Monday, August 16, 2010

Disclosure: A New Volunteer Role

Transparency is important.

In my continuing effort to determine how my Diabetes Advocacy fits into my life personally and professionally, I've taken on a new role. This is all being approached carefully in a volunteer capacity and won't impact my writing here or anywhere else, but it's a role that I wanted to let you all in the Diabetes Online Community know about. Keeping my credibility is important, so here's full disclosure on what I am getting into...

Back in January, I wrote about an Indianapolis father's passion for helping his Type 1 daughter better manage her health leading him to the creation of an online web portal called s5health. Basically, this new web-based portal is designed to help diabetics combine all of their insulin pump, blood meter, and CGM data into one place online and get that to their doctors quickly and efficiently. Most significantly, it's not tied to a particular product line and also allows PWD the ability to send data directly to their doctors, as well as interacting with others in the Diabetes Community and possibly using it as a "one-stop shop" for many aspects of their D-Management. Similar online resources are out there in some capacity, but from what I've seen they are either tied to a particular product line, charge the patient-users a fee to use it, or they don't have the physician/medical establishment aspects.

I've been using this tool for several months now and impressed by what it offers. So, I've agreed to start writing a blog for this local start-up business in advancing this tool. This involves my personal perspective on this resource and coverage of the industry and those using it. No money is being accepted; it's simply something I am doing in a volunteer capacity a couple times a week - a few evening hours during the course of a week when my time allows. My first intro post, "Passion Will Cure Diabetes," went up late last week.

At a recent Starbucks meeting with the marketing woman, I was clear in saying that this means nothing for The Diabetic's Corner Booth. This doesn't mean I'm going to talk about this resource here at all, or try to cram it down anyone's throats if I do choose to write about it. My editorial content here is simply that - my own. Nothing will change that. For the record, no one expressed any interest in influencing my personal thoughts here and completely agreed that would be inappropriate. That blog, newly named More Than Numbers, will detail who I am and will include a spot where people can see my personal blog and visit should they care to. But that's it.

I get nothing out of this arrangement other than a personal feeling that I'm contributing to something bigger than myself, a tool that's already helping the diabetic community better manage this chronic condition. A larger vision is for s5health to touch more than diabetes, to be a part of the broader health care picture. Yes, it's a "product" I'm advocating for and am indeed marketing it. But that doesn't mean it will spill into my personal blog or change how I write honestly here. If I like something, I'll tell you about it. If not, I'll do the same. So that you have the full picture.

Aside from here online, my new "marketing" volunteerism won't interfere with my professional journalism duties, as I do not cover this particular area and am always aware of potential conflicts that may arise. If there's an issue, I will talk about as needed and decide how to move forward from there.

So, there it is. As mentioned, I've used this online tool and personally believe it fills an unfilled gap in what is currently offered. I'd encourage anyone to try it out by logging on for free, but that's not what I am writing this post for. Do with it as you will. As always, The Diabetic's Corner Booth is about my personal D-Life and sharing my adventures and thoughts with anyone who cares to read about it from time to time. Thank you for that, and I'll look forward to writing, advocating, and interacting the same as always.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Thanks for the head's up :) I'm looking forward to reading your feedback!

Renata said...

The tool sounds amazing. And I think you are awesome for helping out.

Cherise said...

Mike, it sounds awesome! congrats on your new venture!