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Three years ago, I started Musings of a Distractible Mind.  I am not sure how I came up with this name, but I am glad I did.  It not only is a quirky title, but it really fits what I ended up doing.  I was on the Blogger platform at that time, but got frustrated with limitations.  If you want to see my early writings, go to http://easilydistractedmind.blogspot.com.

On 5/21/06 I wrote the following:

I Hate Spinters

My daughter just got a splinter in her foot. It was barely visible but it made her weep as if she had lost a limb. It happens every time and it did again this time...she wanted me to take care of it but wanted me to do so without touching it. Now the fact that I am a doctor makes splinters something I have a great deal of experience with, but I have yet to develop telekinetic powers strong enough to remove splinters without touching them. I need to keep working on that.

That makes me wonder: what would I do with Telekinetic powers?

  1. I'd play fun tricks on my Cat
  2. Clean the room from the comfort of a nice chair.

You know, I can't think of a lot of things to do with telekinesis (at least, not a lot of nice things). Now, teleportation is a different issue. Good telportation would be quite handy, both to cut down on travel and to avoid certain people. Yes, I would like to be able to teleport.

Although it wouldn't be much good on splinters.

I stayed with blogger until November of 2006 and changed to Wordpress.  I initially went to a different URL, but then moved to distractible.org when it messed up.  I am not giving the URL for it because it got "infected" - must have been carousing while I was not looking and I don't want to promote those kinds of diseases among friends..   Distractible.org is, for those who havent noticed, an oxymoron.  It really should be distractible.disorg.  They wouldn't give me that domain, though.

Unfortunately there are a few months of posts I did not salvage from the old site.  To my knowledge, they are lost to posterity (perhaps mercifully).  Since coming to distractible.org in September of 07, I have had a pretty good ride.

Here are some of my highlights of my three years:

  • Frequent citations (did I spell that right?) in KevinMD brought me significant visibility.  Thanks Kevin.
  • I have hosted grand rounds 4 times, with the following themes:
  • Tara Parker-Pope featured several of my posts in the NY Times Health Blog and gave me an incredible amount of traffic.  Thanks Tara.
  • Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Dish cited me several times as well.  Thanks Andrew.
  • I was interviewed by Medical Economics about blogging and American College of Physicians News about Twitter (I am @doc_rob).
  • I started the Golden Llama Award (don't worry, I have not forgotten).
  • I launched Zippy on his world tour - he's bogged down in India right now.  I hope he wasn't eaten.
  • Most popular post: Getting Along: Part 1 - Doctor Rules (with nearly 20,000 hits) - next is Shame, with 5,5000.

If I would recommend anything in my experience of blogging, it would be this: allow yourself to vary your writing.  Probably the best thing I did was to not get tied down to any one style or subject.  The ability to post two totally different types of posts consecutively has kept me going.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • The Physical Exam series has been a delight to write.  It is a wonderful canvas on which to both inform and entertain.  I even spent one post entirely on the uvula.
  • The Ask Dr. Rob series has been a great source of humor posts (although it's been a while).  Taco Time was the first and is still my favorite.
  • Favorite is about the death of one of my favorite patients.
  • An Open Letter to Consultants was a cathartic way to gripe about PCP the plight
  • Joi de Vivre is a post about a disabled girl who worked in our office.
  • I did two posts on the dangers accordions pose to society. (1 and 2).  I see it as my duty to society.

Announcing:

Those who follow me on Twitter already know this, but big things have been afoot.  I was contacted by the folks at Quick and Dirty Tips, who do the extremely popular podcast Grammar Girl and a number of others.  They offered me the opportunity to become their doctor podcaster, doing a weekly 5-minute show regarding a specific medical topic.  The reason I was recruited was partly because of the humor I occasionally employ and so this will have very much the same tone as the blog.  I will be starting sometime in the next month or so, and hopefully will see some of the success others have in the QDT family.

This may mean a little less posting here, but don't intend to decrease it much.  My hope is that the podcast will feed the blog as well.  We'll see.  I am very excited about the opportunity and have enjoyed working with them so far.

OK, now everyone go out and eat some cake for me.  You are the real stars of this blog.  I really, really enjoy having loyal readers and interacting with them.  Thanks to all of you!

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