Which sort of health bloggers are you?
A classification suggested by Mark Senak:
- Non-professional, but credible bloggers – These are comprised of lay people who have started blogs that over time have gained traction. In health care, they are usually focused on a fairly specific subject matter that may, in fact, be quite niche. It could be about aspects of living with a particular disease or condition. In addition to patients, they may be caregivers or advocates and perhaps even providers. Over time, they have acquired credibility and become influential in their own area. They are generally unaffiliated, though they could be fostered by an organization.
- Professional Non-Journalist Bloggers – These are people who have a professional specialty about which they write and have, in many respects, assumed a journalistic type role because of the following and corresponding influence that they have developed. Examples of this category might include several of the prominent doctor bloggers but also include a range of other bloggers who really know their field and to whom many journalists will follow.
- Journalist Bloggers – There has been a hefty migration of traditional journalists into the blogosphere – a fact that has fundamentally changed the profession. Blogging allows greater speed and flexibility in reporting and also allows a writer to perhaps develop pieces that are more granular. Postings can occur much more often than through traditional publication. Clearly there are some health care journalists who have emerged as major bloggers and who have influence in both the print and digital realms. But appealing directly to them may be less effective than making inroads with other digital assets that may influence them.
- Institutional Bloggers – These blogs have become a way for institutions to related to people by either conveying news about the institution or showcasing thought leadership from their ranks. Good examples of this are FDA’s blog FDAVoice or corporate sponsored blogs where senior leadership can provide analysis into specialized subject matter.
Senak, Mark. Blogging, Health and Journalism. Eye on FDA, 31th July 2012. Available from: