Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Collective Brain Continues to Expand


It would never have happened if it wasn't for YOU. You, the Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

As far as I can tell I first used the term the "collective brain" of the Alzheimer's Reading Room on this website on June 5, 2009. I wrote:
The Alzheimer's Reading Room is all about changing the lives of Alzheimer's caregivers. For the better.

At the end of the day, I want each and every person that comes here to know -- they are not alone.

I want them to know that Alzheimer's is a sinister disease that will try to ruin their life. But, it doesn't have to be that way.

I want them to know, if it is up to me, that is not going to happen.

The collective brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room is growing each and every day.

The website had grown from about 300 visitors during October, 2008 to over 7,000 by June, 2009. This month? 34,700 visitors.


In February I wrote that I would begin the metamorphosis of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. I had (and still have) a long list of things that I wanted to accomplish. First, was to improve the look and feel of the website and make it easier to navigate. This is ongoing. Keep in mind, I am an older guy and not a "tech Wiz".

You have a "tech wiz" in your home maybe they would like to help.

Once I improved the website I had a second and more important goal. I wanted to unleash the Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

First, I wanted to increase the number of comments. I continue to believe that comments are one of the most important features on this site. Readers get to share their experience, advice and insight. Readers get an opportunity to support their fellow Alzheimer's caregivers. Importantly, readers get the opportunity to get something off their "chest" and interact with others that understand how they might be feeling at any point in time. Collectively, we are getting better and more effective at this. Every comment counts, and every comment makes a difference.

Second, I wanted to give Alzheimer's caregivers and members of the Alzheimer's community the opportunity to write about their experiences, their problems, and to share their expertise.

I could have gone out on the Internet and asked other bloggers to write here. I knew this would be easy because just about everyone out there wants to get their URL on this blog. I decided not to go in that direction.

I started by asking a few people that were commenting and a few people that I was beginning to respect to contribute -- to write.

Next, I offered readers/caregivers to share with us by submitting an article. It turns out this worked better than I could have ever imagined. I continue to be amazed. It might sound ditsy but I am going to say it anyway -- you complete us.

Along the way, we added some specialist in the field. People that work with their "hands on" people that have Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Several of these writers have 20 or more years of experience. Invaluable experience that most people pay to get. Invaluable experience that we would be unlikely to obtain on our own. One word -- Invaluable.

You might be surprised to learn that the entire spectrum of the Alzheimer's community is represented here. Of course, we have a growing number of "standing alone" Alzheimer's caregivers -- like me. One by one the "standing alone" continue to find us.

We have a growing list of Alzheimer's support group moderators. A growing list of people that own businesses or franchises and offer caregiver support to families that need it. We have a growing list of nurses and geriatric care specialists.

This might surprise you. We have several of the world's most important Alzheimer's scientists and researchers lurking in the background. For the most part, they have not stepped forward to share their insight, advice, and experience with us. I'll get them to come in, sooner or later.

The Alzheimer's Reading Room continues to evolve, and I hope you agree -- improve.

The Alzheimer's Reading is no longer a "one man band". Thank goodness.

We have over 2,850 subscribers. No one in this "niche" comes close. Google benchmarks us against similar websites -- we are 892 percent above the benchmark today as I write this. We have been ranked as high as number three in the Google Technorati health category for blogs. Once, right behind Paging Dr Gupta who published on CNN.com.

Here is the most amazing fact of them all. I did not spend a penny, not one red cent, on marketing or advertising. Almost everyone that comes here comes by word of mouth, finds us via a search engine like Google, or on Facebook.

I will pat myself on the back. I did spend more than five hours a day since October, 2008 working on this website.

The Alzheimer's Reading Room continues to grow and make an impact on the lives of Alzheimer's caregivers.

It would never have happened if it wasn't for YOU. You, the Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

Thank you.


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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,690 articles with more than 70,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room