Friday, April 20, 2007

'Round the Sphere: Capitalizing on VA Tech Tragedy, Rost Roasts Mack, the PharmaBlog Band

Let me start with the hottest topic making the rounds of the Pharma BlogosphereTM (and the world in general): the VA Tech Tragedy. We all want to show our support for the students of VA Tech, their families, the victims, and especially the families of the victims. Bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere are no exception and several of us expressed our thoughts in one way or another.

Fard Johnmar at HealthcareVOX observed a daylong moment of silence on April 18; Pharma Marketing Blog (my blog) followed suit on April 19.

Pharma Giles touched upon the anti-depressant drug link issue ("No Sense at all.."), but confessed "I don't feel like trying to be funny for a while. My heart goes out to the families of those who died at Blacksburg on the morning of the 16th."

But Drug Wonks -- opportunists that they are -- immediately saw the chance to stick it to the anti-anti-depressant folks in their post "The Sorrow and the Pity." Is it OK because they prefaced their comments with "Virginia Tech sorrow and media SSRI hysteria notwithstanding, some important new science ..."? I don't think so!

Pharm Aid got its ass in a wringer when it posted "Anti-Science Propaganda" which I guess could be characterized as a screed in line with the Drug Wonk sentiment, but going a step further by characterizing the anti-anti-depressant crowd as "anti-science crowd." Pharm Aid must have gotten a lot of flack in comments because it had to announce that it would henceforth moderate comments. Good idea!

The Howard Stern of the Pharma Blogosphere!?
Which brings me to the roast that Rost wrought upon me, in which he accused me of "spinning" the results of the Pharma Blogosphere Survey, compared me to shock jock Howard Stern (I guess he doesn' have Don Imus to kick around any more), and berated me for sullying the good name of Agnes Shanley, author of On Pharma blog. You can find his comments here.

"To be, or not to be,--that is the question:--whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?"
Oh, what the hell! I'll choose the arms! Here's my response to Peter, which I would like to make public here:
Peter, Peter, Peter! You don't need no stinkin' survey to be popular and help you promote yourself! You're doing a great job all by yourself.

BTW, regarding the Pharma Blogosphere Survey, all the analysis was done by a third party expert in data analysis. Also, you and all the other bloggers in the survey, will receive the raw data soon and can make your own hay out of it!

I just want a bit of exclusivity considering how much work I put into this -- including giving away my products (reprints and special supplements to my Pharma Marketing News newsletter) to participants as a thank you.

Is it too much to ask that I get my chance to bask in the sun? After all, my blog didn't win top prize and I haven't dissed the winner [I should correct that: the TOP five blogs, eg, In the Pipeline] as you have!

Regarding the Cafe Pharma quotes let me say this: I have no recollection of that!

Just kidding. Really, you know it was all done tongue-in-cheek, don't you? Perhaps I took it a step too far, but putting me in the same league as Howard Stern and Imus is really unfair, you lilly-white ho!

What you may not know is that I have been in contact with Agnes Shanley who wrote in an unsolicited e-mail: "Thanks...for the link and writeup. Have been chuckling about it all morning, and hope it generates some discussion. Your points were all good/true, too." [I don't think she meant that the comments attributed to "anonymous" were good and true. Everyone, I hope, realizes that those comments were taken from unrelated Cafe Pharma posts and were meant to illustrate how "uncivil" some people can be online. Sorry, if there was any confusion about that. See also Agnes' post: “Tough Love” from John Mack?] I have since helped Agnes by noting that her comments were not working and that's why her site is not getting comments from readers! No one else took the time or effort to give her a heads up!

So, I like to think that I give as much as I take and I hope most bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere will back me up on that!
Can I hear an Amen?

Let Me Introduce You to the Band
PharmaGossip's PharmaBlog Band that is! Guess who's the lead guitar? See him here. Peter Rost, Ed Silverman, and Jack Friday himself are the backup members.

We Are Family
In a few short months I have seen the Pharma Blogosphere blossom into a strong family that has garnered a lot of attention. Much credit has to go to Peter Rost and journalist bloggers like Jim Edwards, Ed Silverman, and the guys at the WSJ Health Blog, for accelerating this process.

A growing family is bound to have problems as we learn to live together. So, just because this week Peter and I seem to be at odds, it doesn't mean we are dysfunctional. At least I hope not. Sometimes we can go too far and I am sorry.

That's it. I've done apologizing! Now back to the music...


Peter Rost said...



. said...


I don't think you really needed to apologize, but that was a very kind thing to do.

As an outsider closely observing your alpha dog PHARMA blogger WARS, I can say, that in my very HUMBLE and RESPECTFUL opinion, you all should really stop focusing so much on the negatives in each others work product and use your positive intentions to build up all bloggers who share, lets say 50% or more common information or linkages to your sites.

Its a big cluster f*&*( to those who peak in for the first time. YOU ALL link so intensely to each other, I actually thought you were all one person. You don't sound even write all that differently in style. Except, Dr. Rost and Pharma Giles who are both unique, very informative, timely, and funny as hell at times.

Even little tic unread blogs like mine, Black Kitty at gcic. love getting recognition from you big dog health care bloggers.

There are several exceptionally good blogs trying to break in to get to your levels of popularity (e.g., clinical psych, furious seasons, pharma-analyst, WSP).

I believe that YOU as a community are committed to getting other men into your ALPHA DOG network of top health care blogers. You all are doing a good job of helping SOME of them.

I received PRICELESS help from Dr. Rost. Just mentioning my blog on his, gets me 100 hits in a few hours. That IS BIG TIME FOR ME. It makes me and my family really happy to see the increasing bang on analytics.. totally provided courtesy of Dr. Rost.

Thank you, TO ALL OF YOU. I LOVE reading and commenting and being a general pain in the ass.

I AM a very good statistican, and if you want to talk data analysis of your blogger survey or more objective measurement(for free) let me know.

Love and Peace,

Dr. BK