Perception IS Reality

Comments and analysis on the events of May 16, 2007 continue. Some are going to all this a juvenile analogy, but to me, it's feeling like Star Wars: Episode 3 when all the good guys are being eliminated - thus leaving the bad guys to take over the universe. (Yeah, I know, kind of cheezy.)

In reading Kevin, MD this morning, he has an interesting grouping of opinions of the meaning of what happened yesterday (and the trend of medical bloggers leaving the blogosphere). What's more interesting is the comment section. Some have made the accusation that this situation is being blown way out of proportion.

Has even one person filed one claim against a doctor for putting their info out? Can you guys be any more dramatic?
# posted by Anonymous : 9:18 AM

I am sorry to see that blog go, but it is not the death knell of med-blogging, the end times, nor dogs and cats, living together, nor physicians stripped of their first amendment rights.
# posted by For whom the blog rolls : 10:09 AM

I'm not going to respond to these, because the "comeback" comments are a lot better than what I could have written. I encourage you to check them out. I admit that in the big scheme of things, people like me may be causing some unnecessary hype.

But, when it comes to the medical blogosphere, I think that we're in the midst of the aftershocks of a seizmic event that culuminated with what happened yesterday. What does it all mean? I think people are still trying to figure it out. But, in trying to sense some trends, many medical bloggers are perceiving a problem out there and I really do believe that Perception IS Reality.

Here are two comments from the grassroots which really concern me:

This week I chanced across a blogger whom I recognise. Whilst I'm pretty sure they haven't yet recognised me, I'm certainly not going to take the chance of waiting and hoping. These betrayed bloggers ought to be evidence enough that it's better to be safe than sorry. For this reason, on the afternoon of Sunday the 20th, I'm going to make this blog private. (from Tea at Ten)

Wow. This reiterates why I am “anonymous”. But I do fear what has happened to Flea and Fat Doc. People are jealous, vindictive, and generally out to make others miserable while trying to make a buck off you. It makes me consider making my blog by invitation only. Which I would hate to do. (comment made on Emergiblog)

Perception IS reality. The "demise of the medical blogosphere" will not occur with the already established blogs with lots and lots of traffic. Their future is secure. What I am concerned about are those smaller blogs with less traffic (like mine), those who have just started blogging, and those who are considering starting a medical blog.

The demise will occur because of the lack of growth of the medical blogosphere from the grassroots. These people will (or already have) changed to private blogs. And, those who have not started blogging - they will be more hesitant to publically blog, or even blog at all. That's another reason for the "I'm A Blogaholic" blog - to try to catch these people before they leave the public blogosphere or to welcome those considering medical blogging (or any blogging for that matter) in a group environment.

Will the I'm A Blogaholic blog work? Who knows? Am I still blowing this problem out of proportion? Possibly. But, I feel that people are going to be voting with their feet - leaving or not even entering the public blogosphere and we won't hear about it until most of medical blogging has already been wiped out.