Blog Traffic Bump from Dead Tree Publications; also, Black Wednesday, and a message to Flea and Fat Doctor

Yeah, the title got added onto as I wrote.


This blog has been written up in the two big EM newspapers, in the Dallas Morning News, and most lately in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.  After the first couple I watched the sitemeter like a hawk, expecting the counter to go spinning.


Now I always hope these articles will at least bring some fresh eyes to the site, but again sitemeter reports my desires are denied.  Nobody reads a print publication and then goes online, at least to look for EM blogging.  (I’ll suppose that if I posted porn or on inflammatory politics that’d change, but you have to motivate new readers, and EM blogging isn’t it).  It’s easy online to click and follow a link, which helps most bloggers (which comes at a price: it’s also easy not to follow the links).

So, don’t think your paper’s write-up will make you famous, or need a better web host.


On a different note, the Black Wednesday blog-bugout has made me review every one of my posts and caused me to unpublish about 5, simply out of a desire to stay as far from the edge of the trouble-cliff as possible.  All the posts removed had to do with patient interactions, and they were fully anonymized and absolutely no patient was in any danger of having their identity discovered, but I found them less interesting in retrospect, and little to be gained by leaving them up.  Nobody will miss them (in fact, I’ll bet nobody can tell me which are gone, because they were all that forgettable).  (Like the ones I left up).

I understand why Flea’s blog got axed; I thought it was terrifically brave or astonishingly foolhardy to blog about an upcoming / current trial, and think he’ll be back after his current trouble runs its course.  Though I have taken plenty of exception to his ED bashing, I still enjoy his writing (and we were winning him over on the ED front toward the end).

I don’t get Fat Doctor’s signing off, unless there’s a lot more behind the story than was written (and there usually is, but it’s not clear in this case).  She was upset that “Someone in my department printed out my blog and showed it to my boss. He tells me he didn’t read it and won’t interfere in what I do with my own time as long as I do a good job at work.” (via Kevin, as even that’s gone from her site now).  If that’s what scared her off from blogging, why?  The boss knows and doesn’t care, expressly, and just because some idiot who can run a printer copied your blog in a failed attempt to cause you problems, you shouldn’t quit!  In fact, you won!  The only way the troublemaker wins is for you to stop the blogging you obviously enjoy, which is a loss to us all.

So, both of you, shake it off and please come back when you’re ready.


  1. Imagine my horror when I sat down with coffee and no Flea! I hope it’s for the trial only and he’ll return.
    I enjoyed Fat Doctor as well, so I’m a bit saddened by all of this.

  2. I’d already re-altered a few cases to try to make them even more HIPAA-friendly after the Detroit Free Press article, but after Black Wed I unpublished a couple of posts as well. I don’t think it’s a violation if a patient can identify themself but nobody else possibly could, but such a circumstance could still cause some unpleasantness that I’d rather not deal with.

  3. My view has always been that you are foolish to presume there is some kind of anonymity in any blog. So you have to write from that perspective.

    That having been said, I think the blogs from US docs are mild compared to the stuff the NHS docs put in theirs.

  4. I loved Fat Doctor’s Blog, and am really saddened that she has taken if offline. I hope she opens it back up, or at least sees this and invites me to read it!