Sunday, December 14, 2008

Featured Blogger of the Week: December 14-20, Post # 1

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Featured Blogger of the Week: December 14-20
Amy Tenderich, DiabetesMine
Post # 1

Obsession

I’ll admit: I’m obsessed with my diabetes blog. I’m sure I spend way too much time living and breathing it, researching topics and updating links and searching for just the right image -- but hey, writing about diabetes has become so integrated with my experience of having this disease that I really can’t separate the two. Is that healthy? Who knows what psychologists would say?

But for me, the blogging community is what brings the FUN into this thing. God knows diabetes isn’t fun – especially for me lately, as I’ve experienced some of the worst skin reactions and troubles with pump malfunctions and unexplained high blood sugars. All of that just sucks. My family can see my frustration, but all they can really do is look on helplessly. I’m just so grateful that there’s this whole army of other PWDs out there who not only understand, but care enough to reach out and share tips and experiences and commiserate with each other. And I’m so grateful for these Internet tools that make it all possible.

So I guess my true obsession is this: I always want to push the limits of what you can do with a blog. What is a blog anyway, other than a channel to get your voice heard if you feel you have something to say? It’s also a two-way channel that lets your readers talk back to you.

I’ve found it fascinating to discover that you can use a blog to stir things up in a bunch of ways:

• run your own publication and help keep your community informed about stuff you deem important, in as personal (or as critical) a voice as you like

• spur community activism, by posting calls-to-action and linking to online petitions, etc.

• organize fun activities like online contests, where you can distribute prizes AND help people learn something new in the process

pose challenges to the medical establishment and pharma industry by being outspoken on patient-critical issues


With our blogs, our community has established a collective voice that patients definitely never had before. And that’s very powerful.

When I started DiabetesMine, I couldn’t possibly have envisioned how this community would grow. It still seems like some kind of miracle to me that there are now thousands of us from all over the country and the world chatting with each other via blogs, not to mention all the cool new social networking sites. Really, how can you fault me for being obsessed?

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