Public Health Blogging – Week 1

What struck me the immediately this week was that health blogs are everywhere. Because health has come to encompass so much more than just your medical status, there are a huge variety of health topics that are commented on and they are available all over the Internet. Public health blogs can be a wealth of information and point interested readers to other sources or topics. I came across policy debates, business articles, study reviews, and health tips. There are “blogs” on fitness sites, major news media sites, not-so-major news media sites, hospital sites, and popular blog sites. The last of which may include comments from people with experience ranging from nutritionists and personal trainers to self-proclaimed wellness professionals. What’s most exciting about healthcare blogging is its accessibility to everyone. But at the same time, that’s what makes it a bit worrisome. There is no filter on the information to check that what is coming through is accurate. Anyone can read anything, and someone who doesn’t have the medical literacy to understand that the information needs to be checked, or at least taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, I understand the value that these blogs have for people who are trying to make health changes and that documenting that process, and possibly gaining support from others, is therapeutic for some.  

This overload of information makes me want to find a way to process and organize it all. Find what was good, weed out the bad or unhelpful, and put it into an easy to find place. I found it difficult to do this among all the different platforms out there and the different websites available. It worked well when all the blogs came from the same source, but when they were spread out across the Internet, I felt scattered and certain that there would be no way I could keep track of this information or remember all those sources. In fact, I was drawn to those blogs that hosted information on a variety of topics from reputable sources. Blogs that are able to sift through the information and present what is reliable and relevant in an organized manner would be to me the most impactful. 

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