Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

This is why I work hard

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

So there’s this article I wrote for in 2007. It’s going to remain anonymous for the purposes of this post. Because it’s embarrassing.

The article has been bringing in a lot of readers per month for ages now, years, about 3000 of ‘em, with an average reading time of several minutes (which is very good; it means that people are actually reading it). So it’s a busy article for … but not so busy that it was really on my radar as a top article. Not a high priority. I have a few dozen in this league, and dozens more that get much more traffic.

So I basically haven’t thought about this particular article since I wrote it.

Today I finally read it

I found at least three cringe-inducingly obsolete key ideas in it. Nothing too horrible, but … just shabby old stuff I abandoned about five years ago, closer to when I wrote the damn thing than to the present. Words I’m really not proud to have my name on today.

Being read by a few thousand people a month.

For years.

Roughly a hundred thousand readers.

Oh, my. It’s not a bad article. But it does contain multiple strong statements that I think are misleading to readers and embarrassing to me, statements so cocky that obviously it hadn’t yet occurred to me that there was any possibility of doubt. In 2007, I just knew!

Perpetual maintenance

It will probably take me a few hours to fix, which I just can’t do on the spot. It’s going to have to go in the to-do list, where it will rub shoulders with dozens of other similar chores, competing for my attention for weeks or months before I finally get to it.

Fixing crap like this is the difference between “blogging” and trying to maintain a high-quality million-word educational website.

This is basically my job for the rest of time. It’s like painting a big bridge: it takes so long to paint that, by the time it’s finished, it’s already time to start repainting again at the other end!

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher