Blogs Can Build Community!
In March 2018, I spent an amazing three days in Philadelphia. As contributors/bloggers for Health Union’s site, ParkinsonsDisease.net, Angela and I were invited to meet the bloggers for their site and the company’s 17 other health-related sites. The gathering of creative minds was not just powerful and a bonding experience, but a period for inspiring brainstorming!
A room full of writers writing on their illness may not be that interesting if you aren’t there. What is interesting is the amount of understanding, compassion, laughter, and care that was expressed and exchanged at the event. The variety of Health Union contributors and the company’s leadership as well as staff learned from one another. As one who has attended at least 2-3 conferences a month (on average) over 30 years, I can honestly say that it was one of the most uplifting and most hopeful conferences that I have ever attended!
Making a connection with the bloggers both on ParkinsonsDisease.net and the other sister properties was effortless. I can reveal that meeting these people for the first time was like meeting old friends. This is community—people helping and caring about others!
A constantly changing magazine
I know what it is like to not have a source of reliable information about your condition and to feel that you have no options. When I was first diagnosed in the early 90’s, there was no web/Internet and there was very little really good information available to the early onset community. I was forced to contact university librarians and meet as many people as I could to try to get an understanding for what Parkinson’s truly is.
The Internet has changed everything, especially when it comes to receiving support and immediacy. Now, the people with chronic conditions have a powerful tool available to them. Information and sharing your thoughts and feelings are what you might expect from a well-led support group. Imagine a support group filled with thousands dealing with the same or similar issues as you. That’s where blogs come in! A blog is like reading a constantly changing magazine article on a subject of interest to you.
The power of blogs
I talk to a lot of people who either avoid blogs because they don’t understand what a blog is, or they are just unfamiliar with the power of a well-done blog. A blog requires no commitment, no setup, and no expectations, at least on the reader’s part.
I encourage you to read a range of blogs for your condition and participate with bloggers. Don’t be shy of blogs! Sharing of information is so critical!