Blogs provide an unprecedented opportunity for anyone interested in studying the human condition to learn more about the lives of others. In this regard the blogging community is able to provide mental health professionals with a unique opportunity to learn more about how people think, live and feel.

With regard to teenagers, positive aspects of blogging certainly exist in terms of how it aids self-reflection and may help young people to define their self identity, but the negative aspects cannot be ignored. In this respect parents and educators need to be aware of the high levels of self-disclosure that some teenagers willingly engage in, and the ramifications of this for individuals and families.

If you are interested in reading more blogs from around the world, Google now has a blog search located at blogsearch.google.com.

Blog terminology

While the term blog is a contraction of Web log, blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog:

  • Blogger — the person who writes in the blog.
  • Vlog — a blog comprising of videos.
  • Photoblog — a blog comprising of photos.
  • Linklog — a blog comprising of links to other sites
    (Most blogs are primarily textual with some photos)
  • Blogroll — a list of a blogger’s favourite blogs, usually appearing down the side.
  • Blogosphere — the blogging community.
  • Post — to write in a blog.

References

  • American Association of University Women (AAUW), (2000). Tech savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age, American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, Washington, DC. Source: http://www.aauw.org/research/girls_education/techssavvy.cfm.
  • Dring, N. (2002). Personal Home Pages on the Web: A review of research. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol 7, No. 3. Source: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol7/issue3/Doering.html
  • Herring, S.C. Kouper, I., Scheidt, L.A. Wright, E.L. (2004). Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs. Source: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/women_and_children.html
  • Huffaker, D.A. and Calvert, S. L. (2005). Gender, Identity and Language Use in Teenage Blogs, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol 10, No. 2. Source: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol10/issue2/
  • Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Lenhart, A., Horrigan, J., Raine, L. and Allen, K. (2003). The Evershifting Internet Population, a report commissioned for The Pew Internet and American Life Project. Washington, DC. <http://207.21.232.103/pdfs/PIP_Shifting_Net_Pop_Report.pdf> (Accessed 2 June, 2004).
  • Rainie, L. and Horrigan, J. (2005). A Decade of Adoption: How the Internet has woven itself into daily life, a Pew Internet Projects contribution to Trends 2005. Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/148/report_display.asp

Author: Angela Lewis (January 2006)