Four

My world changed four years ago today.  Today is the 4th anniversary of when I started distractible blogging.

Beginnings

I had actually written a couple of posts on another blog called \”Rob\’s Odd Blog,\” but it was panned by Oprah and Steve Jobs, so it never went far.  I was also writing for Dmitriy at trusted.md (mainly about EMR issues) and had an EMR-oriented blog at ambulatorycomputing.com (which no longer exists).  All of this seemed divided and confusing, so I began to think about putting all of these together in a single blog.  I didn\’t want to have a single focus; I just wanted to blog as me.

So on May 21\’st 2006, \”Musings of a Distractible Mind\” came into existence, and I wrote the following:

I Need a Home

I now am accumulating a lot of different blogs. I need somewhere that is my main site. This will be it. My home away from home. My blog away from blog. I don\’t know what I will write in this thing – just thoughts I guess. But the point is to give a jumping point to my many other writings.

I am not certain how exactly I came up with the name, but the point was that I could write about whatever I wanted.  This became clear in the second post that I wrote on the same day:

My daughter just got a splinter in her foot. It was barely visible but it made her weep as if she had lost a limb. It happens every time and it did again this time…she wanted me to take care of it but wanted me to do so without touching it. Now the fact that I am a doctor makes splinters something I have a great deal of experience with, but I have yet to develop telekinetic powers strong enough to remove splinters without touching them. I need to keep working on that.

That makes me wonder: what would I do with Telekinetic powers?

  1. I\’d play fun tricks on my Cat
  2. Clean the room from the comfort of a nice chair.

You know, I can\’t think of a lot of things to do with telekinesis (at least, not a lot of nice things). Now, teleportation is a different issue. Good telportation would be quite handy, both to cut down on travel and to avoid certain people. Yes, I would like to be able to teleport.

Although it wouldn\’t be much good on splinters.

It would be fun to play tricks on my cat with telekinesis.

I didn\’t get much in the way of readers for the first few weeks (as you can imagine), but I was content to just write.  My first comment was by \”The Laundress,\” who continues to send me interesting articles.

Animal Magnetism


Llamas, which are now a staple of my blog, were not the first animal I obsessed on. Monkeys were actually my first animal obsession, which started when I found an article about a monkey getting drunk on beer.   It turns out, there are a number of animals that regularly get drunk (even bears).  The post that thrust me into the spotlight, however, was not about monkeys, bears, or llamas; it was about cows.  This post, for some reason, was quoted by Moof, a good friend of everyone in the medical blog world at that time.  Her endorsement was the key to what I am today.  I hope someday she forgives herself.

Why Blog?

I didn\’t blog to become famous.  I didn\’t even know I could write very well.  I just started blogging and haven\’t stopped – which to me is the most remarkable thing.  Being as distractible as I am, I tend to be a \”new-a-holic\” – wanting to try new things often.  The nice thing about not tying myself down with a single subject material or writing style is that I don\’t get bored.  It\’s even a nicer thing to have readers that enjoy the variety.

Which brings me to the main point of this post.  There is absolutely no way I would still be blogging if I hadn\’t had such great readers.  I thrive off of that interaction (OK, and also the attention), and have always felt pleasantly surprised when I got any acclaim.  Blogging is different than other media, as it is interactive.  Without the interaction, it is much harder to grow, to develop, to learn, and to explore.  I have enjoyed podcasting, but the blog is where I feel most at home.

And so I say to you, my readers: thanks for a great four years!

9 thoughts on “Four”

  1. I've not been reading your blog for very long but I mostly read it because you are a very human human being and a very readable one.

    If you ever feel the need to obsess about (european) blackbirds or robins, stop by my blog and look at the 'birds' category! They're somewhat different from horizontal cows (which my mother always told me only sat down when it was going to rain, something that I can't help thinking is true… but then I do live in the Uk where rain is usually expected most days) and entirely different from llamas (in that they don't spell their names bblackbird or rrobin, or come to that bbatman or rrobin… mmm… got bats in the garden, dunno about batman) but they are fun.

    Did you lose track there? I did, too. Happy blog anniversary anyway!

  2. Moofie is still the best! She knew a good thing when it came along. I remember that post on your daughter's splinter. It's so hard to believe 4 years have gone by. I thought it was only 3. Wow!
    It's great that you are still writing. Keep up the good work.

  3. Heres to many more “fours” You're very good reading Dr Rob. Keep it up.

  4. Four years is a long time to survive in the blogosphere…and here's to many more to come. I enjoy your mixture of medicine and oddities (like the whole llamas thing, for example), and there are times when I'd kill to have a physician IRL with your sense of humor. And yet, I've also taken from this blog that you are, in all probability, an awesome clinician, too.

    For the record, my experience says that your cat is more likely to have telekinetic powers than you are…they're quirky but lovable little critters, and I'm owned by two of them.

  5. Dr. Rob … thank you for the mention, and Chrys and Kmom actually made me grab a tissue. You guys are all too sweet and kind. *sniff*

    But Dr. Rob, YOU are an absolute riot. I'm not sure I could live in your head for very long at a time (AAAAACK! ;o) but I love your sense of humor, and the wonderful quirky subjects you dig up. Dude, you should be getting paid for all of this!

  6. “I'm not sure I could live in your head for very long at a time.” I think it would be like an amusement park. Weeeee!

    Great to see you here, Moof. You should come back to us all.

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