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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Touring the cybersphere I visited The Sceptical OB, oh yes Dr Amy Tuteur ex-The Homebirth Debate blogger, is writing away and as usual is thought provoking. Her latest offering is a scathing scribe about The Feminist Breeder who is going to be live blogging her homebirth, Dr Amy is not impressed by this concept, in fact she calls it ‘pathetic narcissism’. Is she right? Oh, I don’t know. TFB says that one of the reasons that she is doing it is to educate women on natural birth, presumably that is why she also posted a photo to Facebook of her positive pregnancy test even before she left the toilet. I just wonder though, are those women who agree to have their births aired on ‘One born every minute’ narcissistic? I have to admit that I haven’t even considered that before, I’ve just thought that they were brave and uninhibited. I suppose that all bloggers could all be accused, to a greater or lesser extent, of being self-involved and having a need for admiration but does that make us narcissistic? For me the similarity between TFB and me is that to we both hope to educate on a subject close to us via our blogging, but there the resemblance ends, I write and expect no remuneration. I have many companies asking me to promote their wares, to place links etc in my sidebar, but I always decline, in fact I generally just ignore them. If I ever mention a product it is because I have independently used it and feel that it is either worth mentioning, as it is good or should be exposed as it failed to impress, it isn’t because I have received either monies or gifts. TFB, now a quick perusal of her sidebars shows 12+ advertising widgets, how independent are her opinions, how unbiased is her information giving? She is honest though, she does disclose that her live birth blog is being sponsored by Brio Birth, a company specialising in childbirth education classes. Here I am the sceptic, what better way to increase traffic to a blog than to live blog and video stream a birth? What does TFB have to say about the financial aspect of her blog?  Running this ship comes with both tangible costs and opportunity costs. It takes real money to pay for the server space and domain registration that keeps this blog online. It also takes time and a great deal of effort for me to research, write, and moderate a blog with this much traffic and This is why I accept advertising sponsorships – but, and this is really important – I don’t just accept any sponsorships, and that’s what makes the ones appearing on this page so important.  You see, I am extremely picky about who I will let advertise here. Great, so she’s ‘picky’, really, but you then goes on to say But, trust me when I say that most businesses with an advertising budget are not pounding down the doors to advertise on a blog like mine. Hmm, inconsistencies here, there’s even a Feminist Shopper page which is all reviews and advertising, no wonder she spends so much time researching and writing her blog.  Oh, I don’t know, I’m just a grumpy old woman who is alarmed to find herself agreeing with Dr Tuteur.

So will I be logging on to The Feminist Breeder in April when baby is due? If I remember then I will, but I’m not setting up an alert.

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Are any other employees who blog, particularly public sector ones, quaking in their shoes and ‘pulling the blanket over their head’? There I was battling with my laptop’s wi-fi connection when Hubby started reading me an article from The Telegraph and as he read I stopped checking my connections and started veering between feeling indignant and considering whether to delete my blog. What was the content of the article? Well it was about NightJack, sorry, no point in linking as he has ceased blogging and deleted his blog. Why has this police detective given up his Orwell Prize winning blog? Well, it’s all down to The Times challenging his right to remaining anonymous and a certain Mr Justice Eady agreeing with them. This member of the judiciary has been known previously for defending a persons right to privacy, it was he who pronounced that Maxine Carr was entitled to life-long anonymity, in fact “The judge’s critics argue that he has introduced his own “Eady’s law” of privacy by repeatedly ruling against newspapers and building up a formidable body of case law on which public figures can rely when they wish to gag the media”. What happened this time then, why hasn’t case law supported this bloggers right to privacy, perhaps because NightJack isn’t a public figure?

This decision is terrible as far as employees who blog about their jobs, especially if their blog highlights concerns and/or criticises the organisations they work in. I am krill in the blogging ocean, NightJack was registering 60,000 hits a day, a positive blue whale in comparison to Midwifemuse. There are still similarities though that both blogs attempt to portray what our jobs involve, to inform the public and to voice the frustrations encountered when trying to perform our duties. Frustrations generated by the public themselves, whether through  misunderstanding the constraints we operate within or deliberately by making unreasonable demands. Frustrations felt as a result of media reporting or, for me, the biggest bugbear of all, bureaucracy. Any similarities end there so I am taking comfort in my microscopic blogging credentials. I wouldn’t say I feel cocooned but I do feel that I am fathoms below the sonar so I shall continue my drifting and not go into a mad panic if I see anyone approaching me with a camera.

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I am seriously considering whether I should continue my blog in it present form due to this ‘reminder’ from the NMC.

“The NMC would like to remind nurses and midwives that they are personally accountable for their actions at all times, including how they behave in their personal life”, gosh, it’s almost as if had taken some kind of vow when I qualified. I can actually dismiss that element as irrelevant if they are referring to illegal activities, however they should perhaps of been more explicit as there are many aspects of some peoples personal lives which others may not find professional, or just plain not approve of but they may not affect a persons competency.

“What may be considered to be letting off steam about a situation at work can potentially be read by someone who may take offence at the content of a posting.” Who may that someone be? The Secretary of State for Health; a Trust Chairperson; a unit manager perhaps.

 “Nurses and midwives could be putting their registration at risk if posting inappropriate comments about colleagues or patients or posting any material that could be considered explicit.”  Explicit? In what way. Full frontal nudity perhaps or do they mean failing to maintain confidentiality?

I am really in quite a quandary here. I started my first blog when I was first entering into the new experience of being a grandmother, with emphasis on how it impacted on me as a midwife. I soon discovered that people are very interested in midwifery, pregnancy and birth so began including entries about different aspects of my working life, in part to share but also to educate ( how presumptuous!). Now I am concerned that I may be on a collision course with my regulatory body, I may be considered to be ‘inappropriate’. I would really welcome some advise here, any supervisors out there who would care to comment, PLEASE do.

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