The latest contributor to Veterinary Economics: You!


We're on the lookout for user-generated content.

You may have noticed this little website we've got going on called And you may have visited the


section, read a few blogs or message boards, maybe even posted a couple of times.

What you may not know is that we editors watch those boards very closely. We're looking for questions we can answer, posts that violate our rules (overt product advertisements, personal attacks, spam, and so on), and ideas to steal-er, showcase-editorially. For instance, we might promote a hot message board thread in an e-newsletter or turn an insightful blog into a daily business-news item on our home page.

Or we might print it. For example, in this issue, the Hot Button column by Dr. Andrew Rollo was originally a blog. When we come across something great, we snatch it up. What's more, we often pay the author-for something they've already written. It's basically free money. And we keep an eye on them for more great posts in the future.

There's a term in the media biz for this type of theft-I mean, showcasing-of great audience ideas. It's called “user-generated content.” And although that phrase has become a buzzword in the last few years, it's really nothing new for us at Veterinary Economics. We've always maintained that the best ideas and insights come from our readers. It's just that now there's a dedicated forum for you to display those ideas and insights.

So, since all of you now have the potential to become contributors to the magazine, I thought I'd offer a few instructions that will help your posts catch our eye. Which might even mean a check in the mail for you from Advanstar Communications. Or a boost for your new consulting business. Or at least fame and notoriety in your practice when you see your name in print.

> Keep it concise. Screens full of text make our eyes glaze over. See if you can make your point in five or six paragraphs-max.

> Write a good headline. One or two words don't tell us anything about your main point. And in general, clarity trumps cleverness.

> Use real photos-and include your pet. It makes you seem more like a real person and less like a corporate or commercial entity.

> Rant. We like strong opinions well-expressed. Just don't come off like a crazy person. (Yes, I know it's a fine line sometimes.)

> Be funny. If you show a sense of humor, you're in.

> Post success stories and tear jerkers. We derive a huge amount of satisfaction from sharing uplifting stories. If we can remind you of the things that make your job worth it, it makes our job worth it.

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