Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Because of you, we have now reached 2 million page views, and counting

As of 11 a.m. this morning, because of readers like you, this blog has received 2,001,555 lifetime page views! (A page view represents each time a visitor views a page on a website). The lifetime of this blog began on October 29, 2008, when I asked, 'Is healthcare a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?' This inaugural post generated a spirited debate among the 11 people who posted comments in response. (We as a society are still debating this question, although the Affordable Care Act clearly shifted public policy toward establishing healthcare as a right, over the continuing fierce objections of its conservative critics). This is my 465th post; collectively, the posts to date have received 2178 published comments.

I accompanied this first post with a description of myself and what I hoped to achieve through the ACP Advocate blog:

This blog will reflect my work with ACP, but will not be a mouthpiece for ACP's positions. Instead, I hope to invite commentary on the most provocative and intriguing health policy discussions I come across in my daily work.

This continues to be my goal.

Which of my posts generated the greatest interest, as measured by page views, from you, the readers? Here are the top 5:

1. My April 25, 2014, post, Yes, times are tough, but don’t compare doctors to janitors, in which I challenged a comparison made by blogger Daniela Drake, received the most page views, by far.

2. Next was my November 5, 2014 post, What does the 2014 election mean for Obamacare?

3. My March 28, 2012 post, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, in which I criticized laws that restrict physicians’ ability to discuss firearms and other medically-appropriate health issues with their patients, was next.

4. On January 15, 2014, in What my auto accident taught me about Obamacare, I wrote about my own very personal experience of a car crash. I  wrote that I was fortunate: my injuries were limited to a fractured sternum and my pride (I inexplicably drove my car into a tree). But the accident also taught me that we are all vulnerable and how important having health insurance is; What might have been the outcome for someone in the same circumstances as me, but without health insurance and with a much more modest income? And I was reminded of how government regulation (in this case, air bags) helped keep me from suffering worse injuries. This post topped the all-time list with the number of comments (25) posted in reply.

5. Next was my December 17, 2013 post, What Physicians Should Expect When the ACA goes live on January 1.

Interestingly, although the vast majority of page views for the ACP Advocate blog are from within the United States, there is a significant international audience for it:

United States: 1,843,144
China: 28,913
Ukraine: 14,518
Germany: 12,209
France: 12,143
Russia: 6,855
Canada: 5,033
United Kingdom: 4,860
India: 2,816
Brazil: 2,122

Because of the visibility created by this blog, I have also become a periodic guest blogger for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where on Monday of this week I posted The Collapse of the Case Against Obamacare, citing data that most of the critics’ dire predictions have not come to pass.  And the blog often reposts my ACP Advocate blogs, most recently Obamacare, The Anti-Death Panel Law.

 I realize that this post might come across as self-promotional (although this is inherent in social media, which measures its relevance by page views, hits, retweets, mentions, and a whole host of other statistics that try to measure, 'Who is paying attention to what I have to say?').

But my real point in writing this is to thank you, the readers of this blog; whether you post comments or not, you are helping to stimulate a conversation “about the most provocative and intriguing health policy discussions I come across in my daily work,” as I promised on October 29, 2008. But I especially want to thank those of you who do take the time to post your comments. Now you know that your views may be reaching the numerous visitors to the ACP Advocate blog!

Today’s question:  What would you recommend to make the ACP Advocate blog more relevant to you, and others, and to increase the number of views and comments?

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