- One of four blessing this holiday season -
Today is the fourth of four blogs that I am writing about the blessings that we share as members of TUDiabetes.org. The first three blessings I explored were Community, Bounty, and Friendship. Today’s blog is really the culmination of all three of the previous blogs. Support is a self-selection, self-identified practice. When people need help or advice, they seek support. They never seek it out unless it is needed and when it is needed it is needed immediately. I believe no site does support better than TUDiabetes.org. Support is one of our true blessings this holiday season.
“to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal” ("Support," 2013).
So how are some of the ways that we support each other? Obviously the discussion board, blogs, welcomes, and birthday wishes, and the online chat. It seems simple to ask a question and suddenly you have a dozen answers, but not about what to do, rather what worked for the responder. In chat the responses are instantaneous, in discussion they can be a bit more delayed and in a blog situation, it can be a bit longer response. Are these methods effective?
In the case of chat it is fairly easy prove its utility for support. “Chat is based on the premise that tools are integral to cognition and therefore of any form of literacy, scientific literacy included” (Vygotsky and Roth as referenced by Eijck & Roth, 2007, p. 239). Obviously this quote is directed at scientific learning but it is descriptive of how we in this community learn. And it describes how we specifically learn in chat. Someone posts an idea or question and members respond to it, again not in the form of teachers, but more importantly as people who have dealt with and found a way to live with the results of the question being asked.
The second opinion setting area of our online site is the blogosphere. Obviously I participate in that blogosphere, and I hope that what I write shapes opinion. That is what my blogs and others are meant to do. This fact is recognized by academic writers including Maratea who wrote “the emergence of the blogosphere as an Internet-based claims-making arena may profoundly affect the process of social problems construction”(Maratea, 2008, p. 139). Of course its effectiveness is so profound that commercial interests are using the blog space to directly or indirectly promote products or services. Promotion in this way proves the effectiveness of blogs. If you read our bogs, one thing you will notice is that few companies enter our blog space. The reason is our well thought out and well enforced anti-spam policies. For a blogger such as myself, that policy is blessing enough. An individual blogger cannot hope to compete with the commercial bloggers who swamp the blog space on other less well sustained communities.
Regardless of how the material is presented it is the users that make or break a web site. Your contributions, responses and questions are what keep all of our web site operating. It is your contributions that keep this site in business. Without questions, we do not have content, without content we do not have blogs and chat and discussions. It is a remarkable blessing and it is so wonderful to share it with the 31,000 other members who inhabit this space.
So the final blessing is you, the user. It is you who I share this space with that are the true blessing. I hope you continue to support, love and care for our mutual area. It is special because you make it special and that is our mutual blessing. Thank you for you the user. It is a special space.
I will not blog regularly again until after the first of the year. I have some ideas for the New Year and over the next week I will be keeping a list of blog ideas. I look forward to getting restarted after a small break. Take care celebrate safely and stay healthy.
Eijck, M. v., & Roth, W.-M. (2007). Rethinking the Role of Information Technology-Based Research Tools in Students' Development of Scientific Literacy. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 16(3), 225-238. doi: 10.2307/40186776
Maratea, R. (2008). The e-Rise and Fall of Social Problems: The Blogosphere as a Public Arena. Social Problems, 55(1), 139-160. doi: 10.1525/sp.2008.55.1.139
Support. (2013). Retrieved from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/support?s=t