Blah, blah, blah. Blog, blog, blog. Even before your first cup of coffee in the morning, you’ve already been inundated with yet another “5 best ways to lose cellulite” or “How to deal with stress at work” health blogs. While wading through the deluge of health blogs sporting overly cheerful and fit stock photos of men and women, your under-caffeinated brain may be questioning the validity of these tips or even the sanity of those publishing them. You may also be wondering why you are reading these posts in the first place and better yet, why it is so hard to look away. If you find yourself in this boat, know you are not alone. With my complete and utter lack of experience with health blogs accompanied with my flip phone from the cretaceous period and my social media pages still in their infancy, I am certainly not the reigning expert on such topics. However, over the last week I’ve been doing some searching, health blog searching that is (although soul searching may be in order).
What I’ve found is that health blogging is an excellent resource for new and innovative ideas to everyday health problems. Here Comes Everybody highlights the intricacies of today’s social networking and group dynamics and brings to light the vast possibilities of mass amateurization of blogging and photo sharing that are rapidly changing how news is disseminated. Social Media For Social Good notes that “social media is driven by fresh content.” Well that is exactly what health blogs bring to the table, and in LARGE quantities.
So here are my top 5 ways on how to keep an open mind regarding health blogging:
#1. Search for a topic that interests you. Say you enjoy jogging in the morning, but are afraid of going alone in your neighborhood. Try “10 ways to stay safe on early morning runs.” The easy to follow lists found in health blogs accompanied with useful tips, flowery language, pertinent visuals, and hyperlinks to additional resources to continue your search all make these blogs excellent and fun tools to expand your knowledge.
#2. Take the good with the bad. Not all blogs are going to be Pulitzer Prize winning pieces (in fact that is what makes blogging so unique). However, for all the shortcomings of blogging such as typos, egotistical rants, etc., you are bound to learn something new and to hear perspectives from every angle imaginable.
#3. Compare blogs with mainstream news articles. You’ll find that oftentimes information cited in blogs are just as credible as your favorite newspaper. Also check out the name of the author. You’ll be surprised to find health bloggers to be the very same individuals that write those “ever so eloquent pieces” in the New York Times that you love so much.
#4. Trendy is not bad. I know it is tempting to shy away from a trendy topic, especially if it is yet another blog about the newest fad diet. However, even if you don’t buy into the trend, keeping up to date with such topics will keep you abreast of the rapidly changing/growing health community and may even serve as useful cocktail hour small talk.
#5. See One, Do One, Teach One. Experiential education has great power, as medical schools will often teach you. So you’ve found some intriguing posts and may have even implemented some of their tips into your everyday life. So why not give back to the blogging community? Take a stab at health blogging. I promise it will be less messy than it sounds.