Is it Time for a Diabetes Offline Community?

Kelly Close of asked an intriguing question on Twitter last week. Kerri Sparling responded with a blog post and Doug Tallman responded to Kerri's post.

Here's Kelly's tweet:

Doug's blog post reminded me of something I've thought about for a while. He is suggesting that the diabetes community needs some sort of mentorship or support group. Here's that part of Doug's post that got my attention.

Things like this occur already online, and lots of good can come from a blog, a Twitter chat, and a Facebook page. But if we want to effect real change, I think it’s going to have to happen face to face. Maybe a dozen people. Sitting in a circle of folding chairs. Possibly in a church basement or an empty meeting room in a government building. The room should be redolent of fresh-brewed coffee. And maybe a dozen donuts for the members who bolused.

While I occasionally take part in the DSMA Twitter event and get "in it" on, I still feel a bit isolated. The JDRF is very active in the area but as one blogger recently noticed, the JDRF feels like a kids-only organization. I only know two other adults with T1 in New Jersey. One of them started a group similar to what Doug was suggesting. But it quickly turned got taken over by T2 seeking advice on diet and exercise. They weren't as interested in talking about insulin, and pumps and CGMS etc.

Right now, I am struggling with weight and exercise. Frankly, I don't exercise and I am 10kg overweight. My BMI is borderline at 25. I am taking statins to manage my cholesterol. When I worked at Sarnoff, I was part of a walk team. A few of us would take 30 minutes from our schedule for a walk around the Nassau Park Pavillions complex. It's a brisk 2.4km walk. We would talk about family and life etc. It worked well for me. But that was two years ago. I consult now and the new work environment is not conducive to walking during the day.

So ... here I am thinking. This is my problem. I could solve this one myself. I could start a group. I could let people on twitter and know what I was doing. Then I could go sit in one of the meeting rooms in the Princeton Public Library or the Panera and just wait. Maybe someone will show up.


I am taking part in an free online course to improve my writing and blogging skills. Today’s writing prompt is Write a post about what you discovered regarding your writing patterns and behaviour. What surprised you?

John asked a number of important questions that I'm not sure I know how to answer.

I do want you to write today though and it doesn't have to be much: Write a post about what you discovered regarding your writing patterns and behaviour. What surprised you? What was rewarding and revealing? What didn't you like about what you learned about yourself? And, what pruning activities did you begin and hope to continue to do over the course of this year?

And, perhaps most importantly... what will you be writing about now with all of this new information about your historical writing patterns? Will you continue as you were previously or will you be writing about new content... and why?

My self-hosted WordPress blog only has five categories -- General, Photography, Pressgram (a subcategory of Photography), Reviews and Tutorial. A few years ago I had many more but after analyzing what I had been posting about I settled on just having these few. Looking at all of my posts over the years it seems that most of my posts have been in the General category and Photography categories with tutorials and reviews a distant third. Frankly, I think I have written more tutorials than indicated. A few years ago I consolidated several blogs into one and I may have assigned most of the imported posts to the General category. I know that in my early years of blogging I wrote most technical articles but that in most recent years photography has become a passion for me. I started posting more images to the blog, usually accompanied by some sort of story. A lot of the images were from my Nikon DSLR but a fair number were also from my iPhone. I think the launch of Pressgram had a lot to do with that.

Blog Categories. Pressgram is a subcategory of Photography.

I stopped using Google Analytics a while ago due to privacy issues. It really creeps me out how easy it is to use Google's free tools but not realize how much access you give them to your data. Quite frankly, I think Google is evil so I have reduced, as much as I can, the amount of exposure I have to their products and services. I've come to rely on the statistics provided via the Jetpack plugin from I took a look at the data for the last few years and saw some interesting patterns emerge. These aren't patterns about my writing behaviour but about the website reading traffic.

Page Views

My blog received more page views in the years prior to 2012. Page views are down 50%. Is that because I blogged less or because my content was less well received? I don't know.

Visitors to the web site spiked in 2013 and then dropped off by about 50% in 2014. What happened there? In 2012, the Raspberry Pi computer was released. There was a lot of buzz around the RPi. I managed to get my hands on one and wrote a blog post about my success in using it to control my Nikon DSLR for HDR photography. That post was linked to by a number of online magazines including and That generated a lot of inbound traffic and even to this day that article in the number one ranked article.

Number of unique visitors

Based on the comments it seems that the tutorial posts generate the most amount of conversation.

Reader interactions

I still have to dig deeper but I think that I will continue with my current patterns of posts. I like writing posts with tips to address the questions that I am often asked by family and friends. I will continue to do that. I will continue to post my photographs to the blog. I have accepted into the Arcanum and I want to document my journey as an apprentice.

I want to post on a more regular schedule. I developed some momentum at the end of 2014 and I want to carry that into 2015. I also want to either blog more about my personal insight on photography and technology or incorporate more of my personal insights into my photography and technical articles. That will be a challenge for sure and I am concerned about being vulnerable.

Time to go do some pruning (of tags).

Published via WordPress iOS App by Automattic