It’s been a long time coming but the time has come. Effect Measure is closing up shop, after 5 and a half years, 3 million visits and 5.1 million page views of some 3500. You commented on them some 37,000 times. It’s been a grand ride but to all things there is a season. It’s time to simplify my life and while my family has had me all along, at times science got short shrift. Now my time is getting short and I want to turn my attention to my research, the other polar star of my life. “Revere” will continue to post occasionally on Effect Measure’s successor site, The Pump Handle (TPH), which will hold down the public health anchor position after EM is gone. We’ll provide more details later this week when we officially hand off this spot to our friends and colleagues at TPH. Our archive will be folded into theirs, with details to follow when they are firmed up.
I pondered long and hard about whether to mention names of the many wonderful friends, adversaries, readers, commenters, offline email correspondents, fellow bloggers, forum leaders and sources that made EM what it was. It’s a dangerous thing to do because you inevitably leave out people whom you cherish, respect and, despite differences, have managed to develop a great affection for. So we’re not going to do that. I hope you know who you are or at least realize now you fit that description even without recording your name. Having said that, we are going to make three exceptions, both for historical and personal reasons.
The first is Jordan Barab, whose occupational health and safety blog, Confined Space, was a model for what can be done with the blogging form in public health. When we started EM, Jordan and I met for coffee at a local coffee house and he couldn’t have been more helpful and encouraging. He was a pioneer in public health blogging and a master at it. When he became a senior congressional staffer he gave up the blog, but many of its functions were folded into The Pump Handle, so history is repeating itself. Jordan is now Deputy Director of OSHA. Imagine that.
The other two names are the late Melanie Mattson and Greg Dworkin, known far and wide under his blog name, DemFromCT. When we started blogging about avian influenza at EM back in late 2004 it was a topic barely discussed in the blogosphere. Melanie and Greg, separately, were two exceptions and we began to correspond via email and link to one another. When one of my commenters suggested my ever more numerous flu posts could be collected in a wiki format, I suggested it to Greg and Melanie and Flu Wiki was born. I was there at the founding, it is true, but like a delinquent parent I soon had left it to Greg and Melanie to raise the infant site without much help from me. And they did, in grand fashion. Melanie was a very sharp, deeply concerned and committed person who worried tremendously, perhaps excessively, for her fellow humans. She had a difficult and troubled life, and died too early. She was a blog pioneer and is remembered with deep affection by many of her fellow bloggers. As for Greg, if I didn’t know him personally I would suspect he was not a person at all but a group of people. A front-pager at Daily Kos, perhaps the world’s biggest blog, and one of the main anchors of Flu Wiki, Greg is a practicing pediatric pulmonologist who sees flu at the bedside but also has a public health perspective. When he blogs on health topics as DemFromCT at Daily Kos he does so with the eye of a consummate expert. His politics are progressive as befitting someone on the front lines of the battle to make this a better world. He is also a friend. My hat’s off to you, Dem. You’re still at it. I don’t know how you do it — but I’m glad you do.
So that’s it, folks. We’ll follow up soon with information about The Pump Handle, where you might occasionally catch a glimpse of us. But we can no longer blog day in and day out and sporadic blogs lose their audience quickly. EM is now passing into blog history, a good approximation of oblivion.
So it’s time to bid you a farewell and we are doing it in the most literal sense: a wish that wherever you fare, you fare well and safely and in peace. It’s what we wish for everyone and what this blog was all about.