For years I have argued that doctors need webspace to park their ideas. A place that is relatively permanent. A place with an address where ideas can live and people can go. A place to call your own. This should be the home base of your digital map.
But in 2020 few doctors maintain sites that are their own. Ideas have taken the shape of Twitter threads — long serial tweets that are in-line with the Twitter conversation. And they definitely are a great way to share an idea. The problem is they are fleeting (they float away) and unapproachable to folks who aren’t Twitter users. Sure there are links floating around to some of the great ones, but Twitter is a conversation platform not a long-format content space. Despite what we tell ourselves, Twitter is not a place for archiving our best thinking.
So you need your own space for when inspiration strikes (and there’s no place else to put it).
Case in point is Dr. John Mandrola. A prolific writer with Medscape and regular contributor to the medical literature, he maintains a site under his own name. He recognizes that there are thoughts and ideas too long for Twitter but maybe not right for the peer-reviewed literature or his column (I call this the medical media continuum). And some ideas can’t reach publication fast enough through traditional means. His personal site is a great place for this kind of thinking. He had the idea for this amazingly contrarian COVID piece that you have to check out. It’s so good it crashed his server!
So I’ll make the point again. Doctors need a webspace to park their ideas. A center for their brilliance and formative thoughts. I’ve always contended that the best way to learn how to navigate the digital world is to begin with a great mentor. John serves as a great example.
For more information on how to manage your public voice as a physician check out The Public Physician – it’s a great resource for navigating your digital life as a doctor.