Friday, July 30, 2010

Blogspot Banter: Placebo Journal Blog

July's Blogspot Banter takes a look at Dr. Doug Farrago of the Placebo Journal Blog, a blog that is a bit of an extension of a print magazine and newsletter of the same name. In big letters on the top of the blog's homepage, you will find the phrase, "Medical Humor With A Purpose," and that's pretty accurate.

In addition to relaying important information within the medical world (something I admittedly know absolutely nothing about), Farrago sprinkles in bits of wit, comedy and a desire to explain such information in a manner that is easy enough for even idiots such as myself to understand. In other words, even if you don't have much interest in medical issues and health topics, it's still certainly worth your time to check out if you happen to come across an few extra minutes.

Much like our previous subjects, the Placebo Journal Blog was once listed as a Blog of Note on Blogspot's homepage, and, just in case you forgot, this also has an actual magazine attached to it. Yes, friends. This is the real deal. The man behind the blog was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his day to answer some questions regarding how incredibly long his day can be, his patience with breaking through into the television world and, of course, his will to not want to anger his friends.

You can visit Farrago's blog here. We encourage you to look, leave him a nice comment or two, and spread the blogosphere love that we enjoy sharing with each and every one of you fantastically intelligent readers. Now, without any further ado, we present you with Dr. Doug Farrago, the man behind the Placebo Journal Blog. Enjoy.

Q: You’ve had your blog since 2007, I believe. That’s almost three years you have been running now. What gave you the idea to begin a blog mixing humor with medical issues? Did you come across any bit of inspiration for this particular blog?

A: The Placebo Journal blog came as natural extension to our print magazine, The Placebo Journal. It was a way to keep current (magazines don't really do that) and also comment on medico-political news.

Q: Your blog seems to have a consistent base of commenters. What advice would you give to a blogger starting out in regards to how to gain readership? Were there any struggles you had to begin with, and how did you overcome them?

A: Thanks for the praise, but blogs are always up and down. Only blog if you like writing or it's a release. Persistence and determination and patience will take you the rest of the way.

Q: How do you find time to blog around your professional career? Would you like to make a career around your blog and/or blogging?

A: I am a practicing physician (as well as editor to the Placebo Journal). I get up at 4:45 AM and take care of my dogs. Then I read email, do some work and then write my blog on current medical events. I then go to the gym and then to the office. I do not foresee making a career out of blogging but stranger things in life have happened.

Q: How important is the comments section/readership numbers to you?

A: It is good to know people care enough to have an opinion.

Q: Is this blog up and running for fun, and your own personal enjoyment, or is this something that you only find gratification in when you know other people are reading?

A: Both. It is a stress relief as well to write back about the lunacy going on in the health care profession.

Q: That said, have you become discouraged and have you ever considered giving up your blog because you thought no one cared/read? If so, how did you overcome those feelings?

A: I have a niche and a game plan. No one else competes with me with medical humor and sarcasm. I own this space and though it is small, it is all mine. I would love to grow it and keep going with all my writing. I do an e-newsletter (Placebo Gazette), videos (Placebo Television) and the print journal (Placebo Journal). I also travel the country doing keynote talks on "Humor and the Art of Medicine." All my stuff are spokes that are part of the same wheel or brand. I do get discouraged as opportunities (two possible television series) have come and gone for bigger things, but I am a patient man. It will come.

Q: How important do you think a name can be when beginning one’s own blog? Does it need to be catchy? Is a hook imperative?

A: Forget the name. Create your own brand and everything that goes along with that. The name should follow.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: "Rocky"
Q: Favorite food?
A: Ice cream
Q: Favorite television show?
A: "The Office"
Q: When you are not working or blogging, what do you enjoy doing the most?
A: Taking a nap.
Q: What’s your favorite blog?
A: I don't want to piss any of my friends off, so no comment.


  1. I'm heading over to check it out.

    I like these interviews you do. Smart.

  2. Thank you very, very much. I really, sincerely appreciate that. Very, very much.

  3. I am unusually an irregular regular in Placebo Journal and the weblog as well. The King of Medicine RULES!