I started my journey into the blogosphere with “The 444 Project,” which was started by my friend’s girlfriend, Josie. For the past two years, she’s used her blog and internet presence to teach people about a condition that she suffers with: bipolar disorder. She discusses her struggles with drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. She talks about the difficulty of growing up with bipolar disorder, and how her struggles with the disorder have brought her closer to God.
Josie’s blog is wildly popular. She travels throughout the United States (and, as of last year, Italy) giving stake firesides and youth conferences to help spread her story. She also interviews “random strangers” on the street, asking them what “gets them out of bed each day.” She shares the stories she hears with the people in the firesides, in an attempt to spread joy with all of the people she sees.
Another blog I looked at, “Bright and Beautiful,” had a similar mission. This one is written by Beth, a friend of mine who just moved here from Hawaii. Her blog is more intimate, detailing her lifelong struggle with body image and confidence. She writes posts weekly which explain her views on self-perception, as well as how we treat others.
In reading these two blogs side by side, I realized that while their two approaches were very different, both of these blogs had the same mission: they wanted to convey something that their authors had learned, so that an audience could benefit from their experiences. Beth and Josie have very noble intentions to share their knowledge with the world, though Josie does so through macro-level public speaking and campaigning, and Beth does so through modest essayistic posts.
I don’t know if one way is better than the other to do what they want to do. Josie will obviously reach more people, but her blog seemed a little chaotic to me, which made it hard to focus on what she was saying. Beth’s brevity and eloquence in writing made me reflect more on what she wrote; but then, Beth will probably reach less people through her writing, in the long run.
Both approaches, though, are really admirable. I love the idea of using writing to teach, so that a reader can learn through experiences that someone else has had.