Should doctors use their real names on social media?

Generally speaking, news editors rarely accept for publication any letters to the editor that are submitted anonymously. To do so would merely encourage the trolls to spew forth.  Discouraging anonymity is a good thing, I believe, because the jerk-to-normal person ratio out there is already perilously high even without encouragement. For example, the Toronto Star – unless agreeing to specific requests to protect confidentiality for valid reasons –  is just one of many that advise readers:

“Letters to the editor must include the writer’s full name – anonymous letters and letters written under pseudonyms will not be considered. For verification purposes, they must also include the writer’s home address, e-mail address and telephone numbers. Writers should disclose any personal or financial interest in the subject matter of their letters.”

And imagine what would happen if The Star or other media outlets let us just willy-nilly vent publicly under fake names whenever we like.

Oh. Wait a minute. That’s already allowed, and it’s called social media.   Continue reading

Short vs long online articles: which are better?

I’ve always been aware that the average Ethical Nag post here runs far longer than your average blog poster might choose to write.  Isn’t there, after all, some rule out there advising that a couple snappy paragraphs are best for the short attention span of blog readers? Are my readers being turned off because they lack the time or luxury to absorb 1,500 words of my deathless prose?

I generally approach writing for The Nag much like I did when I was writing magazine pieces. Start with the main theme, some solid background, some pithy quotable quotes from appropriate sources, reactions from The Culprits being examined, and finally my own two cents worth on the subject. (I can do that. Because it’s my blog).

But are my articles too long, I sometimes wonder, and thus turning off the average busy, over-tasked reader out there?  And what works best on the web: short or long-form journalism? Continue reading