Session was formed partially in response to the Marie Clare article that bashed fitness bloggers as little more that woefully misguided obsessive compulsives. Please not the author of that article had an eating disorder herself because it seemed she picked and choose information to fit an agenda she was on. Even though that article was a hyperbole of an inaccurate situation it did help set the platform for the question regarding what responsibilities do bloggers have to their readers and themselves.
The panel was moderated by @LisaJohnson and attended by herself and @MizFitOnline and @CarrotsandCake who had intimate knowledge of the Marie Clare incident even though she is an expert on herself type of blogger.
Some of us may have more influence over readers than their doctors as bloggers – our reach can be quite far-reaching or our influence over a single reader can be quite deep.
The range of information out there is all over the place from bloggers to trainers/professionals who have various education. The state Lisa Johnson is from nutritionists don’t even need a certification to carry that title.
Panel is talking about who is more qualified to dispense advice – bloggers or pros. It varies from person to person as to who is more qualified. As bloggers we need to know our individual limits.
.@MizFitOnline does not dispense specific fitness regimes because she is conserative because one workout is not for everyone. She is asked about specific regimens quite often and does not go there. She tries not to publish information on her site that anyone can follow specifically because that information may not be for them. She has been gluten-free for 17 years but has only put it on her site recently because she recognizes that diet may not be for everyone as an example.
.@LisaJohnson goes along the way of hippocratic oath to do no harm to anyone that seeks her advice, also conservative with information.
It is o.k. To say what you believe and why but be aware that people are reading and internalizing your words.
How are bloggers as individuals responsible for our niche? We do have a responsibility to reach out to newbies if they want guidance or are mistepping. We also have a right to be true to our stance as individuals.
Reactions to pills and fad diets out there brought out a comparison of a a popular trainer/media personality as one “who must not be named.” The panel and audience were clearly not fans of a trainer using their influence to promote diet pills.
It is your integrity regarding what products you stand behind and publish – do you use it and support other consumers to use? It is hard when there are really good offers out there to benefit you for endorsing a product. With that said there are some controversial brands and products and if you use them then that is your experience.
What when we don’t have background to be expert on a topic? great question by @Krazy_Kris *BE EXPERT ON YOU
In uncharttered territory write, wait before publish, have others proof and edit, fact check, then publish. Work on it.
If you are only an expert in you (not credentialed) then don’t be afraid to say you don’t know or send em to an expert
Do you jump into discourse if a commenter is attacked on your blog? @LisaJohnson put up disclaimer to play nice or be deleted
Is this arrogant to assume readers will be influenced by a blogger this much? What about reader responsibility? **There seeemed to be an annoyed contigent in the audience thinking the subject was assuming readers were idiots if we have to be this cautious for them. Great topic for future discourse.
We as bloggers have an opportunity to aggregate on larger social concerns and right to call each other out when appropriate says Lisa Johnson.
Lisa Johnson ended the session with five pieces of advice for any health and fitness blogger:
Be inspiring and help reader
Honor reader’s health
And above all this is OUR LABOR OF LOVE
Written by Kia of bodhibear.net *note I live tweeted most of this and added some notes here