What is a Medical Blog?

I have to confess, I really get into lists of the \”Top X blogs.\”  X doesn\’t have to equal \”Medical;\” I just like seeing what people find worthwhile.
OK, I will also confess a mild obsession about where my blog stacks up.  That obsession starts when you begin to blog and continues regardless of your success as a blogger.  I was very tickled (not literally) by Mike Cadogen, an Aussie Emergency Physician, listen your\’s truly among the top 10 clinical medicine blogs, describing the blog as:

Dr. Rob Lamberts is a primary care physician from the Southeastern United States. This roller coaster of a medical blog is intelligent, witty and eclectic racing from the serious to the absurd from one blog post to the next.

Wow.  He never used the words \”strange\” or \”harmful.\”  Thanks Mike.

But that\’s not the point of this post.  This post is a gripe I have with Technorati and Wikio, two resources where people can find blogs of interest.  I am listed on both of them, but on neither as a medical/health blog.  I have pointed this omission out to each of them, but have never gotten a response.  I have begged, pleaded, and openly wept to get their attention to their sorrowful omission, only to be met with a spooky silence.  Is this a conspiracy?  Is it a plot by Oprah to spurn me once more?

Or perhaps the name of my blog is a bit misleading.

Regardless, the bigger grief comes from what is listed as a medical blog on each of these sites.  Here\’s what Technorati includes in its \”Top 100 Health Blogs.\”

This one is #7, just behind Kevin, MD

Here\’s Technorati\’s #35

Wikio is  quite a bit better, but still with some questionable inclusions:

Both of which are clearly made to market products and/or books

Am I mad about my non-inclusion?  Only a little – given the quality of the inclusions in this list.  My real frustration is the dilution of quality medical information with this kind of content.  This is given equal time to physician bloggers – even put ahead of them.  This is elevated above patient bloggers who really live with disease, instead of profiteering off of their disease.

Substance is being buried with the slime out there, and even more reputable sites are getting sucked in.  When we were forming the Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics, we were frequently hit with requests from blogs that were hucksters cleverly masquerading as content-providers.  Being somewhat dim-witted about this kind of thing (trusting soul that I am), I had to rely on the eyes of other bloggers to separate the wheat from the chaff.  If I found it hard at times, non-medical folks will have even harder time.

What to do about it?  Complain loudly, link to quality blogs, and continue to put out quality stuff.

8 thoughts on “What is a Medical Blog?”

  1. katherinepostpartumprogress

    I have the same issue. I'm in the top 100 family blogs, but not in the top 100 health list. I just find it strange, and when you look at some of the stuff in the top 100 health list, it's bad content.

  2. Cheers Rob
    Agree with you that it is fun to see what others find interesting and useful as top 10 lists.
    I have had similar problems with the dilution of medical information by directory classification.
    DMOZ currently list 23 personal medical blogs and will (in time) be reviewing and updating this list to be more reflective of the medical blogs which are in existence. (http://bit.ly/cY1JyE)
    Technorati is a strange beast, but are getting much better at identifying the wheat from the chaff with their 'Get Satisfaction' pages. (http://bit.ly/bbPozG)
    Wikio is beyond me…as is Google Blog Search (http://bit.ly/b6SmV5)

    I guess at the end of the day we can warm our collective hearts that we are huddled together with blogs on viagra, hair-loss, weight gain, weight-loss and self-esteem in the great virtual blogging repository in the sky…at least then there is a chance somebody will read the drivel we write

  3. I don't blog, I just read. I don't go to “top blog” sites, it's all word of mouth or links from other blogs. Some get deleted because they're not interesting to me or not well written, but those blogs above wouldn't make the first cut on my blogroll. Ever.

    Now I have to go see what Addicted to Medblogs is all about…

  4. Yes, I think that reverse psychology would work. Once you make things into a conspiracy, some people somehow trust it more. I think it’s very American

  5. I am a physician in the Northwestern US. A friend (also a doc) and I have a new health education idea. Years of slogging through the guidelines for low health literacy communication seem to leave us with patients who may be uninterested ,which is common and not in our control , but not understanding what I am trying to say . My own choice is –the most important thing you can do for CV health is to control your blood pressure .

    So I thought I could start a site “health secrets THEY don't want you to know” with pictures of vigorous elderly people (who haven't been beaten down by 25 years of 85 hour weeks ) and our kids who are like Nike fit models, but who work cheaper .

    THEY don;t want you to know your could control your blood pressure with hydrochlorothiazide. Pennies a day , and it doesn't interfere with dieting!

    THEY don;t want you to know giving up alcohol can lower your BP 10 points. Your doctor is in the pay of the wine drinking liberal media

    THEY don;t want you to know that all those expensive prepared foods are loaded with sodium. Save hundreds cooking bulk oatmeal in the microwave at work instead of a Starbucks scone, and cooking your own hamburger and rice with low sodium tomato sauce instead of Hamburger Helper .

    We could then sell a book of this kind of advice for like 3.99 and donate the proceeds (slim though they would be) to the ACP foundation for health literacy.

  6. separating slime from substance is truly a difficult task.

    this is the hard cold fact about our world today..

  7. Agreed. I'm new to the blog world, but feel I put out helpful and hopefully interesting content, avoid being sensational for its own sake, and see trash like you show thrive. Well at least I chose a name that sounds like a medical blog.

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