On June 19, 2009, GeriPal was born. On that date the post 'Support the Independence at Home Act' was published to the world. Well, really, just probably published to two people: Alex and Eric.
Times have changed since that first post. Our community is larger than we ever expected. Every month we have around 30,000 pageviews from an international audience (the top 5 countries being the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia). In addition to those who come to our website, we also have close to 1,200 individuals who receive our posts via email or RSS readers. We are also now on Twitter (nearly 1000 followers) and Facebook (over 200 followers).
As GeriPal's community grew, so did its recognition. For instance, GeriPal has been mentioned in the NY Times, MSNBC, and the Lancet, as well being recognized as the 2010 Best Clinical Blog in the medical weblogs awards.
All of this would never have happened if was not for our amazing contributors, who have really taken this experiment in disruptive commentary to heart. Reading the list gives you an idea of some of the talent we have on board:
Theresa Allison, Bob Arnold, Helen Chen, Amy Corcoran, Ken Covinsky, Anne Johnson, Bree Johnston, Helen Kao, Chrissy Kistler, Leslie Kernisan, Sei Lee, Susan Lysaght, Dan Matlock, Brad Miller, Carla Perissinotto, VJ Periyakoil, Mike Steinman, Rebecca Sudore, Brad Stuart, Paul Tatum, Julie Thai, Ori Tzvieli, Patrice Villars, Lindsey Yourman, and Ron Walent.These contributors have created a total of 266 posts on topics that spanned the spectrum of geriatrics and palliative care. To give you a taste, here are our top 10 posts of all time:
- End Stage Dementia: A Terminal Disease Needing Palliative Care
- Atul Gawande New Yorker Article "Letting Go"
- Watchful Waiting or Surgery for Prostate Cancer?
- Don't try this at home (New GeriPal video "Take out the trash")
- Length of Stay in Nursing Homes at the End of Life
- A Call for Hospice Reform: Nurse Practitioners Lead the Way
- Palliative Care Consultations: An Answer to Medicaid's Woes
- Does Morphine Stimulate Cancer Growth?
- Palliative Care and Accountable Care Organizations – A Call for Comments
- Palliative Care Prolongs Life
With all this said, our initial vision was to start a dialogue about geriatrics and palliative care on a national stage by creating an online community for people who are passionate about this subject. Making this vision a reality is the true measure of success, and we hope that we are getting close to achieving it. Our community is the thing that keeps us going and keeps the posts flowing.
So, a very big happy birthday to the GeriPal community. Thank you for everything that you have done to make this such a wonderful two years.
What does the next year have in store for us all? We're not sure. However, the one thing we do know is that GeriPal is entering into the 'terrible twos' when toddlers traditionally begin to stretch their boundaries and push their limit. Sounds fun!
Eric Widera and Alex Smith