Do you believe that cultivating an online presence is important for the average Chinese medicine practitioner in the US? Why or why not?
We need to use the communication media of the present era, which runs at a particular speed, with specific tools, and with a specific style.
I used to say no 10 years ago, but now say for sure. This is the modern day yellow pages- the place people go to find you. So whether it is an old client looking you back up, or someone new seeking you out there needs to be a web page.
Absolutely essential. The public needs education on the whats and whys of CM, and a dynamic web presence is a very important and convenient tool to get out the good word. Also, like it or not, websites are simply the modern business cards.
I think that it is important to have at least a minimal online presence with your address, phone number, and short bio. People like to be able to look up your credentials and contact info and it will make you look more legitimate as a practitioner. My website is VERY simple.
I think it’s completely dependent on what you want your practice to be, and where you are living. In Frankfort, Kentucky almost no one uses the internet to look local up businesses. They use the phone book and read the local paper to hear what is going on. I know in Frankfort almost all of our patient’s are from word of mouth. We have spent a lot of time and money on creating a large clinic website and a strong internet presence, but locally it hasn’t made much of an impact. Still, we like to have it. Most other practitioners in Kentucky don’t have websites, or just have really minimal ones, and everyone is pretty busy all the time. If one wanted to get information out beyond local patient business marketing, then of course an online presence is incredibly important.
There’s no doubt in my mind that any practitioner living in the US should have some kind of web presence. That can be very simple – even a blog. But, you need to be findable on the web. Yes, of course, there are practitioners living without it. You could too. But, why tie your hands behind your back? It doesn’t cost nearly as much, nor require nearly as much technical expertise, as everybody seems to fear.
Yes. I get a lot of information from the web, and I enjoy connecting to other practitioners that way. We can be very isolated in private practice. However, I don’t like being a presence on the web, professionally. And I’m not sure how to reconcile those things yet, or if I will. I’ve been willing to blog, when touched by particular events or subjects, and I use the blog as a way to educate patients, if they are interested in learning more about what I think and feel in regards to Chinese Medicine and healing. But I don’t write regularly, and I don’t think I connect with peers through my blog.