The extraordinary expansion of the Internet has placed every therapist at the centre of a World Wide Web and within reach of the largest single source of information in the world. Use of the Internet is changing the way we learn, the way we do research and also the way we teach. In the second article in the series on effective use of the Internet for continued professional development, Erika Kruger introduces us to a recent development namely blogging. What is a blog? A blog is a contraction of the word weblog. According to Wikipedia the term was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The shorter form was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. The person doing all this is the blogger. The collective community of all blogs is known as the blogosphere. In simple terms, it is a website, where an individual or a group writes a personal dairy, news, commentary, descriptions or whatever takes their fancy on an ongoing basis. Some blogs have a personal approach while others focus on a particular subject. Blogs have been described as electronic pulpits or political soapboxes. There are millions of blogs on any topic, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). New entries or posts show up at the top, so visitors can read what’s new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email the blogger. Or not. Some blogs attract followers who subscribe and are then alerted to any new postings. The follower can also choose to publish his or her picture on the page. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages and other media related to its topic. This forms an extensive and very useful network guiding the visitor to other relevant sites and bloggers. Many bloggers link their blog to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Blogroll The list of massage-related blogs that I have compiled for this article does not cover even the tip of the iceberg. There are currently about 8 million blogs related to massage. Again, just as with scanning websites, the majority of these can be ignored. They are either commercial sites, or the all-too-personal mumblings of an individual, or too vague or too specific to be of any interest to you. But on this very...
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