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September 10, 2014

AntiAgingWorld: a Look Back and a Glimpse of the Future

AAW-new-logo-300x60AntiAgingWorld: A Review

Today we finish up our discussion on AntiAgingWorld by taking a look back as well as a glimpse into the future of the website. Let’s review some articles to start.

What is Your Favorite Article?

Well, I’ve written 580 plus articles for the website and they are each like children – they’re all mine favorite (haha). No, not really. I do have some I like better than others – articles that is, not kids.

First, I’m not sure what the purpose of obtaining good health is if you are not going to enjoy life and make the most of it and your abilities and actually do something with your life. So with that in mind I like articles that go beyond addressing some health issue and provide some bigger life message.

Patients share more than just their medical problems with their physician. Stress is a factor in 70% of the office visits to a primary care physician. And, there’s a lot of factors that contribute to that stress. We are almost like priests or pastors or even marriage counselors as patients share more than just health problems with us.

Medicine is unique in that we have the chance to help people become all they can become (teaching, coaching, and ministry are other professions that allow for the same) by going beyond their medical problem. Our articles that cover some bigger life message tend to be more philosophical and are aimed at helping readers get the most from their life. In the end, and in my opinion, that is much more important than addressing an isolated health problem. Such articles are far more interesting and enjoyable to write and not as confining as those limited to a medical topic.

So articles like Enjoy the Aging Process that has a video of Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford University Commencement Speech – a speech that is a must see and Live Life with Enthusiasm and Emotion in 2014 and Every Year After that has an inspiring video of the late Jimmy Valvano are among my favorites. But, there are others that fall into the category like :

But, my real favorite is the one I wrote about my dad and the life lessons I learned from him – probably in part because it was the most personal of the articles written, plus writing about him brought back many wonderful memories.

This past spring my wife asked me a question about my dad, and I realized by the question how little she knew about him. I realized further that my two sons know even less. And, it’s because I rarely talk about my dad unless asked. And, quite honestly they haven’t asked me much about him.

As I started to think about him as the anniversary of his death was approaching I realized his story and what I learned from him would make for a good article. That article was well received especially by those who know me, and has become the most recommended of our articles. I happen to think it is well written, too. By that I mean it says nearly exactly what was in my mind and heart. I have gone back, though, after it was published and tweaked a few words and corrected some misspellings (hate when that happens). But, overall I don’t think I could write it much better.

We had a bit of a reverse Father’s Day this year in our family. While I still received gifts from my sons, I presented them with a copy of the article printed on nice stationary and encased in a presentation folder and gave it to them saying, “This is the kind of dad I want to be. Let me know what I can do better”. So far they haven’t said anything, but I’m sure that will change. Of course, it could mean they haven’t read the article – the more likely scenario, LOL.

What Has Been the Most Controversial Article?

You tend to only hear from people who even mildly dislike an article more so than from those who really like one. So the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

The one I wrote on ObamaCare and Socialized Medicine received the most negative blowback. I responded to an article and a thread of comments on a far left liberal website with a link back to the article and received a half-dozen or so negative comments – some bordering on even being threatening. One talked about sending my name to some liberal watchdog group.

It just so happens in the fall of 2013 after news about IRS targeting conservative groups broke that we received a notice from the IRS about one of AntiAgingWorld’s corporate tax returns requesting more information (at the time the website had not generated any revenue). We were late in filing a return for one year and that generated their inquiry.

That inquiry was appropriately addressed, but it didn’t stop there. I even received a letter saying they would seize my personal property if we didn’t comply with their additional requests. I was told that type of letter is pretty standard. But, it seems a bit over the top coming from agency which is funded by the rest of us (they seem to forget they we the taxpayer are its employer).

In the end, all was resolved without penalty and with me keeping my property. Perhaps, I should have let the government take one of my two properties that I am now underwater on (and a third about to be) thanks to this great economy our elected representatives in DC have given us. Haha! But, actually not very funny!

So whether the IRS issue was coincidental or not, I don’t know. We decided that’s a battle we’re not ready to fight and took the article down from the site. The article was a warning about what to expect from ObamaCare and served its purpose as much of what the article predicted has come true. Now that ObamaCare is becoming reality people can judge for themselves what a mess it will be. In the end, experiencing ObamaCare will reveal the truth that talking heads cannot overcome. You can only lie and suppress the truth so long. Experience becomes reality.

What is the Most Humorous Article?

Articles that tend to be humorous, controversial, or cutting-edge are more likely to get picked up and promoted among social media. So we wrote an article called How to Age Faster and Die Younger or the antithesis of the mission of the AntiAgingWorld website hoping it would get picked up the social media. That’s the article to read if you want to check out of life early. It was a tongue in cheek attempt and written intentionally to be humorous from start to finish.

Hopefully, readers found humor in our recent article, Living with Gray Hair: A Bird’s Eye View about my personal story of graying early.

What was the Most Challenging Article to Write?

That’s an easy one. By far the most challenging article to write was If You Love Technology You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Sex. I may have tried to do too much with that article and it was written intentionally to be somewhat controversial. It starts off somewhat humorous, then gets controversial and critical of social media and electronic communication, and then ends with a religious message. I’m not sure how well that worked. But, I get bored writing the same type of articles and wanted to try something different – so it’s my Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

That type of article is sometimes referred to as a power page. Power pages are long articles and touch upon a variety of topics (in this case disconnected yet somehow interrelated). That article was over 5,000 words, or ten times longer than our usual article.

A power page is designed to cast a big net and draw new readers to the site. That article talked about sex, technology, religion, along with references to Jesus, 9/11, Al Qaeda, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, The Princess Bride, Facebook, and more. So anyone searching for content on any of those topics may have been directed to the article, though the article would have little to do with what they were interested in. But, any first timer to the site might end up becoming a regular reader, and that’s the goal of a power page.

It was challenging because it discussed some sensitive topics that I tried to address in a tactful and somewhat indirect way, and it was an opinion-based article. And, when you write those you run the risk of alienating anyone who does not share your opinion, though you may gain new followers who do. So there’s a trade-off involved and a bit of a balancing act between sharing your opinion without upsetting those who might disagree.

I’ve since gone back and have found more polite and better ways to reword parts of the article. I think it reads much better now and more accurately reflects my actual thoughts. It also deviated away from health quite a bit and I know some readers did not appreciate that.

To illustrate how challenging that article was – it was written exactly over a 40 day period (what irony given its Christian religious message at the end) and went through 366 revisions at the time it was published. Most of those revisions were changing a few words here and there while trying to find the right ones. Since being published I’ve made 12 additional revisions.

That’s one nice thing about a website – you can change the content anytime. Usually when I link to one of our articles I will review that article and sometimes I catch errors in grammar, misspelled words, or find a more articulate way to say something and can easily change it on the spot.

What Does the Future Hold for the Website?

The one thing we hear most often is the need for more video. Not only do we have short attention spans, but we’ve also become very much a video based society rather than a print society. We have a couple of ideas on making our own videos. One is to post videos on exercises, especially strength training. Another is to simply redo some articles in a video format, and another thought is to provide a video answer in reply to a reader’s question. The goal is make one to two-minute videos staying consistent with the goal of providing the information succinctly and quickly allowing you to move on with your life. The plan is to incorporate our own videos by the end of this calendar year.

A directory of several different health care professionals – physicians, compounding pharmacies, nutritionists, and others is in the works.

We have enough content on the site to produce at least one book and have started to explore options for publishing a book.

That completes our journey of AntiAgingWorld – how we came to be, where we’ve been, and a brief glance into the future world of AntiAgingWorld. Thanks for your support.

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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