My world changed four years ago today. Today is the 4th anniversary of when I started distractible blogging.
I had actually written a couple of posts on another blog called "Rob's Odd Blog," but it was panned by Oprah and Steve Jobs, so it never went far. I was also writing for Dmitriy at trusted.md (mainly about EMR issues) and had an EMR-oriented blog at ambulatorycomputing.com (which no longer exists). All of this seemed divided and confusing, so I began to think about putting all of these together in a single blog. I didn't want to have a single focus; I just wanted to blog as me.
So on May 21'st 2006, "Musings of a Distractible Mind" came into existence, and I wrote the following:
I Need a Home
I now am accumulating a lot of different blogs. I need somewhere that is my main site. This will be it. My home away from home. My blog away from blog. I don't know what I will write in this thing - just thoughts I guess. But the point is to give a jumping point to my many other writings.
I am not certain how exactly I came up with the name, but the point was that I could write about whatever I wanted. This became clear in the second post that I wrote on the same day:
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?
- I'd play fun tricks on my Cat
- 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.
It would be fun to play tricks on my cat with telekinesis.
I didn't get much in the way of readers for the first few weeks (as you can imagine), but I was content to just write. My first comment was by "The Laundress," who continues to send me interesting articles.
Llamas, which are now a staple of my blog, were not the first animal I obsessed on. Monkeys were actually my first animal obsession, which started when I found an article about a monkey getting drunk on beer. It turns out, there are a number of animals that regularly get drunk (even bears). The post that thrust me into the spotlight, however, was not about monkeys, bears, or llamas; it was about cows. This post, for some reason, was quoted by Moof, a good friend of everyone in the medical blog world at that time. Her endorsement was the key to what I am today. I hope someday she forgives herself.
I didn't blog to become famous. I didn't even know I could write very well. I just started blogging and haven't stopped - which to me is the most remarkable thing. Being as distractible as I am, I tend to be a "new-a-holic" - wanting to try new things often. The nice thing about not tying myself down with a single subject material or writing style is that I don't get bored. It's even a nicer thing to have readers that enjoy the variety.
Which brings me to the main point of this post. There is absolutely no way I would still be blogging if I hadn't had such great readers. I thrive off of that interaction (OK, and also the attention), and have always felt pleasantly surprised when I got any acclaim. Blogging is different than other media, as it is interactive. Without the interaction, it is much harder to grow, to develop, to learn, and to explore. I have enjoyed podcasting, but the blog is where I feel most at home.
And so I say to you, my readers: thanks for a great four years!