Am I that oblivious? Did I actually win?


When I mentioned a while back that, although I like awards as much as the next guy, I don’t go actively seeking them, I wasn’t kidding. As evidence that I wasn’t kidding, I point out that, until some of you started letting me know about it, I had no clue that I had actually won the 2008 Medical Weblog Award for Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog of 2008. In fact, even though I do peruse Medgaget, the blog that hosts the competition, I had somehow missed the post last Friday announcing the winners.

Of course, it would have helped if the Medgadget guys would have shot me a quick e-mail.

In any case, I am surprised and humbled. I realize that a lot of readers probably think my expressions of amazement at the size of my readership and my “aw shucks” bit in the face of praise is an act, but it’s not. Even four years on, I remain amazed that anyone cares about my self-indulgent blather. It’s not that I don’t think I’m any good. It’s rather that I still have a hard time believing I’m that good.

Whether I am or am not “that good,” I remain grateful to my readers, who voted for me in sufficient numbers to put me over the top. You keep me going, and you keep me honest when I screw up.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate the other winners, including longtime favorite Kevin MD, Life in the Fast Lane, Running for My Life, Clinical Correlations, Life as a Healthcare CIO, and Six Until Me. Good goin’, everyone!


  1. #1 llewelly
    January 27, 2009

    It’s not that I don’t think I’m any good. It’s rather that I still have a hard time believing I’m that good.

    Perhaps the competition is crap. Or maybe the selection process is crap. Okay, I don’t buy either of those alternatives.

    You’ve done a number of superb articles on many important topics – cancer, doctor-patient communication, anti-vaxxers, cancer-woo, and so forth. You have both heavy-weight posts and light-weight posts, both serious posts and humorous posts. You’ve tackled a number of very difficult topics (doctor-patient communication, again, the deaths of AIDS denialists and their relatives, children suffering from curable cancers because their parents believe in woo, and so on ). You may not be ‘that good’ at any one thing (well, except cancer and EneMan, where you clearly are that good) but you’re very good at a wide variety of topics.

    You post frequently and consistently – there are no long unexplained silences, and no long periods without either the humorous posts or the heavy posts.

    You have strong opinions, which you explain and support well, and they don’t fit neatly into any of the stereotypical boxes. Finally, your blog is old enough to have picked up something of a community before there was much competition.

    Some months ago, PZ posted a list of the attributes he thought a blog needed to be successful. Other than PZ’s, yours was the first blog I thought of which had all those attributes. (Of course PZ has no hope of winning best medical blog.)

    So the award is well-deserved.

  2. #2 Frank
    January 27, 2009

    Congratulations Orac. This and are definitely two of my favourite blogs.

  3. #3 Militant Agnostic
    January 27, 2009

    Congratulations – This, Not Exactly Rocket Science and Neurologica are my favourite blogs. Plastic boxes of blinking lights everywhere are proud of you.

    Keep fighting the good fight against the anti-vaxers and woo mongers.

  4. #4
    January 27, 2009

    Congrats Orac. You deserve it!

  5. #5 Tracy W
    January 27, 2009

    Cool, congratulations!

  6. #6 Lexin
    January 27, 2009

    Congratulations! Very well done – Orac is a blog I read most days even if I don’t comment that often.

  7. #7 Christophe Thill
    January 27, 2009

    Yay ! Congratulations, that’s a well deserved award.

    Now, about celebrating with a bit of meditation ?

    Sigh… you may win awards, but the woo goes on…

  8. #8 AnthonyK
    January 27, 2009

    Yay, another victory for Big Pharma – so tell us, what bonus are they paying you for spreading their lies and disinformation?
    No, that’s total rubbish – I was joking.
    Well done, Orac, I’ve just started reading Respectful Insolence, and voted for you too. You use that anger, get it out there, and keep up the good work.
    And note, possibly gloating, that for all the power of PZ, he was beaten by a climate-change denialist website – watch out for Age of Autism next time round 😉

  9. #9 Paul Browne
    January 27, 2009

    “It’s rather that I still have a hard time believing I’m that good”

    Ah, but what matters is that we think you are.


  10. #10 Danimal
    January 27, 2009

    Orac “…I don’t go actively seeking them, I wasn’t kidding.” Off course not, that is why you ask your readers to vote for you and I in fact did. Congratulations.

  11. #11 Orac
    January 27, 2009

    Actually, what I meant is that I didn’t keep lobbying. I mentioned it once and then never mentioned it again. Heck, I didn’t even keep track of the voting. Otherwise, I would have known on Friday that i had won…

  12. #12 bse
    January 27, 2009

    Woo, Who and Nazi Zombies? How could I not vote? Congrats!

  13. #13 DLC
    January 27, 2009

    Hm. Well, I did vote for you, so I guess I’m partly to blame.

  14. #14 IcedLatteMD
    January 27, 2009

    It must have been all the kava and Ginkgo that keep you so fresh and sharp. Think how much better you column would be if you released you chi! Well-deserved congratulations.

  15. #15 SC
    January 27, 2009

    Congratulations, Orac!

  16. #16 The Perky Skeptic
    January 27, 2009

    Yay! Congratulations!

  17. #17 khan
    January 27, 2009

    I appreciate science with a coating of snark.

  18. #18 Cathy
    January 27, 2009

    What makes a blog “that good”?

    In my opinion:
    1. Coherent writing style with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
    2. Daily posts.
    3. Some semblance of mastery over blog topics.

    Most blogs fail to deliver one or more of these. Thus, they are relatively more obscure. It takes discipline, time, and research to produce an award-worthy blog. Many of us have at least one great blog post. Not many of us have an entire blog that produces notable updates daily.

    I do think you’re “that good”. You’re “that good” because the rest of us simply aren’t organized enough to produce good content on a reliable schedule. That’s the magic that brings readers back and makes awards roll in.

    Remember, Orac — you’re a cut way above average. To you, it comes easily. Go browse LiveJournal someday to see what your comeptition is. Then maybe you’ll see just where you are on the relative scale of things!

  19. #19 darya
    January 27, 2009

    Funny story! Congratulations!!!

  20. #20 storkdok
    January 28, 2009

    Congrats! You deserve it! I love your style, science with a side of snark!

    Oh, btw, I am getting our local DVD rental store to get the Blake’s 7 series! I can hardly wait to watch it!

  21. #21 Bronze Dog
    January 28, 2009

    You certainly deserve it, Orac.

    …One thing I need to do is get my readership back up to the ~300 visits/day I used to have before I started drifting off last summer.

    Guess I should try leaving more links to myself in comments when it’s on-topic.

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