Improving the SoPD blog 2017 – any thoughts/suggestions? – The Science of Parkinson’s

Every six months or so, I put up a post asking for feedback/thoughts/suggestions on the style/content of the site. Or requests for any special topics readers would like to read.

In this post, I also try to provide some insight as to how the website is going and what is happening behind the scenes. 

The whole point of this particular post is to provide an opportunity to you the reader to help improve the site – any and all suggestions are welcomed.


The State of the Blog address. Source: Tngop

So lets begin with where things are at present.

The state of the blog:

The blog has been running since the 9th September, 2015. There are currently 155 individual posts (64 this year) dealing with all manner of Parkinson’s disease research-related content (for the full list, please see the site map page).

I have had some readers ask about how much traffic is visiting the site on a regular basis and in the interest of full transparency blah-blah-blah: the site is currently receiving about 3,000 visitors per week. Curiously, Mondays receive the most views (approximately 21% of visitors), and 8pm is the busiest time of each day for the site (approximately 12% of views – is nothing on TV on Mondays nights?).

Of the 75,558 visitors thus far this year (as of 17th July):

  • 31,317 are from the USA.
  • 9,026 are from the UK
  • 4,519 are from Canada
  • 3,109 are from Israel
  • 2,854 are from Australia
  • 2,218 are from Germany
  • 1,685 are from Italy
  • 1,521 are from South Korea
  • 1,500 are from India
  • 1,492 are from France

And 832 are from New Zealand (16th place) – basically my mum telling all of her bridge partners about her son!

The most popular posts this year have been:

  1. Update – Mannitol and Parkinson’s disease
  2. The road ahead – Parkinson’s disease research in 2017
  3. Manna from heaven? Mannitol and Parkinson’s disease
  4. Cannabis and Parkinson’s disease
  5. Phase II trial launched for Nilotinib 

And the prize for the least viewed post goes to: Brain (not Heart) warming research

What new additions have been made recently?


Following the previous suggestions of readers, the site has a search function on the top right hand side of each page. I have also started using a summary box at the start of each post so that people can decide if each new post is of interest to them. I have also added to the menu bar of key topics, specifically a page on the genetics of Parkinson’s disease, a blog-of-the-blog page (for those curious about what is happening in the background at the SoPD), and a page about the BIRAX/Parkinson’s UK Breath analysis study that I am involved with at the day job.


The Facebook page (which kicked off in February 25th 2017) has been a good addition to the site, allowing for the highlighting of articles of interest in the general media. The twitter feed is more for those interested in daily updates on the Parkinson’s research side of things.

And what additions could be made?

suggestion-box-matt-mcwilliamsHere is where I am open to any and all suggestions.

Two small caveats:

First, I am desperately trying to avoid any posts or pages that require regular updating. There is nothing sadder on the interest than a long forgotten, out-of-date webpage. Having said that I am working on a page for the main menu that will look at commonly used Parkinson’s drugs (based on a reader’s suggestion).

And second, I am regularly (read ‘probably on a daily basis’) rejecting messages in the comments section of posts that offer any kind of product or service (e.g. ‘miracle herbal cure’). I am trying to avoid any ethical or conflict of interest situations with this policy. There are lots of other places on the web where such comments can be found, this isn’t really the place for it. Any advertising that does appear on the site is solely owned and controlled by WordPress (the server provider).

I have had requests for posts about other conditions that fall under the Parkinsonism umbrella (such as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Multiple System Atrophy), and I am hoping to address this in future posts as new research becomes available.

I have also had a crack at video content, but given that I have a face for radio and a voice for silent film, it hasn’t really worked out. In addition, while fun it is rather time consuming.

Other than that…

Are there any suggestions? Please feel free to contact me directly, or to leave any suggestions/requests in the comment section below. Any and all feedback/thoughts would be appreciated and considered.

Ok, back to normal posts tomorrow – looking at wireless deep brain stimulation!

The banner for today’s post was sourced from OnthecontraryKelly

Published by Simon

I am the Deputy Director of Research at the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. Before that I was working as a Parkinson’s research scientist at the University of Cambridge where I conducted both clinical- and lab-based research on Parkinson’s. I have worked in the Parkinson’s research field for over 15 years – both academically and in biotech ventures. In addition, I am the president of my local Parkinson’s UK support branch in North Hertfordshire. All of my views/opinions expressed here are solely my own, and may not reflect the views of my employer or associated parties.
View all posts by Simon

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