Friday, January 18, 2013

Eight Years of Digital Doorway

Today--January 18th, 2013--is the 8th birthday of Digital Doorway, and I want to take this opportunity to pause and reflect on this auspicious occasion.

Back in 2005, blogging was a relatively new phenomenon, and many people were jumping on the bandwagon with excitement and abandon. As I've related before, I was sitting in front of the woodstove with my brother on a snowy Massachusetts night, and he suggested that I try my hand at blogging. Intrigued by the idea, I decided it was a worthwhile venture and I dove right in with no preconceptions about what I was doing or what the purpose of the exercise truly was.

Looking back at those first months, Digital Doorway was really just a repository for my random thoughts and reflections, and it would be some time before it truly coalesced into the relatively focused site that it is today. Still, I like that those old posts still exist, and an interested reader could actually track the changes through the years if they were compelled to do so (though I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in doing that!).

What I've learned over the years about blogging is that more focused blogs--with a central theme or subject matter--are easier to follow than blogs that are made up of random and unrelated entries. Don't get me wrong--blogs were initially seen as a form of online diary-writing or journaling, and I still think that this is a viable format. However, blogs that are focused and subject-driven are definitely more the norm these days.

In a recent conversation, a colleague asked me how I manage to consistently come up with fresh content for Digital Doorway, and I can honestly say that I'm not always sure how that happens. Sometimes the ideas just flow from some unknown (but wholly appreciated) muse, and sometimes they're sparked by news stories, other blogs, conversations or my own observations. When I was a case manager in the inner city, my patients were the fodder for my writing, and I used my often compelling interactions with them to paint a portrait of my work. Changing names, diagnoses and other identifying elements to protect privacy, I would sometimes create composite characters that embodied aspects of many patients--all for the service of the story or message therein.

Nursing is a dynamic and burgeoning field, and there is truly no end to what can be written about the profession, its members, and the healthcare system in which we navigate. With economic changes and healthcare reform afoot, there are even more ways than ever before to weave a story that speaks to nurses, healthcare professionals and consumers alike.

It's truly a pleasure to maintain Digital Doorway, and I'm grateful for the many people who comment, contact me, offer me praise and criticism, and otherwise help to make it a living document rather than a static entity.

With eight years, 1591 posts, and more than 200,000 page views under my blogging belt, I have no doubt that it will be easy to coast along to Digital Doorway's tenth birthday in 2015. I have no idea what the nursing profession (or this blog) will look like by then, but you'll be able to find me here as I continue my investigations, ruminations and peregrinations on the virtual page.

Happy eighth birthday to Digital Doorway--and many more!
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