28 June 2007

Best Blog EVAH -- inaugural edition

If I'm going to rant, then I have to back it up. So I'm going to introduce an occasional feature here called "Best Blog EVAH" (in homage to my hometown) where I showcase someone who's doing online right. It won't always be the techiest example but it will always be something I think is effective and consistent with a clearly defined strategy. I'm going to change my "leading the discussion" link list to include the Best Blogs EVAH. I'll keep three links from the existing group - Communication Overtones, Marketing Roadmaps, and the Beta Stage - because they actually provide the case study examples I rant about. So my links will now be a library of case studies, not just blogs I want you to think I read all the time. If the site I showcase is a client, I'll say so, but this isn't intended to be a self-promotion exercise. The inaugural BBE is NOT a client.
My first Best Blog EVAH -- Paul Levy's Running a Hospital.

This is a really simple blog. No bells & whistles, just a guy writing his observations for all to see. The guy just happens to be the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He writes regularly, he has a well-organized list of links, and he's really authentic. The blog is registered with Technorati so it can be found relatively easily, but there isn't a lot of effort in promotion here. There doesn't have to be.

When Levy started this job he had a great resume in managing large organizations but he didn't really have a background in health care. He needed to introduce himself to what must have been a skeptical audience of new employees and colleagues. So he started a new blog by writing:
My first comment is this: I am new to health care, and I have never worked in a place where people are so consistently caring and devoted to alleviating human suffering caused by disease. It is, in many ways, a beautiful place to work. But many of the forces facing hospitals, doctors, nurses, and others make it really hard to do the job well.
Reading the blog you understand just how authentic Levy is. He's not the unfeeling CEO of a massive bureaucratic organization. He has profound respect for health care providers. He's also not afraid to take on tougher issues or even dish out a little snark every now and then.

Levy's a really smart guy with a lot of respect in Massachusetts, but the blog gives Levy a chance to provide "official" commentary without being too formal, and it helps him strengthen his position as a thought leader. He'd probably have earned that reputation before too long, but the blog is an important tool in that regard. Now he gets attention from health care providers and policy experts across the world he'd never have without the blog.

This one is fun for me because I actually had the chance to meet Levy once, more than 20 years ago. He was running the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and I was a teenager in Winthrop. My mom brought me to a public hearing he was running, and it's really the first time I was exposed to public affairs and participating in the political process.


Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks David!

(I loved my times in Winthrop . . .)

Kami Huyse said...

David; Very cool idea. I am honored that you have added me to your list. Thanks to you I found Paul's blog and added him to the Heathcare100, a new blog ranking engine for healthcare-related blogs that one of my clients put together. I look forward to seeing where he ends up on the list.

Susan Getgood said...

Thanks David.

And for being a regular commenter on Marketing Roadmaps too. You always makes me think!