One of the links at Grand Rounds this week has a focus on a suggested code of ethics for medbloggers and a list of questions we should all be able to answer.
So, because everybody's doin' it....
1. Who runs this site?
Jo. I'm an RN (ADN) with a bachelor's degree in music and one in sociology. I've got almost four years' experience in neuroscience and ten years as a women's health advocate and paraprofessional.
2. Who pays for the site?
Blogger. The ad to your right for Ivo Drury's site generates as much income as Ivo finds fair, which is then donated by me to either Planned Parenthood (to provide exams and Pap smears for women who can't afford 'em) or to local animal charities.
3. What is the purpose of the site?
Yarking and complaining, with the occasional burst of decent information.
4. Where does the information come from?
Mostly from my own experience. If it's something that's useful or interesting, you can bet I've stolen it from another site somewhere.
5. What is the basis of the information?
Huh? Didn't you just ask that?
6. How is the information selected?
It's selected based on what I figure will be interesting to those few poor unfortunates who read the blog. There's going to be an emphasis on neuroscience, women's health (especially reproductive health issues), and feminism, mostly because I'm a feminist neuroscience nurse with background in happy hootchie care.
Oh, and food. I like writing about food. Matter of fact, I have some salsa in the fridge that you guys have just got to try.
7. How current is the information?
I try to keep anything that's seriously scientific current to within the last month or so. For reasons of privacy protection, most of the stories I post about my own experiences on the floor are not only changed detail-wise, they're put into a different time-frame. Therefore, the things that I write about happening "last week" might actually have happened six months ago, or vice versa.
8. How does the site choose links to other sites?
I link to what I like. Generally speaking, I like sites to have some sort of track record before I link to them. I'm also extremely lazy, so link-swapping takes weeks for me to accomplish.
9. What information about you does the site collect, and why?
I was unaware that I could collect any information at all, actually. I'm not technically savvy.
10. How does the site manage interactions with visitors?
Comments are welcome; obnoxious comments get deleted. Deal. (credit Bitch, PhD.) Personal emails are welcome if somebody has a question that they feel uncomfortable posting, or that they think requires a longer answer.
On a different note, I don't know that these questions go far enough for the average personal-experience blogger. I feel very strongly that nobody's confidentiality should ever be compromised for my own convenience or anybody else's amusement or edification; if there's one thing I take very seriously, it's that.
If somebody emails me with a personal story about something that happened to them in the hospital, I'm not going to post it here without prior permission. Excerpts from personal emails, if I get permission to use them, get changed around in such a way that it's not going to compromise anyone.
Hell, I've even changed what I've said about where I live, so that the area isn't immediately recognizable. It's not worth some wacko figuring out that Jo is actually Becky Smith, who works at Podunk Memorial Research Facility and Rib Shack in Lolitaville, Texas. That compromises both me and my patients.
Those of us who write based on personal experience cannot take this issue seriously enough. I'd like to see a code of ethics drafted for the personal-experience blogger. Who wants to start?