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Utah mother Stephanie Nielson is a pioneer in the world of blogging.

According to “History of mommy blogging,” a web page created by university communications professor Elizabeth Kerns, fewer than 25 blogs existed at the turn of the century. The term “mommy blog” is believed to have originated when a single mother named Melinda Roberts launched her blog, “TheMommyBlog.com,” in April 2002. Nielson was not far behind, publishing four blog posts in May 2002.

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Six and a half years later, Nielson was involved in a plane crash that burned over 80 percent of her body. In the days, weeks and months following her accident, readers of her blog from all over the world united in sharing their love and appreciation by writing in and sharing their favorite posts.

Nielson attributes a significant part of her recovery to people she’s never met.

“I have been so blessed by other people who I don’t even know, who when I went through my accident were there for me, just strangers,” Nielson said. “And their words of comfort and kindness and prayers were just a crazy world that I didn’t even know existed and I loved it. I thought, ‘What if there was more of this? This goodness and this sisterhood that I feel?’”

Blogging has created a worldwide community, and many of the key members are, like Nielson, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But with all the goodness and sisterhood Nielson experienced, there is also the question of whether family-centered blogs create a false perception of reality. It’s a question that was raised in a recent post by a writer critical of mommy blogs, and a concern that is shared by some prominent bloggers. But these successful writers also know how the medium can be a force for good and have insight on how readers can avoid the pitfalls of comparison.

To read the full article on the Deseret News, click here