I've written before about how much we smaller bloggers and interested other parties rely on FluTrackers to be the rock on which we can rely. Have a quick read of that post here.
FluTrackers are a bunch of volunteers who self-fund the computer infrastructure that houses and serves us with the carefully agglomerated rantings of a seemingly endless stream of information sources on all manner of infectious disease happenings, from all over the world; almost instantly in many cases. There's a very good chance that if it made it onto any website anywhere, then that information has been read and filtered and posted by one of the very few super-diligent FluTrackers newshounds.
I cannot imagine, even if blogging was not only a part-time hobby for me, how I would ever manage to do what FluTrackers manages.
Over 50,000,000 page views this year provide ample data to indicate that they perform a service that is of considerable value to many.
FluTrackers punches very far above its weight in the complex, fast-paced world of infectious disease communication. I frankly don't know how they do it for the price - which, of course, is borne entirely by them.
So it comes to this time of year when we see a request from the crew at FluTrackers for some financial aid from us - some of those millions of page viewers. If only a tiny fraction of us were to donate $10 (that's a tub of Sara Lee ice cream in my neck of the woods), FluTrackers would be able to fund themselves for many a day.
So come on guys - help keep the FluTrackers tracking flu...and rhinovirus...and bocavirus...and respiratory syncytial virus...and parechovirus...and enterovirus (including poliovirus)...and parainfluenzavirus...and adenovirus...and staphylococcus...and unusual spikes in hospital admissions...and pneumonia cases... and emerging diseases...and emerging viruses...and disease outbreaks...and tuberculosis and...far too many more other things to list.
I might now be $10/poorer for each user that reads/uses the data in my own household, but I'll be exponentially more enriched in 2014 for the data I know they will (hopefully continue to) provide to the world's amateur and professional disease trackers and the public-at-large.
Read more about where this paltry amount of money will go from FluTrackers themselves.
And more from Mike Coston's blog here on the Cost of fluing business.