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A Blog By: bdpecore Past Blogs

User Blog Title
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Yes, this isn't a real user blog and I mislead you, but I have my reasons.

While I'm sure there are people who would like to take advantage of the user blog part of this site, I don't expect tons of people to blog on my site and my site alone. When you came across the user blog part of my site, there's a good chance you wouldn't even consider starting your own blog... it does take a little bit of an ego (in a small, healthy dose) to believe that what you write deserves, and should be, read. The main idea behind the User Blog feature I've set up, is to keep what people write in a place where it can continue to be read.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone is a natural writer (or blogger). But if you go around to websites about mental illness, and look on a message board (or maybe the 'comments' section of a blog like I have on my site) I would be willing to bet that the people who post on places like that aren't natural writers or bloggers and don't consider themselves writers. Still, I'm sure a lot of those people spend a good chunk of their time writing on website message boards or the comments section from blogs.

I think there are alot of reasons some people are active on message boards but don't consider starting a blog or don't think they're capable of a blog. Message board comments don't have to be more than a paragraph long, but that one paragraph might be exactly what someone needs to read, and it could make a real difference for that person. The thing about message board posts are that they don't need to be long and well thought out. People feel comfortable writing on a message board because they know the people who read it don't expect that person to be an authority on the topic, even if the person who wrote it is. Being a blogger means you're really putting yourself out there, and some people aren't comfortable doing that, or they may lack the confidence in themselves, their ideas or they're ability to write... but no one expects people on message boards to be great writers, so it's easier to make posts even if you know you're not a great writer... For my money, what makes a blog or message board post worth writing isn't about being confident in your writing ability--it's about being confident in yourself, your experiences and your ideas... it's about what you have to say, not how you say it... don't fool yourself into thinking that you can't contribute on a website because you aren't a good writer.. I think everyone would rather read a grammatically sloppy message board post that was written on a whim but has quality insight far more than someone who can really string sentences together well but doesn't have much to say. Another reason people are more willing to use message boards is that to make posts, you don't have sit in front of your computer wondering what the hell you should write about--each message board post has it's own topic so all that someone needs to do is respond to it... that's why I've got all sorts of different kind of pages that involve you all contributing to thet site.

So, that's great that people are contributing to message boards, but what happens to what they've written (and spent their precious time on) a few weeks later? If the site is active enough to the point where people keep visiting, odds are that what people write there gets buried and will most likely never be read again, and I think that's a shame... old topics don't get read, but even more *replies* to old topics don't get read.

The things people write on message boards about mental illness are extremely valuable, and could make a difference in someone's life... but casual web surfers will most likely never go four pages deep into a message board to read what people wrote sweeks earlier... so that's where the User Blog part of my site comes in.

I'm not trying to steal people from other websites, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who creates a website or blog for mental illness because the bottom line is that they are helping others. But the idea behind the User Blogs section of this website is that people who are already writing on message boards can re-post what they have written on my site... even if you are someone who already writes a blog yourself, consider copy-pasting the first few paragraphs of your blog on my site... I've specifically included a text field in the forms for a link to something not on my website, so you can give the visitors of my site a taste of your blogs so you can draw people to your site... the same goes for message board posts--you can post your topics, threads and replies as user blogs on my site but still link to the message board.

Also, the benefit of creating a user blog made up of stuff you write elsewhere is that what you write will be as accessible as possible. If someone likes a blog of yours, its very easy for them to read your old blogs... if someone wonders about you and your experience, they can easily read your user profile... if they want to get in touch with you, they can easily send you a private message... if they want to read what you've written on other parts of the site, they can follow you and see everything you've written... if they want to comment on what you've written, the form to do so is right below the blog-each blog has it's own comments section just like the blogs I write... all those things aren't always possible other websites... that's the benefit of using the User Blog--its about getting what you write read, and not forgotten or (even worse) not read at all.

I'm not poaching writers from other sites... I'm trying to get what people write read any way I can... if you wrote it, it deserves to be read, regardless of how people stumble across it.

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