Diet Blogging — Not The Best Way To Lose Weight
Well, with it being the New Year, and many of you/us thinking about shedding holiday poundage, I thought it appropos to point out an article I found about dieting blogs.Â The Galveston Daily News (the oldest newspaper in Texas, I might add — Go Bobcats!) has an interesting article aboutÂ how dieting blogs, and more importantly, blogging about dieting might help those interested in losing weight shed those extra pounds.
One of the main thrusts seems to be that by blogging, and exposing your own thoughts, feelings, and frustrations about the travails of losing weight, you’ll able to garner support through fellow bloggers, and more importantly a sense of accountability.
While the intentions are good, I feel that the article is a bit misleading.
Why is this?
Mostly because it gives the impression that these aspects of community are easy to achieve with blogging.Â The sense of support and accountability are easy enough when you’ve established a following and when you have a regular readership.Â However, for anyone to start something on their own through blogger, for example, they will undoubtedly be disappointed if they expect that these instant aspects of community will magically appear; rather, the hard realities of blogging are more likely lead to yet another blog start, then stopping.
To build a community around a blog, and to get other bloggers blogging about your own issues, requires that one actually build a blog worth reading and following.Â To any blogger who has been doing this for more than a few months, they’ll know that its much easier said than done.Â Regular posts, great content, and participation in other blogging communities are all necessary, but not always sufficient for this to occur.
At the end of the day, blogging is one solution for support and accountability, albeit one that needs the adjusting of expectations.Â Â I think that the article, however, would have done a better service focusing on already-ready communities and tools to help individuals lose weight; for example, traineo is a web2.0 tool that has all the usual tools that enable one to lose weight such as weight logs, forums, and ways to meet like minded weight loss seekers, but it also has an extra tool of inviting up to four “friends” to watch your success — and keep you accountable!
Tony Hung is the editor of the BlogHerald. He is also a physician finishing his last year of residency in General Internal Medicine, and blogs at Deep Jive Interests , where he rants, occasionally, on new media topics.
The social aspect is obviously ameliorated, though, if your blog is part of a network with community and networking built in (MySpace, Vox, Zaadz, etc.). Also, a tool like MyBlogLog can bring this missing sense of community to otherwise unconnected blogs.
Yeah. What he said.
excellent points, although even if your blog is within an existing network, it still takes a great deal of “work” to get any kind of measurable response. For people whose chief aim is to lose weight and blog second, it would be a time consuming path to follow when there are other more efficient ways of getting support and accountability “online”.
I see where you’re coming from, but don’t necessarily agree. Is it hard to build up an audience of hundreds or thousands? Absolutely. Is it hard to find four or five people who will help stay on your ass, if you return the favor to them? Not in my experience.
Also, the very act of publishing your progress publicly can have a deterring effect on backsliding, whether anybody is reading or no. I mean, you wouldn’t want some a-hole stumbling across your blog and featuring you here, would you? :)
Hey, I get *your* point, and I’ll have to concede that I have never been able to any one on my ass in return for any favours. :) Jay, there’s only one way to solve this — and that’s by a weight off, by using MySpace accounts at twelve paces!
I totally agree, and I’m glad that a high-traffic blog like The Blog Herald recognizes the difficulty in creating a vibrant community. Somehow this gets lost — the stage between creating a blog and getting decent traffic to it. You cannot create a community unless lots of people come to your blog, and most of the times this is the most daunting task. In fact the ensuing depression could lead people to gain more weight :-).
In general, doing something and blogging about that something can get very difficult in some situations. It’s as if you’re actually in the business of blogging about it, when in reality you’re supposed to accomplish an action, which is your primary concern.
Some bloggers seem to be trapped in such predicaments and they end up compromising the quality of what they’re supposed to do. Just because of the desire to blog.
I’m not sure I’ve made my point in a sensible way. ;)
Diet Blogging? a thought the article was going to be about going on a blog fast – not reading all those interesting, but unnecessary blogs :-)