Dr. Gwenn Is In Turns 5

Today, Dr. Gwenn Is In is 5 years old. I can hardly believe it. Seems like only yesterday I  sat to type my first blog post, not knowing at all what a blog truly was. Truly. I recall vividly sitting at lunch with a friend just shortly after Pediatrics Now was launched when he nonchauntly mentioned “You need a blog.” My response was a simple “Blog…what in the world is that?”

Nearly 1000 posts, 1/2 million words later, suffice it to say I not only became hooked quickly but rather addicted! It’s hard to not get sucked into this odd journalistic platform that you can truly take into any direction you want to. As one of the first pediatricians with a blog, I found it an interesting position to be in. There was no model. No mentors. No rules. Just a few of us kid docs trying to figure out what a blog was and how in the world we would use it in the name of child health.  More on that in a coming post.

What amazes me today is where my career has molted over the last 5 years. In many ways I feel like my career path sort of choose me very similarly as Harry’s wand found him in Harry Potter. By following my passion for technology, my desire to keep kids safe and healthy, and my quest to help families digest material in an succinct way, a career in the the arena of the online world of kids evolved. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision to head this way but it very much occurred naturally and is most definitely the most fun and fulfilling career path I’ve had since I graduated from medical school.

What’s cool, is none of this would have been possible if it were not for social networking and that arena was just evolving as I launched Dr. Gwenn Is In, and wasn’t even around when Pediatrics went live 6 months earlier in 2005.  Think about it. Dr. Gwenn Is In debuted it’s first post April 2006. Twitter didn’t go live until July 2006 and Facebook didn’t open it’s doors to people over 13 until September 2006.

My kids, teens now, only no of web 2.0 and all it’s social glory. However, only 5 years ago, when they were pre-teens and I was just starting out on this new adventure, the web was at a cross roads. Web 1.0 was very much the standards and what we now take for granted as the social-ness of the web, web 2.0, was just taking root with many skeptics wondering it it would go anywhere at all. I still recall many musing that Twitter was going to be the online version of the CB radio…hmmm.

It wasn’t just the social-ness of the web that allowed all of us to evolve as we have over the last 5 years, though. The evolution of broadband so that we can actually connect realtime in our homes and the development of smartphones that has lead to our on the go, 24/7 culture have shaped our society dramatically. Without those additional factors, I’m not sure the world of cyber safety would have evolved as it has, at least not so quickly.

I’m truly indebted to all of you for helping shape a career I couldn’t have seen coming, but wouldn’t have wanted to miss for anything. It’s been a great 5 years and I’m looking forward to looking back 5 years from now to see where we are then, online and off.


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