Blogs good outlet

By Anita Doberman: Local columnist

I used to think that blogging was something for young people, or those who had a specific interest in some obscure topic. In other words, not something for a mom busy with children. I looked askance when people talked about a blogging “community” that brought them closer to others. It seemed anonymous and perhaps a thing of the new generation. I love to hear my family and friends’ voices and still think no technology will ever beat human contact.

But I’ve changed my mind. I’ve come to believe that blogging is a great outlet and a way to keep in touch and even make Internet friends.

I didn’t start blogging until a few months ago, and then it was almost by accident — someone had asked me if I wanted to contribute to a Web site — and then I just got hooked on it. It’s a great way to write my dark thoughts or the things that wouldn’t go well in a newspaper article or magazine piece.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t think I would make blogging friends but I joined forums with other moms and bloggers. And I now look forward to reading about their experiences and thoughts and we keep in touch almost daily.

Blogging allows anyone to keep in touch and instantly share what is going on in their lives, in a quick reality snapshot. I guess I have become a partial convert — blogging really has become a new form of expression for a new day and age. There are so many popular blogs that get millions of visitors, and while some bloggers are actually making lots of money, the vast majority are just people who like writing about what’s important to them.

There are mom blogs, military blogs, family and education blogs, political blogs (of course) — just pick an area and start looking around.

Blogs and personal pages are especially great for military families, who are often separated. Deployed members can read about their families online, and share photos or videos. It’s a little trickier sending information back from a deployed area, of course. But when we talk about the Internet bringing people closer together, military families can find a great deal to interest them online.

I’m not convinced blogging is going to replace traditional forms of communication, but it will add to them. I like reading blogger commentary, for example, but when it comes to facts and current events. I still get my news from a newspaper or Web site with real accountability.

But the bottom line for me — I like blogging because there are no constraints. It’s a simple way to say what’s on my mind, and to hear what’s on other people’s minds, which is why I got a computer in the first place.

Anita Doberman is a freelance writer, mother of five and wife of an Air Force pilot stationed at Hurlburt AFB in Florida. Contact her at:

anita@anitadoberman.com