Monday, August 6, 2012

Preaching to the Choir

I shared print-outs of my blog with my dad several months ago.  That’s right, he doesn’t have a computer.  I’m guessing that he thinks this “computer thing” is a fad that’s destined to fade away.  (He said the same thing to my brother about the Beatles.)  Believe it or not, he actually wrote a book about 6 years ago…without a PC!  But I digress.  After he read the entries, he complimented my work, but then added, “But it seems like you’re preaching to the choir.”

I knew he was right.  Most of those who read this blog are folks keenly aware of melanoma’s wrath.  His statement made me want to refocus and try to spread the word in other ways.  But real life has not cooperated.  A vastly increased workload at work plus the emergence of my kids into the pre-teen years has pretty much choked any time to devote to other efforts.  A presentation package for educating elementary and middle school kids…a far more aggressive t-shirt campaign…the organization of local fund-raisers to provide playground shade…a local swim club awareness campaign…so many decent ideas and so little time.  What time I do have has been devoted to…well…preaching to the choir.  (Which is a task that I love, by the way!)

With Facebook’s newest timeline configuration, I really hadn’t noticed to what level my “Like” count has grown.  Sure, a simple scroll down would expose the number, but I would tend to read the new items on my wall at the top before selecting “home” to read others’ entries.  I figured that my count had reached a plateau a few months ago.

I was shocked this past weekend when I noticed that my Facebook page had reached the 1,500 “Like” mark!  Wow.  I just never figured that my thoughts would spread so much.  When I’ve reached milestones in the past, I would often comment on the diversity of people that read my thoughts and my blog.  That hasn’t changed at all.  And being the geek that I am, I charted some of that diversity.

“Black is the New Pink – Fight Melanoma” has definitely traveled across the US border.  Of other countries following BITNP, Australia leads the pack with 21% of foreign readers.  The United Kingdom is second at 19% with Canada close behind at 17%.  Mexico and Sweden round out the top five.  All in all, BITNP has been read in a confirmed 27 other countries.

Within the US, all but seven states are confirmed to have read my thoughts.  Alaska, Maine, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming…you have an open invitation to drop by any time.  (By the way, “confirmed” means that the reader’s Facebook page conveys where they live…and the LARGE majority of readers to not reveal this information…so it’s quite possible that the aforementioned states are indeed represented…just not confirmed).  North Carolina leads the way…obviously...with 10%.  Texas comes in second so far at 7% with California, Florida and Illinois pretty much all bunched together.  This chart shows a pretty even distribution overall.  And this thrills me that the word is spreading everywhere!

While my efforts to spread melanoma and skin cancer awareness to all folks may seem stalled, I now realize that it’s not at all.  While I am “only” preaching to the choir, the choir is 1,500 voices strong!  Some may be silent and merely read my words now and then.  Others are loud and proud and have choirs (some MUCH larger) all their own…spreading melanoma awareness and slowly making a world of difference.

Thank YOU for reading my words and sharing in my drive to increase skin cancer and melanoma awareness.  You are the reason I squeeze a few minutes every day to share links and my own personal thoughts.  And you are the reason we’ll beat this beast…one choir voice at a time!


  1. Thank you so much for standing up for this and voicing such crucial information. As someone who is short half a lung due to the age of 36....I read all of you post. I "like" them or "share" them as often as possible. I know I have a lot of friends who are still tanning either indoors or outdoors, so I share your post as a way to spread the word. The "choir" may be the ones that follow you on FB but please know that it is spreading far beyond that. Thank you again!!!
    Laurie, Alabama

  2. I feel the same way sometimes, but occasionally I'll get a Facebook message from a friend of a friend that's like -- "I saw your blog and I just wanted to let you know that I'm making an appointment with the dermatologist." For every 1000 page views, there may be one person whose life changes because of something you say. So keep sayin' it! :)