Let’s just start out with that “Why not!”
Why not is if you don’t want any employers, family members, friends, etc. to discover that you’re involved in a clinical trial that focuses on a mood disorder. The stigma against depression and bipolar disorder, while diminishing every year, still exists.
The younger set, Generation Y, is learning just how dangerous it can be to “Facebook” or blog their activities. They know now that once on the internet, always on the internet. In fact, children and their parents are going to trial for online bullying and other crimes.
That said, the cool thing about blogs is that, given you have a positive motivation, you can probably pull the whole thing off incognito. A blog would be a fun way for you to document and even PROCESS the clinical trial you’re involved in.
So, with that goal in mind, I’ve decided that, while studies about studies exist (meta- studies or meta-clinical trials), we may as well explore blogging in this blog. You got it reader: a META-blog!
Consider first your biggest goals. Typically two primary goals rule the day: do you want to make money or express yourself?
Those looking to express themselves and perhaps build a record of their experience can get started quickly and easily at a “hosted” blogging platform such as www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com. There, you can post your thoughts, receive comments and comment on those comments to your hearts desire . . . for free!
The big con to “hosted” blogging platforms is that they rarely allow you to “monetize” your blog. In other words, they don’t allow advertising. Further, “hosted” platforms have limited template choices from which to choose. Another negative repercussion of using a “hosted” platform stems from the fact that, once you want to start expanding your blog, you may not have important options available to you. Hosted blogging platforms can be pretty static. They are set-up for text and response and minor graphics, but not much more, although both blogger.com and worpress.com are trying to expand as I write this. The most limiting aspect of a hosted platform, however, lies in the fact that, once you get up and running on one of them, you cannot take your name with you should you choose to expand. Changing your blog name can cause you to lose hard-won readers, no matter how much you advertise your change. Blogs can be like fine wine, they take a while to ripen and come into their own. Should you obtain lots of followers after two years on Blogger and want to change, you risk losing a portion of your audience.
“Self-hosted” blogging platforms are simply extensions of your own website, if you have one. To get a “self-hosted” blog going, simply phone your web host and ask about the protocol and fees for adding a blog. To make it easy, you can always simply send your blogging files to the host or designer and for a small fee, they’ll post it for you. If you’re more sophisticated and use a “content management system,” you can post the blog yourself.
To find more information about blogging your clinical trial experience, go to www.problogger.com, a resource for anyone looking to start a blog. The following articles in particular are helpful.