Lundberg on blogs


Category : General, Medical Rants

George Lundberg on blogs: Is There a Place for Medical Blogs in a Medical Media Company?

… However, with that level of rapid market penetration, a media company ignores blogging at its peril. But since the blogger may be the author, editor, publisher, advertiser, critic, reviewer, and owner — all at the same time — and fake the whole thing, a trustworthy medical media company may embrace unfiltered blogging at its even greater peril.

My email response to Dr. Lundberg. Not surprising that I disagree. I probably will need to think through my response even more carefully. Thoughts from the loyal readers?

This long time medical blogger ( ) believes that you have understood part of blogging, but missed some of the promise of the blogosphere.
As a blogger, I can write anything I desire. As a reader you have the opportunity to read that information, ignore it, believe it, or comment about it. Blogging allows me to express and opinion. It is no better (nor worse) than those who stand on soapboxes at Hyde Park.
Blogging gives me a chance to test ideas. The real test of my blogging is not an editor’s decision making process, but rather the marketplace of ideas. If I write nonsense, then readers will stop reading my site.
If I exaggerate, someone will comment. The democracy of the blogosphere makes any one blog a single input into our overall understanding of issues.
I believe blogging complements other publication methods. If I find problems with an issue, I can highlight those problems and suggest that we might view the problem differently.
I urge you to consider that blogging has pros and cons. I believe the pros can outweigh the cons. I would love to discuss this further at your convenience.


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Comments (6)

I couldn’t agree more with you. The democratization of publishing is further enhanced by blogging. It serves as a good alternative to entrenched “establishment” publications which need shaking up from time to time. Look what happened to CBS in Rathergate. Instead of performiing basic fact checking, they went ahead with a forged document that supported their thesis about Bush’s military service. Then to compound the mistake, they tried to whitewash the whole scandal. And Dan Rather still sticks to his position that although the document was fake, the story was accurate. What a contradiction! So the blogosphere provided a history-making intervention by providing the healthy skepticism that a free press is supposed to provide us!

As another physician blogger ( ), I also disagree with George Lundberg. Yes, there is always the possibility that something on a medical blog is incorrect. I would say the same is true of JAMA, NEJM, etc. Indeed, most (if not all) peer-reviewed journals have had to retract articles, sometimes embarrasingly. Just as open-source software is immediately revealed to large communities online for criticism and generally prompt revision, the same is also true of any blog. No physician is going to have unfettered credibility in this environment; if anyone posts something that is nonsense, our colleagues will certainly call him or her on it. That sort of feedback takes much more time in the case of print-based medical journals.

A wonderful defense of medical blogging you have indeed written, Dr. Bob. Your readers benefit from both the content of this site and your open encouraging attitude toward debate. Thanks, Stu

The Medscape editor did not fully realize that blogs are not only personal journals but they are part of the Web 2.0 platform which is transforming the internet as we know it.

Examples of Web 2.0 are Feeds/RSS, Blogs, Podcasts, AJAX, and DHTML.

None of those were available at the time of the Civil War that he is mentioning… 🙂

What a nicely written, succinct, and thoughtful response to Dr. Lundberg’s condescending position. And gee, to think it was written by someone who is the “author, editor, publisher, advertiser, critic, reviewer, and owner — all at the same time,” as Dr. Lundberg puts it. I think it’s worth pointing out that Dr. Centor’s thoughts, ideas, and comments on medical matters carry just as much weight as Dr. Lundberg’s, or any other medical blogger or writer for that matter; it is up to the reader to discriminate between good and bad information, and form his or her own opinion

links for 2005-10-16

A E Interactive: Blog of the Week BOTW for week of 10/7/05 (tags: Choi MSM) PAMP Dad, Dr. Enoch Choi heading to Louisiana – looking to connect with drug reps and medical suppliers | PAMP Parents Club Thanks, Jill for alerting our parent’s club to my …

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