It was estimated that in January 2017 there were more than 1.8 billion websites. And as we know already, a website can be a personal, commercial, governmental website, or a non-profit organisation website. Websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from entertainment and social networking to providing news and education.
Blogs are another form of website. As defined by the Australian Psychological Society, these are ‘shared online websites written in the form of journals by individuals, groups or corporations about any topic or issue they want.’
Essentially, running a blog is democratic: anyone can start their own. With the number of available websites, blogs have now become ubiquitous: there are blogs in every conceivable topics, disciplines, and niche.
It is generally recognised that blogging started in 1994, with Links.net considered to be the first ever blog. Blogging has gone a long way from being interactive, online forms of the traditional personal diary to becoming repository of valuable information.
As a sub-branch of psychology, blog psychology attempts to apply psychological principles and research in order to optimise the benefits that readers can derive from consuming blogs.
Essentially, psychology blogs can be grouped into two: academic and general. Academic psychology blogs (APBs) are those aimed for researchers and academics. The contents of APBs are sourced from latest research published in scholarly journals.
On the other hand, general psychology blogs (GPBs) are those run by authors who may not have a formal qualification in psychology. It is often considered that GPBs often publish ‘pop psychology’ contents.
In this modern age, a great way to raise awareness about mental health is through the use of blogs, written by inspirational people with powerful lived-experience stories.
Blogs have the ability to show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. For this reason, Psychreg offers a platform for people afflicted with mental health issues to share their stories.
Blog psychology is still in its infancy. However, with the continued popularity of blogs, it is important that a specialised discipline be developed to encompass all forms of internet-mediated communication, specifically in blogs, such as the use, design, and its impact on mental health and well-being of its readers.
Potential theories of blog psychology may include the readers’ perception, cognition, and humanistic components in regards to their experience to consuming blogs. Blog psychologists may also draw upon developmental and narrative psychologies and emerging findings from cyberpsychology. The theories and research in psychology could be used as the backbone of blog psychology and guide the discipline itself.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the world’s first blog psychologist and founder of Psychreg. He writes for the American Psychological Association and for other online publications.
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