Friday, May 19, 2006

More Musings on Blogs

It's friday afternoon and I'm getting ready for a packed weekend. Lots of things are still up in the air, so who knows how they'll all eventually fit together. Hopefully I'll get a chance to join in on some of the Bay to Breakers festivities. As a follow-up to a prior post regarding the virtues of blogs, I found an article posted earlier this week by none other than the brilliant Mark Cuban. Read his thoughts on the advantages of starting your personal blog.

Here in the blogosphere is a FREE wide-reaching platform for chiropractors to discuss anything you want at any time. It allows you to speak to your audience personally. Find me another forum that offers the same possibilities. I will leave you with the famous quote from Field of Dreams, "If you build it, he will come."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Public Opinion of Chiropractic in the Blogosphere - Part 1

I search through blogs on a daily basis to read what others are saying about chiropractic. I enjoy reading their opinions and stories-good and bad. It gives me a better pulse than talking to chiropractors. I know what most chiropractors are going to say, so I don't ask them. It's incredulously hard to find a chiropractor complain about chiropractic. Oh, they have their misgivings but rarely will you find it through public discourse. I'm not digging for feel good stories so I can sleep easier at night.

I was reading my buddy Jeremiah's blog today (as I do everyday) and he mentioned a website that I will now introduce to you. Opinmind allows you to punch in any topic and it instantly tells you what portion of recent blogs have written about the topic in a postive light and what portion in a negative light. It also separates the blogs into two separate columns under positive and negative. So you can quickly scan around and click on a blog to read more of someone's opinion on the matter. Without hesitation, I punched in "chiropractic" and got a surprising (to me) 81% positive review.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blog Hunting

I do daily searches in the blogosphere to see what others are blogging about chiropractic. Surprisingly, not too much is written. I'm still new at this, so maybe I'm just not finding them. I've been reading this blog from time to time. It's a personal blog written by a chiropractor. From what I can tell, it's mostly about his personal life and written for the enjoyment of his friends. But he does regularly share events around his life as a chiropractor. Check out his entries if you're interested in finding out what another chiropractor goes through. A blog is a great way to remind your friends and acquaintainces that they know a chiropractor they can refer others to. You'd be surprise how many people forget about you because your name don't pop out at the tip of their tongue. What other methods do you suggest of to passively remind others of your sevices? You can only do so much "in-your-face" marketing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Why Chiropractors Should Blog

Internet marketing is more than building a website. There is the matter of attracting site traffic. But website's are still fairly static. When a new patient walks in through your doors, he is not simply looking for quality chiropractic care, he has a bigger goal of starting a chiropractic relationship. You're not a garage door salesman. Your prospective patients want someone they can build a relationship with in the long haul. Selecting a doctor is much more complicated than selecting a plumber. Unlike other services, the prospective client not only relies on objective qualities, but also lean heavily on subjective cues and feelings. Does the prospective patient feel comfortable with you? Comfort, now can a person find comfort in you when they find your name off their health provider booklet? Why are the best new patients usually those that were referred to you from an existing patient? They've already found comfort, albeit transiently through someone they trust.

In all likelihood, your website is not doing that. It is not starting a relationship. It is a useful tool. A brochure to be scanned by anyone at anytime. But it creates the same level of bonding as a snazzy brochure. A blog on the other hand takes the first step in building a relationship. A blog is nothing more than a an open journal in cyberspace. There are far less restrictions in blogging than there are in almost all other forms of written communication. You're not restricted in using formal prose. In fact, I recommend using a more casual tone in your writings. Your whole purpose is to disseminate information and allow readers to get a sense of who you are as a doctor and as a person. Find the right balance to cement their confidence in your competence and simultaneously soothe any apprehensions with your approachability. Wipe away the mystique of just another stranger in a directory. Take the first step towards building a relationship and prospective patients will be more willing to meet you halfway.

I came across a blog today by Westside Chiropractic that aspires to do just this. It is a good clean site posted with useful health tidbits. It looks like they started this blog with a plan and purpose in mind. Building a steady blog readership requires perseverence. I will be checking in from time to time to see how they're doing. I wish them luck and hope they'll continue to post regularly. In the long run, both their business and patients will benefit from it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Anti-Chiro Ad

Read an interesting article today on some anti-chiro ads being displayed around towns in Connecticut. The World Chiropractic Alliance is doing something about it. How do you feel when you see ads like these being run? I don't feel anger. I don't feel a sense of unrightful persecution. I feel continual curiousity. I wonder why chiropractors have to constantly fight this uphill battle. I don't blame others for putting up such a campaign. I wonder how come I never see ads that say "Injured by an Orthodontist?" or "Injured by a Hairstylist?" It is dangerous and unproductive to just categorize those who run these ads to be simply naive. It will do the profession much good to first look within and see how these opinions of others can be corrected. Lawyers hired by the WCA are taking a stand, and they certainly play a vital role in this process, but ultimately, it will be scientists and researchers who will settle the matter once and for all.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Purpose of this Blog

One of the reasons that blogging appeals to me is its inherent flexibility. So while I have an idea of what I want this blog to ultimately achieve, I suspect, its theme will change and be molded not just through future writings by me, but equally by those who will find interest in this blog. Unlike other forms of media, blogs are driven by the readers as much as the author. I hope this blog will serve as a convenient forum for chiropractors everywhere to discuss pertinent topics and receive useful information on all the non-clinical issues related to our industry. We all have to admit that most chiropractors inexplicably fall into a reclusive existence bounded by the walls of their office. How often do you meet and consult with another chiropractor outside your office? How many chiropractors within a mile radius of your office do you know?

You may not have clinical conundrums to dumbfound each other with, but that's not the point. There's more to discuss than the latest therapy or technique. I'm sure you will agree with me that clinical concerns are just one of multiple factors in building and maintaining a thriving practice. Perhaps by talking with your neighbor, you'll learn that a nearby company is looking for a chiropractor to serve as an ergonomic consultant. Perhaps he'll keep you up to date on the latest reimbursement or legislative changes. The possibilities of what you learn are endless. If you're not regularly talking to multiple chiropractors, you're missing out.

I hope that this blog can serve as another format for you to interact with other chiropractors. I don't mean myself specifically, but other readers who share the same concerns and interest as you. I will do what I can to facilitate continuing dialogues. As this blog builds momentum, I'm anxious to find out what I will learn myself.