Blogging killed the paper-bound vet (on pet health blogs and veterinarian bloggers)
There’s something new happening in the world of veterinary medicine and this time I think I’ve got my finger on its pulse. Over the past month I’ve received several emails from veterinarians and animal health groups and—get this—they want to blog.
As of this month, Dolittler’s been officially blogging for three years. My first post, which I’ll always recall as fondly as I do MTV’s inaugural video (remember Video Killed the Radio Star?), was not my best, but it was a start.
Though it took me another six months to launch Dolittler on its independent platform…and another six months before more than ten of you were reading it on any given day…it’s grown now so that 2,000 of you may be tuning in daily.
Nope, it’s not a lot when you compare it to some of the popular political, celebrity, food or even knitting blogs I sometimes frequent, but Dolittler’s traffic is now approximating PetConnection’s stats—and that’s amazing to me, given the fabulousness that is the pet world’s irrefutably best blog.
Nonetheless, it’s clear—especially when you compare ours with other categories—that pet health, as a subject, hasn’t yet attained the level of incredible success others have managed. And why is that, exactly?
Here’s my take (you knew it was coming, right?):
The number one reason for the pet health sector’s small online subculture status? The dearth of fellow veterinary bloggers.
For your info (and by way of building their traffic while I’m at it, if I can), here’s a rundown of who’s out there:
The PetConnection team: Though they’re not vets, their take on vet medicine is far more sophisticated than most veterinarians’—and I mean no disrespect to my fellow professionals. It’s just that this science writing and traditional journalism-trained team is not merely comprised of savvy pet owners and professional pet writers, it’s also spent years working with veterinarians as partners. That insider-outsider perspective means that in some ways they know us better than we know ourselves.
Dr. Eric Barchas’ Vet Blog on Dogster: This new generation vet has a strong animal welfare streak. And though he doesn’t write every day, I can almost always identify with his point of view.
TorontoVet: Sadly, he took the last exit outta Brooklyn and left a “Fuhgeddaboudit” sign in his wake. He hasn’t posted since November 23rd but I’m already missing his smart, sassy presence in our sphere. Come back, Torontovet!
PetPeeves: A fave of mine from my early blogging days, this ERGEEK’s license plate says it all. But she hasn’t posted since March 15th.
Dr. Vivian Carroll’s new blog: …is called The Cone of Uncertainty (Musings on Life as a Mom and a Vet). She’s a writer as well as a vet and a mom. And it’s hard to find a vet who can write. Here’s wishing she would write more often about her life as a veterinarian.
The Ask the Vet Blog by Dr. Lydia Gray: Here’s an equine blog for the horsey among us. Though she can get quite technical that’s exactly what a lot of horse people want and need. But it’s sponsored by SmartPak and I kinda have an inkling that she writes primarily to advance this brand’s agenda. Nonetheless, it’s worth it just to have her out there. Check it out.
I don’t know too many more, though some pet writers have blogs that touch on the medical quite frequently…as do some of your personal blogs. And I’m grateful for their presence, too. Indeed, we need a whole lot more of them.
There have been other vets, and a couple of vet students (Megan where’s your blog I couldn’t get there today?), but I can’t find them now…are they gone? Most are simply inactive.
It seems that most vets that blog just can’t make the time…or they never get into the groove of the blogging because it seems like so much work for so little return. And it’s true, I won’t argue the fact that blogging takes time, patience, pays nothing (mostly, anyhow) and can cost a pretty penny to start up in a manner that’ll make you proud. It’s gotta be a labor of love, and not a mere marketing tool, to make it really work…IMHO.
Though you might think it strange that anyone would call for more competition in any given sphere they inhabit, the reality is that numbers make us stronger. More information gives us more validity. And increased presence overall provides a wider platform and builds a bigger power base. That’s what I want. And it’s nothing less than what our pets deserve.
In fact, i've been thinking about offering my services as a speaker at some veterinary conferences in the future. Perhaps I can persuade more vets and vet techs to participate in the blogosphere, though it seems quite a few are already making the leap without my help.
Does anyone else here frequent veterinary-authored blogs I haven’t mentioned? Pet health oriented blogs I may have overlooked? Please include them in your comments below and I'll add them to the above list.