Skip to main content


In the past couple of days it has become clear that there are significant and serious concerns about the GBDOC, relating to questions about the financial and business affairs of the founder of the formalised community. This comes on top of unease about the crowdfunding appeal for the third PWD conference in August and unhappiness with some comments used by him on social media.

The gentleman concerned still has the opportunity to respond if he wishes to do so, and if he does, we should all look at what he says with an open mind. I am not alone in knowing little of the detail surrounding this situation, but it is clear that a large number of users of the online community have lost faith in its founder and de facto leader, and he has as yet failed to respond to concerns widely raised.

I write as a very committed participant in the community over the past four years or so, but I am well aware of others whose use of social media for peer support long predates mine, and indeed the existence of the GBDOC. I have no authority other than relative seniority of age and length of association, but I have been party to, indeed have instituted, much discussion on Twitter over the past 24 hours about the future of GBDOC.

I have been encouraged but not at all surprised by the depth of feeling and good sense that has been so apparent. It is clear that I am far from alone in my love for the community, and I am keen to play my part.

May I above all suggest that we be very wary of quick decisions and hasty judgements?

The community clearly has a life of its own regardless of any “owner” or social media account and of course hashtags belong to everyone and no one. As such the online community will flourish and prosper, but like any community it needs some sense of direction and a degree of centralisation or else it will fragment.

I hope that we can allow the tweetchats to happen more or less normally for the next two weeks. I understand that Ros (@Type1Adventures) and Bri (@type1Bri) had agreed to host the next two weeks and that should go ahead as planned. Ros and Bri are active, supportive stalwarts of the GBDOC who have both done great things for pwd in their local areas as well as online. I cannot think of better hosts.

They have both said that they will host under their own accounts using the #GBDOC hashtag, and having acknowledged the issues at the start of the hour, I think we should all chat as normal, if interested in the topics.

We could then, perhaps, have a separate chat about what to do next. The hashtag has been much discussed already, as has the idea of shared/rolling hosting, charity involvement etc. A poll might be worthwhile, but surely not until we've all had time to think.

The GBDOC is very precious to me, as I have said many times. It need not be complicated, controversial or divisive. It has flourished (unlike, for example, its French counterpart) because a lot of us talked about stuff other than diabetes and as a result became above all a group of friends. I have made some wonderful friends through this community – we just happen to have a medical condition in common. I hope it will stay that way.

Thank you all for your thoughts on this matter; please respond with your honest and considered thoughts if you wish to do so, but take your time.

Adrian Long 


  1. the DOC community in general has been a great source of help for me over the past few years since I lost both my parents. As a community my fellow T1s have been a tremendous support when i have been unable to get the same assistance from specialists. I didn`t see what was said, only finding out this morning that something had happened. I`m not taking sides nor am I judging anyone for what was/wasn`t said, far from it, but it is such a shame that *some* in a community meant to support each other has had yet another disagreement.

  2. Agree with what you've said Adrian.
    I, along with many others, know not just the public history but other stuff too. Many of those felt they could no longer be part of the community; many of those are highly respected, calm, proactive, friendly people with Diabetes. GBDOC as a community is missing out on having those members. I've personally not stepped away as I like the community, I like the tweetchats and I have respect for PB for galvanising the community.
    But I also know GBDOC is a community is tarnished in so many people's eyes and I feel it will be near impossible to get this back without a certain someone publicly and completely stepping away...hence my suggestion of using a different hashtag.
    Oh man, I could go on forever here...maybe a blog post is coming.

  3. Thanks. I agree that credit must remain for galvanizing the community. Not sure about hashtag. Depends on what, if anything, he does.The "brand" is strong & established, but if it's tainted, it maybe should change.But that needs careful thought, not instant reaction.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Needles and Pins: Multiple Daily Mini Injections

One of the most annoying things you can hear as a Type One Diabetic is when people say “Oooh, I couldn’t possibly inject myself every day, I can’t stand needles”. The answer is pretty obvious and invariably said through gritted teeth: “Errm, I think you could if the alternative was death”.
Needles and pins-ah. It’s part of life with diabetes, and to those of us who have that dubious pleasure, jabbing sharp bits of metal into our fingers, tummies, thighs and bums is all part of the fun. I don’t like needles  - does anyone? - and despite the fact that I inject myself four times daily and often far more than that (more of that later...), I still don’t like ordinary injections. I look the other way when I have blood taken from a vein and the idea of injecting into a vein, as drug users choose to do, still makes me shudder. But yes, finger prick tests and insulin pen injections are just part of my world. I calculate that I’ve done towards 30000 injections in my 19+ years with diabetes, so …

Lord for the Years

If you've has ever wondered where my Twitter profile description of what I do comes from, you're about to find out.
"Teaches and trains, rebukes and inspires" seems to me like a pretty good summary of what a teacher should do, and it is lifted from the second verse of one of my favourite hymns, Lord for the Years.
I am an unapologetic hymn geek. I believe that the (largely) British tradition of hymn singing is one of our finest contributions to world culture, and is often overlooked and even derided because of its association with organised religion, a practice seen by many as stuffy, outdated and irrelevant to the real world. Yet in my view, English hymns have given us some of the finest melodic and lyrical works ever written. It doesn't get much better than Charles Wesley, Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Hubert Parry, to name but three.

It is easy to think of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as some kind of golden age of hymn writing, and indeed many of our …

Couldn't Get it Right

This is difficult. I am well aware that every job is a good deal harder and more complex than it looks, and that it is the easiest thing in the world to criticise, so I offer these thoughts as, I hope, due praise, together with suggestions and observations as to how things could perhaps be differently expressed. 
A routine hospital clinic review has left me with a 1976 earworm from my diabetes playlist which expresses perfectly my thoughts: Couldn't Get it Rightby the Climax Blues Band.
Today was my second clinic review since I returned to hospital care last year. My first review, back in November, left a lot to be desired, and I wrote about it at the time – here.
Today's visit went better in many respects. For a start, the administration was exemplary and the waiting time minimal. I received a courteous reminder phone call, at 7:30pm, three days before the appointment, with the caller apologetic for disturbing me but explaining that missed appointments are common and costly.…