He's already got something along these lines, with the "blogosphere rounds." What I'm proposing was first suggested by Mike from Interested-Participant. We were discussing the impact of "Carnival of the Vanities", the weekly link-fest that attracts regular Instalanches and has generated many spinoffs. Could something like that generate new readers for the medical blogs?
And yes, traffic is what's driving this. Even the biggest medical blogs get only a few hundred hits a day, which is paltry compared to many politics, law, and economics blogs out there. I've been so impressed by some of the writing on medical blogs -- from Proximal Tubule, Intueri, Medpundit, Codeblog, and my colleagues at Lingual Nerve, among many others -- it's a shame more people aren't reading it.
Now, a certain fraction of medi-blog posts are too esoteric for the lay reader, but actually not that many. And that's part of the appeal: Each week authors would pick a post that general blog readers could understand and enjoy, and a rotating volunteer blogger would host the links. What gets linked would be at the host's discretion -- hopefully a nice mix of quality patient stories, science news, and policy points.
If we could guarantee some publicity from the heavy hitters, or even The Professor himself, plenty of new readers will visit the cited medical blogs. And they can always skim over the posts on spironolactone and CHF, if they're so inclined.
I'd like to get this going in September, when blogging's summer lull ends. The only real question in my mind is what to call it. Some early contenders:
Carnival of the Caregivers Melee of the Medics Party of the Providers Hulabaloo of the Healers
or simply... Grand Rounds?
Let me know what you think! I'd especially like to hear from those who write blogs, or read them, medical or otherwise. Pretty much everyone, in other words.