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Encouraging Statistics

Sometimes the continual flow of bad advice given to people with diabetes can seem overwhelming. All of us have know the neighbor whose doctor put her on the low fat diet that made her give up on diets or the friend on insulin who has been told to test once a week, fasting.

We all run into dozens of people who have no idea that they could go a long way to normalize their blood sugars simply by cutting back on carbs, to say nothing of the doctors who warn us that low carb diets are "dangerous" but are eager to send patients for the weight loss surgery that kills a significant number within weeks of surgery and a lot more over a decade. Too often our attempts to share what we've learned--the techniques that give us near-normal numbers--fall on deaf ears. So I'm glad to have some good news to report.

This morning, when I spent some time delving deeper into the statistics that Google Analytics provides for the Blood Sugar 101 site, I saw real evidence that this site is reaching its audience and making a difference.

Over the past two years there have been almost two million visitors to the site, and over 507,000 of these visitors have read more than a single page. In fact, those who read more than one page spent an average of 9 minutes on the site. And because the site's traffic has quadrupled over the past two years, every day this month 3,000 - 4,000 visitors came to the site, of whom more than 1,000 read several pages. If site traffic stays at this level--and there's no reason it shouldn't as it has been increasing every year since inception, that would mean 365,000 people will have read multiple pages on this site this year alone.

Over this two year period, almost a million of these visitors read the "What is a Normal Blood Sugar" page. Of those 392,000 read the How to Lower Your Blood Sugar" page.

If only one in ten tried the technique reported there, that would be a stadium full of people who would have learned a vital lesson about how to control their blood sugar.

Given the speed with which traffic is growing on the site, it isn't beyond the bounds of probability that within a few years, millions of people will have learned a simple and very effective way to lower their blood sugar that is cheap, effective, and most importantly, safe.

What's even more impressive to me is that this traffic growth has happened entirely through a combination of word of mouth referrals and the site's high rank of Google searches which it maintains because of the density and usefulness of its content. For most of this period I haven't had a lot of time to devote to the site, except to update it with the most important new findings that readers need to know. So it's good to know that the fruit of previous years of labor is finding an audience--especially since when I began posting this research on the site I didn't expect it to reach anyone but a few hundred visitors to the old diabetes newsgroups and wondered at times if it was right to "waste" so much time on what often felt like a quixotic quest.

It wasn't a waste of time and I couldn't be happier. Now I look forward to the day when people will greet with incredulity the idea that there was one a time when people with diabetes didn't know that they could lower their blood sugar by cutting back on starch and sugar and assumed that complications were inevitable because that's what their doctors told them--the same doctors who told them their 7.2% A1cs were "great control."

If there's any moral here it's this. It doesn't take millions of dollars and corporate sponsorship to build a web site that can change people's lives. I'm thankful that the site is having an impact, and looking forward to seeing the next ten million visitors!


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