Navel gazing

Welcome! This blog has been up and running for about six months, and is about to have its 20,000th visitor (no, it doesn’t count me.) So, what the heck, it’s time for some gratuitous navel-gazing. If you were looking for any actual useful pediatric information, this isn’t the post for you. But if you’re curious about what goes on behind the scenes at The Pediatric Insider, here’s a heapin’ helpin’ of titillating tidbits!

WordPress, who kindly hosts this blog, has wonderful tools for peeking under the hood to see what’s been going on around here. Counting hits and seeing what visitors are interested in is fascinating—to me, anyway. The numbers:

  • Total posts: 74
  • Comments: 102
  • Total views: 19,988
  • Number of views on busiest day: 292 (We sent an email to about 1,000 families in my practice, and one of the items in that message was a link to this blog.)

The most-viewed post, by far, was about frequent urination, with 1,475 views. The runner-up only had 623.

The entry on circumcision received the most comments. I thought it was pretty well-balanced, gave good info, and wasn’t too heavy on the icky details. The response was huge, though overwhelmingly negative. This post alone made me have to change the policy of the blog to showing only moderated posts—you would not believe the comments I didn’t approve. Total number of anti-circumcision comments I received: 55. If things get slow around here, I might just write about circumcision again. But don’t hold your breath.

Here are some questions that nobody asked, but I’ll pretend someone did so I can answer them:

“What’s that artwork at the top of your pages? Wow, it sure is good.” – Barry, Chicago

Why thank you, Barry. You sound like a man who appreciates fine art. It’s a painting I did myself of my three kids at the beach.

“What’s a Pediatric Insider, anyway? What kind of title is that for a blog?” – Joe, Delaware

I started writing a non-fiction book in about 2002, with the working title The Pediatric Insider. It was meant to reveal information about the way pediatrics is practiced, and about how medical decisions are made—the inside stuff, the stuff you probably won’t hear from other doctors. Families who have been seeing me for years say it’s the stuff I always talk about, written the way I speak. The publisher liked it, too, but insisted that the material be divided into two, and thus my two published books came out in 2007. You can see their covers on the front page of this blog, and they can be ordered through Amazon or anywhere else books are sold. Unfortunately, circumstances at my real job (my practice) changed, I ended up taking on much more responsibility there. This, along with some admitted laziness, meant that I never really got around to actively publicizing the books. No book tour, and Oprah didn’t return my calls. The blog is meant to continue my low-key, word-of-mouth, slow-burn style of publicity. It continues the feel of the Pediatric Insider series, without readers having to shell out big bucks to read my stuff. Though if some of you care to buy a book or two, that would be super. Makes a great gift!

“I posted a question in the suggestions thread, and it’s gone! What gives?” – Sarah, Alaska

I’ve answered just about every question ever posted, but it takes me a few days. If your question disappears, it means either I’m thinking about it, or I’ve already answered it. Or, much less commonly, I didn’t like it or didn’t feel like answering it, so I just deleted it.

Please try to keep your questions brief and general. I can’t answer questions that are very specific to one child. This blog is to provide solid, general information for parents, but not to give specific medical advice. Those sorts of questions should be brought to your child’s pediatrician.

“So, now that you’ve passed 20,000 hits and six months, what’s next for The Pediatric Insider?” – John, Arizona

That, visitors, is up to you. Most of the posts have been driven by your questions, and I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. Please pass along the URL to friends, and keep the questions coming. I’ll do my best to keep up. I think I’ve hit a pretty good mix of serious and not-too-serious, and of stodgy and snarky. But if you think my tone could be improved, or you have other suggestion of good stuff I ought to post, please let me know!

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