This is a bittersweet time for me personally, as DiabetesMine prepares to move to a new online home after a full 10 years.
As noted last week, we are joining the Healthline.com family and readers will very soon be redirected to our new spot at www.healthline.com/diabetesmine (not yet live). We’ll have an updated look, and there will probably be a few bumps in the early transition (Murphy’s Law). But rest assured: Our editorial stance doesn’t change, and everyone here will continue saying it like it is.
I’m excited about this move, but also feeling a bit nostalgic and reflective on all we’ve accomplished at this site that started out as my personal blog in the beginning of 2005. I hope you’ll indulge me today, as I ‘blow our own horn’ a bit.
As it stands today, we have:
- created a total of 3,140 blog posts
- received a whopping 32,662 reader comments (Wow! We held a contest for our 20,000th reader comment back in 2011)
- conducted more than 110 reader giveaways of the books and products we review (we call that ‘sharing the love’)
- helped kick off a new era of grassroots patient involvement with the big national advocacy organizations, being the first-ever patient blog to live-cover the annual meetings of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in 2005, and later the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)
- helped kick off a new era of DOC (Diabetes Online Community) involvement with the Pharma industry, by recommending and helping organize the first-ever Diabetes Social Media gathering hosted by Roche — later emulated by others
- helped grow and galvanize the real-world power of our online voices, with posts like coverage of the Doug Burns hypoglycemia debacle, which inspired enough readers to call the DA that the case against him was dropped
- launched the first-ever diabetes crowdsourced diabetes innovation/design competition, that garnered more than 375 submissions over four years (The DiabetesMine Design Challenge ran from 2009-2011) and helped kick off a national push for improved design of diabetes devices
- organized and hosted four annual DiabetesMine Innovation Summit events, bringing together activated patients and key stakeholders for frank conversations aimed at improving tools and care
- helped engage FDA with the patient community by involving them in the Innovation Summit beginning in 2012
- connected more than 30 engaged patients directly with Pharma, FDA, designers, clinicians and other experts as winners of our DiabetesMine Patient Voices Scholarship contest, allowing them to participate in our Innovation Summit at Stanford University
- created 6 high-impact Patient Voices videos, based on the submissions of these amazing PWDs
- fostered the #WeAreNotWaiting push for open systems/data sharing in diabetes NOW, by hosting the first-ever gathering of diabetes tech experts and hackers in November 2013. We’ve now organized and hosted three of these DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange events
- launched the first-ever diabetes video product review hub by and for patients in April 2014: see the collection of videos at the DiabetesMine Test Kitchen (!)
- not to mention 10 straight years of continuously covering the diabetes world and our collective struggles in it, with hundreds of news stories, interviews, book reviews, features, personal anecdotes, guest posts, and much more
It’s been a fascinating and somewhat crazy ride. I look back with pride on all this, along with some landmark posts including my Open Letter to Steve Jobs, our Januvia and Victoza posts that have become default user forums for those drugs, our coverage of the Paula Deen and Miss Manners scandals, my interview with American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox that got picked up by the New York Times, endless arrays of diabetes device coverage, and the birth of #WeAreNotWaiting.
If you’d have projected in 2005 where this blog was going, I’d have probably looked at you like you had two heads. Who knew how the whole Diabetes Online Community (DOC) was going to explode the way it has?!
My right-hand man Mike has his own memories to share, as he was one of the many “lurkers” who first came to the ‘Mine back in the very beginning. As he tells it, this was about the third D-blog he found after some personal blogs and he was instantly hooked on this “diabetes newspaper” because of his love for journalism.
Mike tells me he read my posts for years, making it one of the first news sites he checked out every morning. He soon started commenting on this and other blogs, and then started his own personal D-blog. Eventually, we met up at one of the aforementioned diabetes social media summits and stayed in touch, ultimately teaming up in 2012.
We both had to chuckle when revisiting my very first post, published in February 2005:
Today I go live with my first thoughts and musings on diabetes. Excited to think that anyone anywhere will have access to the fodder that consumes so much of my thoughts and energy these days. Surely I’m not the only one overwhelmed enough by the juggling act this disease requires, let alone the plethora of news and information.
Let’s put it this way: if I do an Internet search on a topic like, say, “diabetes foot care,” I get over 2 million hits! I kid you not!
I’ve found scores of diabetes resource lists, fact sheets, directories, FAQs, guidelines documents and “About” pages. Not to mention the headlines and health news sites and newsletters and home video guides. Whew!
What’s a busy diabetic to do? For me, the answer that’s forming is this: Talk Back. Observe, filter, and comment (with the key being the middle step). And share your personal experiences. How wonderful to have a tool like a blog to communicate with others touched by diabetes! I guess I’m imagining myself a sort of “patient-pundit”: not an expert exactly, but quite the lively commentator.
Welcome to “DiabetesMine.”
And now, a new era is about to begin as we take our special brand of “diabetes newspaper with a personal twist” over to Healthline.
We can’t wait to see you all there — and we hope to encounter many people who may have never yet read a diabetes blog or heard some of the “real” talk that populates the DOC.
Maybe now, they’ll find these patient voices and be able to make them a part of their worlds in a way that eases their burden with diabetes. That is our greatest hope.
Our whole team at the ‘Mine is eager to keep up our news-reporting and story-sharing, from an exciting new virtual home.
See you there, Loyal Readers, Supporters and Friends!