Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pimping One's Blog Or Doing One's Duty?

I’ll open this post with some context. I really think John Mack has done great work at the Pharma Blogosphere and Pharma Marketing Blog sites However, that does not mean I always agree with his arguments. I’m not putting up this post in an attempt to start a “cat fight” with the good Mr. Mack; I just have to express my dissent.

Many bloggers linked to Peter Rost’s blog last week, and with damn good reason. He posted an excellent three-part series regarding a Pfizer whistleblower. And, making it yet more interesting, voodoo was allegedly involved. Mack took issue with bloggers linking to Rost, pointing out (accurately) that most who linked to Rost had little to add. I linked to Rost and admit that I added nothing to Rost’s story. Mack then stated that the reason fellow bloggers linked to Rost was because they wanted to increase their visibility, as Rost was nice enough to link back to sites that posted links to his site.

Well, allow me to differ. Do I like getting a little added traffic from Rost? You bet – I’ll take all the traffic I can get. But that is not the main reason I linked the story. I linked it because it is interesting and because I thought my readers should be exposed to it. The more exposure such a story gets, the better. After all, it appears that one thing that many pharma-related sites have in common is to shine light on dubious industry practices. Thus, I see linking to a blogger who is doing good investigative work as a large part of my blogging duties. Am I missing something?


Anonymous said...

Exactly right.


Anonymous said...

You said it all!

Anonymous said...

I also agree 100%. I followed your link back and couldn't find the Judge adding too much to the debate either. Do I sense a little jealously from the Yobbosphere at Dr. Rost's consistent newsworthiness? Who knows? Or cares?

Anonymous said...

No need to defend yourself any further on this one, CP.

On its face, his criticism makes no sense. I don't read Rost daily - or nearly as much as your blog. While I can't recall if it was here or elsewhere that led me there, someone did and for that I have been well served.

I have no clue what Mack is talking about on this one.

soulful sepulcher said...

You are right on target here.

The rest is petty juniour high behavior. I hardly ever have anything more to add to a good post on another's blog; therefore the link serves the purpose of making sure a good post is seen by others.

Reading viewage is not the reason we all blog is it? hell I've got a meter running on mine, and I get the most hits from posting words to songs.

6th grade blog lunchroom-itus is what this is about. "He linked for more readers!" "No I didn't!" "Can I have your chips?"

Oh please, link up to what you want to link to and let the whiney assed lunchroom bloggers wonder why you link.
Mack seems to get under your skin a lot. Just my opinion, ignore that stuff. [end of rant].

Roy M. Poses MD said...

We put links to Rost's posts on Health Care Renewal (http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com)
in our BLOGSCAN format.

Our reasons were: 1) the stories were likely to be of interest to our readers; and 2) the stories were not widely available - no, make that at all available - in the "main stream media."

So I fully support how you at Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry handled the issue. Stories about mismanagement of health care organizations, like those posted by Rost, sometimes get wide attention, but all too often don't. One service we in the blogsphere can do is give these stories the attention they deserve.

Keep up the good work.

Peter Rost said...

And I agree too. I've never ever linked to someone to "thank" them. I link if I think my readers will find something interesting. Or if I want them to know that someone else was interested in something they could read on my blog. That's what narcissism is all about. Yeah, tell Mack that. It's narcissism. Not thank you.

Anonymous said...



soulful sepulcher said...

Who ever said blogging was useful.
While you YAWNED, What else were you doing while typing? recess duty is my example here. you all got your feathers ruffled by a bully.

CL Psych said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments -- I didn't think I was alone on this one.

. said...

I totally agree with CP. The reason I linked to the story, is not at all about the traffic (although you can always see a boost in activity after Peter mentions your blog), RATHER it is because MY readers WOULD BE VERY UNLIKELY to read Peter's original text, even though I link to his blog in my sidebar. I believe that by linking to his stories I am caching them across the great computer divide. In this way, the message is out there, in as many different forms as possible. And I can not see how that is NOT all good. Cheers!

PharmaGuy said...

Well, I guess I'm alone out a limb on this one!

Here's a more serious sin some pharma bloggers commit: they tend to repeat everything Rost says as if it's Gospel. Pharmalot, for example, recently repeated Rost's statement that distribution of cupcakes to patients in doctor's offices by sales reps may violate HIPAA.

If only Ed Silverman read the comments to Rost's original post, he would have seen my comment explaining that this practice does not violate HIPAA and that Rost agreed with me after hearing my case.

That kind of rote repetition of inaccurate statements, if done by a pharmaceutical company, would lead to death by blogs! Ed Silverman -- a journalist -- should do a better job of fact checking or at least reading Rost's entire blog, comments included!