I recently asked a colleague for search advice on a topic I was researching. When I told her it was for a blog post, she was intrigued. “How much do you get paid to blog?” she asked. When I told her that blogging didn’t provide any revenue, she was dumfounded. “Even writing for [big pharmacy trade magazine] will pay you a few hundred dollars per article! Why would you write something, and then just give it away?” I told her I wasn’t interested in writing 5000 words on someone else’s topic, waiting months to see it in print, and then wondering if anyone even read it. “Blogging provides immediate gratification,” I replied, “That model seems hopelessly outdated. If there’s a therapeutic controversy, or pharmacy practice issue, I want to discuss it now – not in six months, or a year.” And blogging provides a level of feedback that’s unheralded compared to traditional publication models. Sure, you may be called a Nazi, a Communist, or a Big Pharma Shill, but that comes with the territory when you criticize quackery and call out pseudoscience.
The audience for those interested in science-based pharmacy practice is growing. In January 2009 when the blog launched, it had 40 visits for the month. In December 2011, over 20,000 visited, capping a record 240,000 for the year. Total visits since blog launch are closing in on 500,000. Amazing.
Traffic to the blog is not what I expected. Despite being Canadian-based, most visitors come from the United States. Canada, and then the United Kingdom are not far behind. Readers from 183 countries have visited the blog – even Vanuatu, American Samoa, and Malawi! (Only 12 countries to go!) Consequently, the writing focus has changed: Canada is still a big focus, but the blog now covers more international pharmacy topics, like the infamous “Coke and Fries” vitamin promotion from Blackmores that angered the Australian public. These types of events don’t get much international coverage – but they should, because pharmacists worldwide need to know what happens when pharmacies put profits ahead of patient care.
Here are some blog stats for the year:
Most popular posts in 2011
- What happens when vaccination rates fall – May 2011
- Mulberry for Weight Loss: Not just unproven, but implausible – May 2009
- Does Coenzyme Q10 Relieve Statin-Induced Muscle Pain? – February 2010
- Chili Burn: Can Green Tea and Chili Pepper Burn Fat? – April 2010
- Mulberry Zuccarin Side Effects - April 2010
Most popular posts since blog inception
- Mulberry for Weight Loss: Not just unproven, but implausible
- Does Coenzyme Q10 Relieve Statin-Induced Muscle Pain?
- Chili Burn: Can Green Tea and Chili Pepper Burn Fat?
- Cold-fX: More Hype than Hope for Colds and the Flu
- Oil of Oregano: All anecdotes, no science
- Slipping through the Cracks: Health Canada, Traumeel, and Homeopathy
- Your Urine is Not a Window to Your Body: pH Balancing – A Failed Hypothesis
- Apple Cider for weight loss. The seventies are back!
- Blue Berry Eyebright: Claims without Evidence
- The Alternative that Isn’t: Bioidentical Hormones
Top referring sites
- reddit.com (Thanks, redditors, and particulary, /r/skeptic)
- sciencebasedmedicine.org (Where I write biweekly)
- nccc.cool3c.com (from this, which translates with the intriguing title, “Addiction Science: a refreshing beverage in the world there is no God, only caffeine”)
Thank you for following, reading, sharing, and commenting at Science-Based Pharmacy. I’m particularly appreciative to those that pass on tips and suggested topics. I’ve been recently alerted about an unbelievable new pseudoscientific pharmacy promotion. Stay tuned, in 2012.