Friday, May 18, 2007

Dr. Dork goes private

Very quietly this morning, Dr. Dork now is "open to invited readers only." Am I still an alarmist? Do people still think I'm making up the seriousness of this situation? You be the judge....


Snoskred said...

I don't think you are making up the seriousness of this situation - but I do think some of the bloggers involved perhaps did not realise the seriousness of the situation beforehand.

When it comes to blogging and being online, most people don't think of the potential consequences even a tiny choice may mean. It's a personal decision we all have to make - how comfortable are we giving out any information about ourselves? How safe is it to choose to use a real name, give away your location, post anything which may relate to your real life?

The truth is, it isn't very safe. Once you put something on your blog on the internet it is out of your control - google archives it, your RSS feed gives it to readers, there's the whole copyright debate..

What I think is these bloggers will come back but with different names and a new attitude - as in you get nothing that might clue readers in on who they are or where they live. Realistically this is probably what they should have done in the beginning. It is a sad truth that it is necessary to go to that extent but it is a reality, I think.

It's not a new issue though it may be a new issue to this field of blogging - take for example The Girl With A One Track Mind - her identity was exposed by the tabloids in the UK and it was very unpleasant for her.

Dr. A said...

What's interesting is that there is a segment of med bloggers out there who say anonymous blogging IS THE PROBLEM.

They state that everyone should be out in the open - completely transparent. Put your real name, picture, and demographic information on the blog. They state that this will add credibility to med blogging in general and remove the risk of "being exposed" and the need to retreat into privacy.

Reading the debate on this issue has been interesting to me. The spectum of opinion is all over the map. How will all of this end up? Why knows? But it will be interesting to see this unfold.

XE said...

Do you have his e-mail so that I can request being on the invited list?

Dr Dork said...

Hi Dr.A.

Appreciate your sentiments.

I have locked my blog off temporarily for personal reasons. I am surprised anyone noticed!

I am not beholden to any employers/bosses/boards etc. beyond the Hippocratic oath.

I am not "in trouble" in any way, shape or form.

Well, I am always in trouble with Mrs. Dork, but that is another story...

I strongly advocate anonymous but "labelled" blogging. If that makes any sense...

Firstly, anonymity of the health blogger is an added layer to protect anonymity of any patients, although most of us take many further layers of precautions to protect this.

Secondly, criticizing poor management/government is not something we should fear. Even here in Oz, doctors who speak out against government mismanagement often become subject to personal vilification.

Thirdly...I like having a funny name.

Dr Dork is currently retired but shall return.

I'd put this mini-rant on the blog front page but can't work out how to do so whilst still temporarily closing it.


Dr. A said...

Thanks for the clarification.

jmb said...

I was devastated to find Dr Dork gone this morning, but seeing his comment here has put my mind at rest. He'll be back and soon we all hope.
Thanks Dr A for giving him the opportunity to let us know.

Anonymous said...

I blog under my real name... but then I'm an idiot. What do I know?

No, actually I would blog anonymously if it weren't for the fact that -- because of the nature of my website -- my name is already on the Internet anyway... so I just blog as me.

I suppose I could start an anonymous blog, but that just seems like a duplication of effort.

Fortunately, like Dr. Dork, I don't have to answer to anyone except God... and perhaps Mrs. Dork. :o)

Dr. Dork: If you happen to read this, you could just post the message above (or something similar) on your front page and just leave it.

You don't have to close your blog just because you wish to take a hiatus. Google will leave the pages up indefinitely.

That way, we regular (usually silent) readers won't feel like we've been left out of the "inner circle" so to speak... or jump to hasty conclusions as to "what happened."

Just a thought,

Dr. Deb said...

I'm not an invited person.

Waaaaahaaa :(

scalpel said...

I blog anonymously because I enjoy posting patient cases from time to time, and I wouldn't want a patient of mine to feel bad about our interaction if they happened upon the post. I'm afraid that if my identity (and therefore my hospital/employer) were associated with my posts, even a disclaimer would not prevent the conception that I was acting as a spokesman for the facility. And that is certainly not the case.

There is some sort of bizarre reinforcement I get from blogging about somewhat personal issues or points of view from time to time, and I have no desire to let my patients (or prospective patients) know how I really think.

That might interfere with the physician-patient relationship, and I would never want that to happen. So anonymous it is.

XE said...

I don't blog anonymously because my blog started out as a way to keep in contact with my friends and family when I couldn't be with them. It was, and for the most part still is, just about things that are happening to me on a day-to-day basis, and what I'm thinking about.
I don't post about patients because even though I've had the chance to work with some, I don't want to risk accidentally violating patient confidentiality.