Hospital CEO Paul Levy wants to know if his Running a Hospital Blog is reaching the public.
Having started the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog back in the ancient days before blogs proliferated (2005), my words of wisdom are: keep blogging.
The reasons you write blog posts change over time. Sometimes, it’s probably to show off something innovative about the institution (like the cookies that apparently are such at hit at Beth Israel Deaconess); sometimes to encourage co-workers and employees; sometimes to justify institutional policy, no doubt, or respond to critics; sometimes perhaps just to (safely) vent a little; and sometimes to shoot thoughts out into the universe and see whether anyone notices, or if they notice, if they have a reaction (positive or negative), which makes the job of leadership a little less lonely.
So beyond the marketing, the communication, the self-expression, something else is happen — an interactive experience that can produce new insights. The dialogue is two-ways (actually, more than that), and with RSS feeds, you never know who reads your blog and how they are responding.
Some of the silent “lurkers” (as those who don’t make their voices heard online are known in current lingo) may be profoundly affected thereby. I am amazed by the correspondence I sometimes receive — people profoundly touched by certain language, or experiences chronicled. And sometimes the blog is just passing along news, digesting and filtering and assimilating along the way.
So I would cheer you on, Paul, in your Running a Hospital Blog, as you wade forward in the voyage of discovery. Have faith, I’d say, and it’s okay to wonder whether you are having an impact — despite whatever reassurance the comments may provide — and remember that as Paul Tillich wrote, faith includes doubt.