Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Should You Be Blogging?

I interviewed medical blogger Kevin Pho, MD, this week for an article assignment and was impressed not only by his blog, but by how he has used it to create a platform for his opinions.

Pho started blogging several years ago to add a doctor's voice to the medical information showcased in the mass media. Without interpretation or context, he says, people can be confused or misled by what they learn about health care topics in the press. (And people get a lot of their health care information from the news.) Since then, he has also started commenting on topics related to the country's upcoming health care reform, hoping to inform the public about key issues. His thinking is that the public might influence politicians. I suspect that he is influencing policymakers directly, as well.

Thanks in large part to his ability to communicate well, Pho has been interviewed by The New York Times and the CBS Evening News, among other outlets. He's on USA Today's board of contributors and hosts an XM Radio show. These opportunities vastly expand his reach beyond his impressive 25,000 blog subscribers, allowing him to share his opinions in ways he can't with the blog alone. I will be very surprised if he doesn't hear from a literary agent or a book publisher soon.

His experience reminds me of some of the better business reasons for blogging -- to build a platform, to establish credibility and expertise, to connect with people interested in your topic, or to become a better communicator. There are others, of course, but whether you should be blogging for business communications purposes depends on your goals. Give it some thought. It has worked for Kevin Pho -- he writes what is probably the most widely-read doctor's blog -- and it might work for you.


Bongi said...

his is a greatly worthwhile blog.

Chukwuma Onyeije said...

Those of us who are attempting to inform patients and the public regarding a physician's perspective on medical issues owe Dr. Pho a debt of gratitude. I read his blog daily and follow his feeds on Twitter.

Thank you, Dr. Pho.

Dr_Mnemonic said...

The best thing about Dr. Kevin Pho's blog is it's all business, short and sweet and if it's a good topic, the "fans" just slug it out in the comments.

That's how it should be. Opinion pieces in other blogs are nice and informative, but Kevin's format is more like a medical message board with daily topics. I like that.

Sandra Beckwith said...

As a writer, I like that he can communicate clearly and without jargon.