August, 2009 Archive

August 31, 2009, 3:16 pm

Observing the Blogosphere

perfectcapThe. Perfect. Cap.

The entire reason my nine-year-old self decided to be a nurse.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the perfect ten-out-of-ten cap (on the Emergiblog Cap Rating Scale) looks like.

If I could add effects, I’d surround it with a heavenly glow and have an angelic choir going “Ahhhhhhhhhh” behind it!

And even better? It’s exactly like the one I wore in the dark ages back in the day.

The one I would wear in a split second today if I thought I could get away with it without getting laughed at.

Looks like someone has saved it for posterity in a museum. Mine is in the den closet (and I wouldn’t even charge admission if you wanted to see it).


This is exciting: blogging colleague Dr. Val and the Better Health website were referenced during a Larry King show! Dr. Val is also in the running to be a panelist at the next SXSW conference. You can register and vote for her using the for the SXSW PanelPicker. If you have heard her speak, you know she should be at the next SXSW!


I’ve received some emails from nurses who would like to start a blog. Some are a bit nervous about starting, others are not sure how to begin. There are a million sites out there on how to start a blog; in fact, I wrote a post specifically on how to be a “nurse blogtitioner”.

But their emails got me thinking about the blogosphere in general and the most important considerations in starting/maintaining a blog.

1.  The blogsosphere can never be saturated.

Think you have nothing to add to the dialog? Think that everything about your topic has been said?  Think again. If you aren’t blogging there is still a voice that needs to be heard. What exactly do you bring to the discussion? You! No one has had your experiences or can express your opinions. More importantly, no one else can bring your voice. And unlike a meeting or an email, there are no time limits or physical boundaries to the blogosphere. There is room for everybody, and that means you!

2. The heart of the blogosphere is interactivity.

If you read blogs, you probably leave comments. Comments are the soul of the blogosphere. With them, the blogosphere is a conversation. Without them, the blogosphere is simply a virtual collection of “articles”. By starting a blog, you bring the dialog to your “home turf”, so-to-speak. You are the host/hostess of a virtual “salon”, providing information on your sphere of expertise, initiating the debate and most importantly, learning from those who comment on your posts.

3.  The blogosphere is the great equalizer.

There is no hierarchy of blogs. Don’t confuse size with importance. Some blogs may have a million readers a day and some may have ten, but in the blogosphere, no one is “better” than anyone else. Your blog, with that first post, is just as important and just as relevant as anything you see on “Instapundit” or the “Huffington Post”.  It’s unique and cannot be replicated, because it is based on your outlook and experiences.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your blog:

1. Content is King

Maybe you look at the blogs with the sidebars and the graphics and the ads and the widgets and think, “Man, I don’t know how to do all that!”. You don’t have to do all that!  All you have to do is start posting. One post. Later, if you want, you can add a blogroll or a few widgets. But the way to start is to begin writing, and keep writing. People will come for your content. Everything else takes a back seat to that.

2. Promotion, Ur Doin’ it Right

You’ve just put up your first post. A few folks might stumble on your site by accident, but you need to get out the word that you’re on the web. This is where you start promoting your blog. The best way to do this is find a carnival for your niche and submit a post. For those of us in the medblogging community, examples would be Grand Rounds, Change of Shift, Patients for a Moment and The Handover.  Make your url part of every email signature and blog comment you send. Write it, and they will come…but they need to know you’re there.

3.  Prolific Perfection…Not

Blogging can be addicting, and in a good way.  It can be challenging, therapeutic, frustrating, and energizing – all in one post! But…you do not have to be the “perfect” writer. Just find your style and run with it. And while consistent posting makes it easier for readers to find your blog, you control your posting schedule.  “Prolific” is what you say it is, be it once a week or once a day.  But know this: the more you write, the easier it becomes to write; the more you are interacting with the blogosphere, the more inspiration you will find and the more you will want to write.  It’s the blogosphere “circle of life”!

So…if you ask me, should I blog?

I’ll say YES!!!!

Been there, still doing that, and if I can do it, you can do it.

It will clarify your outlook.

It will recharge your batteries.

It will change your life.

Really, the bottom line?

You’ll never know unless you write…

That first post.

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August 27, 2009, 11:53 am

Medbloggers! What Happens in Vegas…Well, Happens in Vegas!

fastandfuriousOkay, I know this photo has nothing to do with BlogWorld/New Media Expo 09, but it is so cute I had to use it.

Besides there is no Nascar this week, so I had to get my fix somehow.

And I was up all yesterday blogging “fast and furryest”, emailing right and left, Tweeting the Good Tweet and generally spreading the the word about the Medblogger track.

Just in case someone missed the message! : )

Time has just flown by and what once was nine months out, then six months out and then four months out has come down to less than seven weeks.


Doctor Anonymous will be celebrating the second anniversary of his Blog Talk Radio show tonight, so stop by and say “congratulations”!  You can access the show through this page.


I am now blogging over at the BWE blog, as are all the panelists for the Medblogger track.  My first post is here.  Comments welcome!



There is the official logo.

If you have been on the fence about attending, it is not too late. The majority of those who register for BlogWord do so by the third week in September. Details are here, with links to registration.

The discount codes are still in effect.  The discounted rooms at the Venetian are still available.

Come for the day or stay for the weekend.  You can basically choose what you want, smorgasbord-style. I would suggest the whole weekend, though.  While the first day is all medblogger, the rest of the weekend will take you through the meat-and-potatoes of the art of blogging.

And, chances are, if you have a favorite non-med blogger that you follow, they will be there.

Any questions, any problems – email me.  I will either answer them or hook you up with someone who can.

This will be informative, educational….and a downright blast!

Hope to see you there!

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August 25, 2009, 11:45 pm

Patients For A Moment: Vol. 1, No. 6

patientforamomentWelcome to Patients For A Moment!

Emergiblog is proud to host the sixth installment of this patient blog carnival, brainchild of Duncan Cross. Who is cool. And I know. I’ve met him! : )

The theme? Patients and their experiences. The patient blogosphere is varied and vibrant, and this week’s submissions reflect that fact.

So let’s get started!


Lisa Emrich lives with (and blogs about) multiple sclerosis at Brass and Ivory.  She also runs the Carnival for MS Bloggers. She shares her experiences with the financial aspect of illness, from insurance premiums to medication costs in Getting Squeezed.  In Gratitude Friday and Health Care Questions, take a look at what you like/dislike about your coverage and explore your feelings on health care reform.

Congenital heart disease does not discriminate, but Steve at Adventures of a Funky Heart observes that the majority of congenital heart disease survivors are caucasion. Do health care discrepancies play a role in survival? Steve looks at this very topic in Hearts Aren’t White

These posts from Kate at After Cancer, Now What? blew me out of the water. First, in Formula Tax Deduction, we find out a woman with a double mastectomy cannot use her Flexible Spending Account to buy formula. And get ready, because you will not believe this one….there is a bill in Congress that would make pet care expenses tax deductible. Read the details at No Formula But Pet Food Okay?


Blogger (and author!) Laurie at A Chronic Dose pens a poignant post about waiting and hoping…balancing the needs of chronic illness with an all-out passion for life in Hope (or Something Like It).

Duncan discusses an urgent issue in Mr. Poopy Pants. The title is cute, the problem is very serious. If you have ever, ever had to get to a bathroom, like, yesterday (overactive bladder, anyone? I’m just sayin’), you will relate to this issue. Be sure to check out Ally’s Law; it’s amazing that it took legislation to get needed access for this problem.

Over at Novel Patient, Lauren writes about her experiences with Sjogren’s Syndrome, realizing that sometimes you have to cry to get through the sadness before you can take A New Look. And sometimes, that “new look” is literal – check out the new haircut! : )


Barbara at In Sickness and In Health has lived with chronic pain and in Mercy Killings? she wonders if suicide can ever shift from psychological pathology to a reasonable choice. Be sure to read the very frank, honest comments in response.

I love this one! Lisa at Invisible Illness Awareness may have had to take the wheelchair from the hotel to the Disneyland, but that did not keep her from having some fun and she tells us all about Why I Rode Space Mountain and Celebrated Irresponsibility! Lisa was also the host of Grand Rounds last week, and I owe her a link. So here it is!

RehabRN talks about the need for flexibility when working with patients, and she even has a mini-patient carnival of her own right here in Please Be Patient…!  A few more for the blog roll!


I don’t have to say a word about this submission. It’s a photo essay from Laura at Adventures in Juggling entitled Wordless Wednesday – Adventures in Meningococcal Meningitis. And it didn’t stop there. Laura adds the last chapter in Meningococcal Bullets. That is freaking scary.

Reality Rounds takes a page out of the headlines as Michael Jackson’s death shows us what happens When the Paycheck Takes Precedent Over the Patient. I wonder what part of “do no harm” the doctor didn’t understand.

Barbara from Florence dot com recalls her experience as a patient while giving birth to her daughter in Happy 21st Birthday, Margaret!.  A study in the benefit of actually listening to a patient…


Should You Bring a Loved One to Your Doctor’s Appointments? asks Diana from Somebody Heal Me: the Musings of a Chronic Migraineur. Could it be sending the wrong message?

And last but never, ever least, Rachel at Tales of My Thirties stays home alone while her diabetic husband takes a road trip. It’s not as innocent as it sounds, for five years ago he had a hypoglycemic-induced seizure after pulling off road.  Did they both make it through okay?  Find out in The Survival Instinct.


That does it for this edition of Patients for a Moment.

The next installment will be hosted by Leslie at Getting Closer to Myself.

It’s been fun – thanks for reading!

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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