Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Black-balled by The Motley Fool

People have different reasons for writing blogs and I was surprised to hear on Radio 4, this evening, that blog writing popularity had actually decreased from 15% to 12% of internet users. Personally I find it difficult to believe it is anywhere as high as 12%.

Anyway, some write a blog because it helps them set out their thoughts, others lead a sad and lonely life and want to leave their mark and others do it for financial gain. I am happy to admit that I started this blog as a way of driving traffic to UK-radiology and maintaining its first page Google listing. Once I started writing it I found myself making political statements on it, which, from the business point of view, might seem a mistake, but no-one is going to read a blog which has nothing of interest on it (I assume someone does read this but as I don't get stats I might be wrong).

One of the other ways I seek to drive relevant traffic to UK-radiology is by contributing medical information to health discussion boards. I don't spam them of course but I look out for discussions where my radiology knowledge is helpful. It should be obvious that a doctor can't do this under their real name or give specific medical advice so I use one of a number of nicknames. If permitted I give my website URL in my signature or on my profile but if not permitted I usually tell readers to look on the internet and not pay more than £200 which just about narrows it down to our group without actually naming it.

Last week, the moderator on The Motley Fool, a financial website with a very small health discussion board, deleted my posting because I had, in truth, gone over the mark and put my URL on it. As a site which depends on advertising income they certainly don't want to offend BUPA or one of their other sponsors. Fair enough, so I posted again and this time just indicated that readers don't need to pay more than £200 for an MRI scan. Instead of deleting this post the moderator posted a public reply accusing me of posting under a nickname to mislead the readers and listing other examples on other websites where I had also posted under the same nickname. Now that looked bad though, in fact, it was quite proper; the moderator was posting under a nickname too. Funny thing was that the idiot went further than I dared and provided a valuable hyperlink to my website from the Motley Fool. I was thinking that "any publicity is good publicity" and was going to leave it there but it didn't fit with our image of a sincere and ethical company so yesterday I emailed The Motley Fool and asked to be voluntarily struck off their register and have my postings deleted, which they have now done. Obviously they had to delete their allegations too.

I'll give it a couple of days and register again under a different name;)


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