The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) in the UK has a section on ‘Health Unlocked’ which is a networking site for patients and care givers for all sorts of conditions. The NRAS site on Health Unlocked is here. Some parts of the NRAS site can only be viewed by NRAS members (or which I’m proud to be one) but others are open to anyone who joins Health unlocked (which is free). The thing that most impresses me (even if they won’t link to my blog (or anyone else’s) presumably for fear of being thought to condone the terrible things we say ) is they have a ‘community blog’ where anyone who’s a member of NRAS Health Unlocked can just throw up a post – no mess, no fuss, no need for a wordpress or blogger account, and no need to worry about regular posting, statistics etc. You just post your thoughts, frustrations, feelings, requests for advice etc. and lots of like-minded people read them and post replies. It doesn’t matter if you only post once, and if you want you can post every day (or several times a day) then you’re very welcome to do that.
Of course it is, and it has to be, ‘policed’ by NRAS – so I suppose one isn’t quite as free as if you have your own blog. I probably wouldn’t, for instance, post factitious comments about my doctors and nurses on there! But it works – it really works… there’s lots of interesting content and discussions on there, and it’s also an opportunity for people who really don’t feel well enough to maintain a blog of their own (or who just don’t want to) to still get their thoughts heard.
I have to confess that my initial thought was, ‘Community blog? I don’t need that. I’ve got a blog.’ I was wrong – I’m hooked! :-)
Once again, well done NRAS.