Saturday, March 26, 2011

The blog turns 2!

Two years ago tomorrow, I had a meeting canceled and found myself with the unexpected gift of a few free minutes. Mike and I had been talking about starting an infection prevention blog, so I typed “how to start a blog” into The Google. Twenty minutes later, I posted for the first time. I can’t believe we’re still at it, and with a steadily increasing readership.

Mike and Eli can comment on what drives them to blog, but I know my initial motivation (one that Mike shared) was that there was no other venue in which to express timely and unvarnished opinion about the hottest topics in infection prevention. Publication turnaround times are slow, and even opinion pieces are often peer-reviewed and edited to the nth degree of blandness. One formative experience for me was having a letter to the editor of one of our major infection control journals rejected—not because it contained erroneous information or was poorly reasoned, but because it would give “aid and comfort” to those who didn’t share the dogmatic views on MRSA control held by the editor-in-chief.

Many of my early posts, then, involved me getting some things off my chest. For example, my day one post, entitled “Why I hate contact precautions, Vol. 1” (because I fully intended, and did, proceed with follow up posts containing additional reasons that I hated them!). Once some of those things were covered, including some memorable exchanges around the MRSA active surveillance debate, I found that the blog served many other important functions. Over time it has become a kind of “online catalogue” to which I refer frequently when writing proposals and manuscripts. It also keeps me on the lookout for interesting and useful items in our literature, and forces me to assess papers a tad more carefully than I used to—not just to see if they are “bloggable”, but to determine when there are flaws that ought to be pointed out to our readership.

I hope to spend time at SHEA next week talking with Eli and Mike about where to go with this blog over the next year. Feel free to make suggestions in our comments section or by e-mailing one of us directly. Most of all, thanks for your interest in this blog, and in preventing HAIs.


4 comments:

  1. Congrats, guys! That's quite a milestone.

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  2. Writing for this blog has been the most interesting thing I have done in my professional career. As Dan pointed out, the fast paced world of the hospital epidemiologist renders journals relatively useless in addressing emerging issues in real time. Moreover, we are not beholden to any particular point of view and have been openly critical of dogma and some policies articulated by governmental agencies and professional societies. I feel strongly that there are no sacred cows, and thoughtful critique, even when politically incorrect, is always the best approach.

    I'm really proud of our work and couldn't be happier to collaborate with two guys that are fantastic epidemiologists and all-around great human beings.

    I hope to see many of you at SHEA this week!

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  3. Congratulations on your 2 years.
    You are doing a great job.
    Silvia Munoz-Price

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