Thursday, 31 May 2007

Old Philosopher

I was reading another blog this afternoon and came across a quote from Karl Popper - considered to be one of the most important philosophers of the last century.
Karl Popper "philosophed" about scientific reasoning and also about the nature of politics. Considering we have so much in common (I am joking of course) it is surprising then, that when I briefly looked after a close relative as a medical registrar we did not hit it off. Professor Popper died in 1994 and it saddens me that, now I am more mature and deep thinking, I will never get the chance to chew the cud with him.
He did teach me one thing I have not forgotten and that is not to treat myself or my family. Professor Popper's relative had cancer and had developed abnormal liver tests. When I went through the treatments she had been receiving it turned out that the good Professor, at the pinnacle of human intellect and reasoning, had dragged this poor lady all over the world and procured for her whatever treatment was the fashion in each place he visited on his lecture tours. So the lady had the odd dose of this and that chemotherapy, a bit of alternative therapy, the occasional blast of radiation and various other pills and potions. He was obviously trying to do the best for her but even this man could not see the folly in this. What hope for lesser mortals?
Anyway, a good friend of Karl Popper was my old boss Professor Neil McIntyre so I ended up Googleing him to see where he was now and to my dismay I found out he had just given a lecture for the BBC in Brecon - just a few miles from me and I had missed it. He has retired now and I suspect he lives nearby because he was always going on about his Welsh background so I shall try and trace him. If anyone can help I would appreciate it. He was Prof of Medicine at the Royal Free in the late 80s.


On a lighter note I was pleased with the number of hits on the website this month. I started the website last December with no prior experience, a very basic hosting package and a couple of quid for the domain name. I built the site myself and then set about learning how to optimize it for the search engines. This was all new to me and I needed to do it on a shoestring because I didn't know if it was going to work and I was spending other peoples money. I certainly wasn't going to pay several hundred pounds for a site.
I am not particularly pleased with my first attempt but it does the job and cost me almost nothing. I have also resisted paying for advertising or pay-per-click like my competitors. This is only partly because I am so tightfisted. Pay-per-click gives you hits while you continue to pay but does nothing for long-term ranking. I also did not want inquiries from all over which would have overwhelmed me so I took the long term route of getting a high Google rating. The most successful way has been to mention the site on other peoples web or forum. This blog was started for the same reason but has taken on a life of its own.
Hits on the site (and inquiries) have gone up month on month just at the rate I could cope with and yesterday broke through the 1000 hit/month barrier:

This may not sound like much compared to say eBay or Amazon but how many people need an MRI scan? If 1000 a month are reaching my site that must be a big proportion of them. However a few days ago it didn't look like I was going to beat last months figure but a quick look at Martin Lewis'moneysavingexpert revealed a new tread on medical tourism so I mentioned on it that uk-radiology was cheaper than going abroad. This brought in about 60 extra hits within 12 hours and comfortably beat my previous record. Who needs Pay-per-Click? Would it be too cheeky to mention this as a tip on moneysavingexpert?

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