Nursing Voices

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Are Bloggers an Endangered Species?

Some of our best medical bloggers are packing up and leaving blogosphere while others are taking down their public blogs and are going private. I have a theory about what’s going on. Do you believe in conspiracy theories? Here’s one that even Fox Mulder from the X-Files would find intriguing.

Doctors and nurses are telling their readers the truth about what’s happening in the health care system, and big business is not amused. The health care industry wants consumers to think that everything is hunky-dory in Hospital Land, and they don’t want health care bloggers telling patients and their family members about what’s really happening behind closed doors. We know all about the skeletons in the health care closet. At one time blogs were viewed as cutesy journals written by lovelorn teenagers and computer geeks, but not anymore. Big business has learned the power of blogging, and they don’t want doctors and nurses bashing health care services online.

There is an old adage that says just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you. Is it paranoid thinking to believe that some powerful forces want to shut us down?

The Truth is Out There.


Blogger kario said...

It's happening to bloggers everywhere. The company that doesn't recognize the power of consumers and online communities is bound to be blind-sighted. The truth will find its way through the cracks in the blogosphere, though, thanks to folks like you, Nurse R!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Angry Nurse said...

I'm not sure who but someone once said that:

"Reality is the #1 cause of insanity among those who are in contact with it”

Assuming this actually could be true than I have to assume that those in charge believe they the only sane people in the world because of their lack of exposure to anything that resembles reality makes it so easy to dismiss the comments and concerns of the insane public and by extension their equally insane employees.

(Yes, I'm working nights again, more proof of my insanity anyway)

5:19 AM  
Blogger may said...

scary, but a possibility.

9:58 AM  
Blogger poody said...

I thumb my nose at the powers that be as I sit in the shadows and blog. I was once told by another nurse that if we continue to point out the flaws of nursing then there will be no one to take our place. Yeh, like I am responsible for the nursing shortage. It doesn't have anything to do with the long hours, poor pay, and conditions we have to work with/against. If I had to do it all over again I think knowing what I know now I probably would choose another profession.

11:12 AM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Nobody wants bad things said about them. Why should hospitals, drug companies, etc. be any different?

Where they do differ is in their power... to stampede craven HR people to clamp down on employee blogging, for example.

Secrecy makes almost nothing better. Maybe treaty negotiations and constitutional conventions. But it's a short list.

5:02 PM  
Blogger wetnurse said...

I think you hit it head on, Ratch.

A nurse's intuition is rarely wrong...only those who have not witnessed its power would be foolish enough to question it.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Gerbil said...

Deceive, inveigle, obfuscate.

This is why I never write blog entries at work--and why I wait till I get home to comment on posts like this one.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Forty_Two said...

People have been fired for what they write on their blogs, even if they never access them from work.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

You might be right. Fox would know the answer here.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Stick it to the MAN! Let's beat everything we can out of the First Amendment while we still have it....and before I have to teach my child to pray in school and un-do any theories of evolution I have taught her.....

9:52 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

You make a good point, MJ. I agree with you. There are things that go on at my workplace that I am afraid to discuss on my blog because I want to remain employed. I feel I was close to crossing the line when I posted the rant about the surgeons. There is no such thing as anonymity online and we do threaten "big business" by telling the truth.

10:57 PM  
Blogger jewgirl said...

fantastic post! so true. we nned more bloggers from the medical commuity exposing the truth. BRAVO! people like me need you!!

2:04 AM  
Blogger Leigh said...

This issue has already been raised in other industries (IT, legal, etc.) It just took awhile for it to make its way to healthcare...

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Shane said...

Admittedly I don't know all the stories behind why all these blogs have been shut down, but none of the ones I've heard have had anything to do with big business. It's all HIPAA-related and organizations or individuals putting the stop to blogging to avoid any potential problems--either after actual threats or before any threats arise. No one knows exactly what's allowed, and (understandably) no one's willing to expose themselves to a lawsuit to finally establish some sort of precedent.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous AdrienneZurub said...

Thanks for generating a great discussion. Let the truth be told!

Adrienne Zurub

10:36 AM  
Blogger Laura Collins said...

Good theory.

Another factor, I fear, is the burnout of saying things you KNOW are true but not getting validation for it.

Blogging in your private life means smoldering silently in your work life.

12:55 PM  
Blogger tammyswofford said...

Yes, we all know the rules are not totally defined for blogs and where liability lies in certain things. I think it is important that to be credible our blogs present fact-base opinion.

My blog today covered abortion. Interestingly, the nurse who is covering the topic tomorrow does not want her name affiliated with our workplace, which does not even perform abortions.

I think it is important to *not be intimidated but also to *understand the power of blogging. Some corporations now require their executives to maintain blogs and even hire full-time bloggers to promote the interests of the corporation. MSM is losing ground to bloggers. Shelf life is shorter on news, with blogs around. We have opened up free speech and created a healthier society for stirring it up a bit. For some, sharing the stage is not what they desire!


2:32 PM  

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