Using the web to chronicle personal struggles is an emerging phenomenon. In the past individuals may have kept their personal challenges private, but the web has created a sense of shared space that individuals are using to build support.
Wightviews is just one of the Facebook application that alows participants to chronichle thier daily exercise, and weight loss publicly. The idea behind sharing this information is the creation of a greater sense of accountability. When there are hundreds of friends eager to see you succeed there are hundres of people you do not want to let down. There has yet to be a clinical study on the use of social applications like this, but I would not be surprised to see positive impacts from using the application.
In other cases people use the webspace to chronicle thier own personal fight with a dissease. Sadly there are a number of cancer patients bogging thier experience live on the web. Michelle Will Beat It is a relatively new blog that is tracking the fight of a woman as she battles breast cancer. The blog will no doubt provide a chathartic outlet for the frustation and anger at Cancer.