To blog or not to blog?

That’s the question I have been asking myself as I’ve reviewed Google analytics about visits to this blog. If there aren’t enough people interested in what I have to say, then, it’s time to shutter this blog. There are hundreds of regular readers but not thousands or hundreds of thousands. Yet, often when I go somewhere, as happened at our alumni reunion in NYC a few weeks ago and Tuesday at a reception for the Summer Videoconference speakers and program committee, someone tells me they read the blog, and it means something to them. If you have an opinion, positive or negative, or a suggestion, let me know. Thanks and happy Friday. Barbara

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  1. Lauren

    I enjoy your blog and would be sad to see it go! I am an alum and like to stay updated with events on campus and SPH news through your blog. I read your blog through a feed reader (Google Reader). Maybe there are more people reading than are captured by Google Analytics?

  2. Joseph Lee

    I like being able to see your perspective on the school, and the blog provides a really nice way to see a condensed version of the main happenings at the school with a personal touch. Best, Joseph.

  3. Robert S. Gold


    I am a regular reader and genuinely look forward to each of your entries. Please continue the blog if at all possible. I’m not sure how google analytics deals with those like me who do not access the blog directly but rather in an RSS aggregator. There may be a larger audience for your blog than is being measured. All the best.

    bob gold

    Dean, UMD School of Public Health

  4. Michael Forlenza

    Hi Barbara,

    Given the time it takes to produce a blog, I understand your question and concerns. However, the analytics of readership doesn’t convey the whole picture. As you mention, there are hundreds of people who do read your blog and who do reach out to you. Yet, what the analytics don’t capture is the number of conversations had by the hundreds of readers. If those conversations are informed or inspired in some way by your words then your reach is indeed profound. Try as we may, we can’t always measure (at least not yet!) the impact on the lives of the people we touch. From my perspective, your willingness to commit your time and attention (scarce resources to be sure!) is a gift. You provide a rare glimpse into the world of academic and public health leadership that serves as a concrete example for what many of your readers likely aspire to. Please continue.

    With Best Regards,


  5. Barbara Rimer

    Bob, Thanks so much! I appreciate your comment. Good point about the RSS feed. Barbara

  6. Barbara Rimer

    Joseph, thanks so much for your comment! So great to know you are a reader and to know what draws you. Barbara

  7. Barbara Rimer

    Mike, thanks for your reminder that it is not always about the numbers! And as you and Bob Gold both noted, standard analytics may not measure everything that matters. I am very appreciative that you took the time to share your insights. Perhaps my own competitiveness may have caused me to over-interpret numbers. What I am about in all aspects of life is impact. So good to hear from you! Barbara

  8. Barbara Rimer

    Lauren, interesting the different pathways by which people get to the blog! So good to hear from you. I just read the N&O story about all the cutbacks in DENR. That’s really terrible! We used to be a state known for leading edge health and environmental programs. This is not Just about budget. It also is about philosophy and priorities. Thanks so much for your comment! Barbara

  9. Michael Forlenza

    Hi Barbara,

    Given that “impact” is the desired outcome, it might be worth more precisely defining impact and then determining additional (or alternative) indicators of impact. The Google Analytics are one measure of exposure. What might be other ways of gauging impact based on the blog besides readership? Possible avenues for exploration could be school applications or enrollments, invited talks since the blog started, number of comments by alums, number of comments by non-alums, reposts to facebook pages, tweets, etc. Even though each of these measures is an abstraction, you might imaging how changes in these metrics take shape in the real world. If one change in particular resonates with you (I like imagining that people not associated with UNC tune in on Monday morning as an indicator of reach), then detailed goals around moving that metric may make some sense. Just my two cents; thanks for the opportunity to respond.


  10. Whitney Robinson

    I also access the blog through an RSS feed through Google Reader. I find it a convenient way to keep up.

  11. Kim Schneider

    I feel smarter after I read your blogs… please keep it up!!

  12. Beth

    I have been following your Monday Morning blogs for over a year!! Hope you continue to blog–it is great to hear your insight and thoughts!

  13. solderku

    I am a regular reader and genuinely look forward to each of your entries,good job thank you

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