to do what is right for our patients.
    Keep on writing…it keeps you (and me) sane.

  16. Well Dr. Rob…the blogging world is the real world….if you can’t put your name on what you write, it’s not credible, nor meaningful..Be proud, maintain your integrity.My blog is not well read, and I don’t get many comments….but I have found I write more for myself than my readers….I no longer care what others think, I listen, but usually it has little impact. As you know medical care is running off in the wrong directions trying to do what is right for our patients.
    Keep on writing…it keeps you (and me) sane.

  17. Great post – and I think you should keep blogging!
    When I check the stats on my blog – I love to see what keywords people type that causes them to land on my blog. Some of them are downright strange….and I, for the life of me, cannot figure out how on earth they found my blog by typing in that particular keyword!

    I recently left the staff of a mega church in Texas. While I was there, there were a few of us that were talking about the frustrations and limitations we felt in regards to posting some things – mainly because we discovered that some of the “higher ups” had discovered our blogs. We seriously considered creating an anonomyous blog titled “God’s Angels” – and having three of us blog “anon” about the ups and downs of working at a church.

  18. Great post – and I think you should keep blogging!
    When I check the stats on my blog – I love to see what keywords people type that causes them to land on my blog. Some of them are downright strange….and I, for the life of me, cannot figure out how on earth they found my blog by typing in that particular keyword!

    I recently left the staff of a mega church in Texas. While I was there, there were a few of us that were talking about the frustrations and limitations we felt in regards to posting some things – mainly because we discovered that some of the “higher ups” had discovered our blogs. We seriously considered creating an anonomyous blog titled “God’s Angels” – and having three of us blog “anon” about the ups and downs of working at a church.

  19. Although my blog is officially semi-anonymous, I have told a number of my patients about it, and I know quite a few read it. It has done nothing more than create a stronger relationship between us.
    However, I have to say I pick and choose who to tell about the blog. However, there’s nothing there I wouldn’t want a patient reading. I suspect it is the same with your blog.

    Kudos on the recognition! You deserve it.

  20. Although my blog is officially semi-anonymous, I have told a number of my patients about it, and I know quite a few read it. It has done nothing more than create a stronger relationship between us.
    However, I have to say I pick and choose who to tell about the blog. However, there’s nothing there I wouldn’t want a patient reading. I suspect it is the same with your blog.

    Kudos on the recognition! You deserve it.

  21. I’m surprised you don’t intentionally send your patients TO your blog! You’ve made some really good, albeit funny, points they’d surely benefit from (I know I have). Still… as a newish blogger myself who interfaces with the general public and a network of national colleagues by day, I understand your identity dilemma.

  22. I’m surprised you don’t intentionally send your patients TO your blog! You’ve made some really good, albeit funny, points they’d surely benefit from (I know I have). Still… as a newish blogger myself who interfaces with the general public and a network of national colleagues by day, I understand your identity dilemma.

  23. I disagree with many posters.
    NO. Do NOT give a local interview. You will regret it! You will not be ABLE to avoid the topic in the office and will rue the day you gave the interview.

    What do you have to GAIN from the interview? I would suggest:

    nothing to gain and everything to lose.

    If you write a book that derives from your blog, that is soon enough for your patients to know.

  24. I disagree with many posters.
    NO. Do NOT give a local interview. You will regret it! You will not be ABLE to avoid the topic in the office and will rue the day you gave the interview.

    What do you have to GAIN from the interview? I would suggest:

    nothing to gain and everything to lose.

    If you write a book that derives from your blog, that is soon enough for your patients to know.

  25. This is one of those times in life where you have to ask yourself, “What do I really want from this blog”?
    Without knowing the answer to this question you’re likely to spend more and more time than you really want.

    I read an article that interviewed CEO’s who have been in their jobs less than 3 years. They all said the most difficult challenge was their ability to focus as the “noise” for your attention gets greater.

    You’ve given some good reasons to decline the interview, but be sure you’re not making a decision based on fear. Because that’s not your true self.

    🙂

  26. This is one of those times in life where you have to ask yourself, “What do I really want from this blog”?
    Without knowing the answer to this question you’re likely to spend more and more time than you really want.

    I read an article that interviewed CEO’s who have been in their jobs less than 3 years. They all said the most difficult challenge was their ability to focus as the “noise” for your attention gets greater.

    You’ve given some good reasons to decline the interview, but be sure you’re not making a decision based on fear. Because that’s not your true self.

    🙂

  27. Speaking as a former reporter at a smallish community newspaper, my colleagues and I used to rather resent it when someone local would grant interviews to all the big media but wouldn’t do the same for us.
    I understand you have your reasons. But consider this: If you decline to speak to the local media, meanwhile reaping all kinds of ink in the NYT, you might be unwittingly sending a message that you’re only interested in publicity when it involves the Really Big Newspapers. And it can come across as disrespectful of local readers – your neighbors in your local community.

    Your local readers are going to be vested in you long after you’ve ceased being the flavor of the month at the New York Times.

    Just my $0.02, for what it’s worth.

  28. Speaking as a former reporter at a smallish community newspaper, my colleagues and I used to rather resent it when someone local would grant interviews to all the big media but wouldn’t do the same for us.
    I understand you have your reasons. But consider this: If you decline to speak to the local media, meanwhile reaping all kinds of ink in the NYT, you might be unwittingly sending a message that you’re only interested in publicity when it involves the Really Big Newspapers. And it can come across as disrespectful of local readers – your neighbors in your local community.

    Your local readers are going to be vested in you long after you’ve ceased being the flavor of the month at the New York Times.

    Just my $0.02, for what it’s worth.

  29. What a choice? Local or National, or perhaps even international, WHO next??How about syndication with your local paper and go national via them??
    Your local paper will ‘love you’.

    I don’t thnk the real issue is local vs NY Times? Actually the Wall Street Journal is much better….If you really want local coverage in every supermarket and drugstore I would go National Enquirer….they seem to break the truth earlier by about a year over the ‘conventional media”.

    On a more serious note, as physicians we usually interact one on one and assume all or most of the responsibility for one on one with other people and patients.
    If you are going to become a media ‘mogul’ this will not work….You can only go so fast, do so much….you get my drift?

    The fact that you raise this question is enough for me to say…you question it.
    Trust your “FEELINGS” LUKE and rely on ”THE FORCE’ OBEONE

  30. What a choice? Local or National, or perhaps even international, WHO next??How about syndication with your local paper and go national via them??
    Your local paper will ‘love you’.

    I don’t thnk the real issue is local vs NY Times? Actually the Wall Street Journal is much better….If you really want local coverage in every supermarket and drugstore I would go National Enquirer….they seem to break the truth earlier by about a year over the ‘conventional media”.

    On a more serious note, as physicians we usually interact one on one and assume all or most of the responsibility for one on one with other people and patients.
    If you are going to become a media ‘mogul’ this will not work….You can only go so fast, do so much….you get my drift?

    The fact that you raise this question is enough for me to say…you question it.
    Trust your “FEELINGS” LUKE and rely on ”THE FORCE’ OBEONE

  31. Dr. Rob-I stumbled on your blog today looking for an address. Funny how that works isn’t it? Your blog is great. Just what we would expect from our favorite doctor. Very cool. Very You.

    That family with the JetVan

  32. Dr. Rob-I stumbled on your blog today looking for an address. Funny how that works isn’t it? Your blog is great. Just what we would expect from our favorite doctor. Very cool. Very You.

    That family with the JetVan

  33. Hey, I almost blogged about you guys. I am careful about that kind of stuff, but not many docs have patients with Jet Vans.
    Hee Hee.

  34. Hey, I almost blogged about you guys. I am careful about that kind of stuff, but not many docs have patients with Jet Vans.
    Hee Hee.

  35. We give our permission to blog whatever you would like about us. Chris and I have made many things public through my blog (not the photo one) – our thought is what ever may help someone else is worth putting out there. At the same time it has definitely helped us.
    Blog on…

  36. We give our permission to blog whatever you would like about us. Chris and I have made many things public through my blog (not the photo one) – our thought is what ever may help someone else is worth putting out there. At the same time it has definitely helped us.
    Blog on…

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