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Saturday, December 20, 2008

About "Please Be Advised": An Advice Website

Our Web Address: Please.info

Just what is an "advice website," anyway?

Wikipedia defines an "advice column" as
...a column at a magazine or newspaper written by an advice columnist (colloquially known as an "agony aunt," or "agony uncle," if the columnist is a male).

The image presented was originally of an older woman providing comforting advice and maternal wisdom, hence the name "aunt."
An advice columnist for the web and 21st century, however, is no longer confined to the vetted print newspapers and magazines. On the internet, one will find a plethora of independent blog advisers offering advice on both specialized and general topics. So, then, an "advice website" is an expanded definition of an advice column to include an internet space that offers advice to a readership.

Please Be Advised is such a website.

Wikipedia (with some minor structural and word tweaking) defines "advice" as
...a form of relating personal opinions, belief systems, personal values and recommendations about certain situations relayed in some context to another person, group or party often offered as a guide to action and/or conduct.

A more acceptable definition is that advice is merely an opinion about what a person or group could or should do in any given situation.

Advice is believed to be theoretical, and is often considered taboo as well as helpful [For example, unwanted versus wanted advice].

The kinds of advice can range from systems of instructional and practical toward more esoteric and spiritual, and is often attributable toward problem solving, strategy seeking, and solution finding, either from a social standpoint or a personal one.

Advice may pertain to the following:

Lifestyle changes

Legal choices

Business goals

Personal goals

Career goals

Educational goals

Religious beliefs

Personal growth


Advice is not pertinent to any solid criteria, and may be given freely, or only given when asked upon.

In some cultures advice is socially unacceptable to be released unless requested. In other cultures advice is given more openly.

Advice may also be given in exchange for payment, especially if the advice is specialized, such as legal or methodological advice.

Many expressions and quotations have been used to describe the status of advice, whether given or received.

One such expression is "Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." (Erica Jong, How to Save Your Own Life, 1977).

This particular quotation refers to the belief system that states that the answers to one's questions are within themselves, and do not come from any external stimuli. The accuracy of this particular belief is often disputed among theologians, philosophers, etc. However, a person who would hold such a belief, would "advise" another person to seek the answers out from within one's own esoteric and inner spiritual natures.

Advice when adhered to and followed may be beneficial, non-beneficial, damaging, non-damaging, partially beneficial and partially damaging, in reference to personal or social paradigms. In other words, not all advice is either "all good" or "all bad."

Many people consider unrequested advise to be paternalistic and patronizing and are thus offended.

Therefore, some people may come to the conclusion that advice is morally better to be left out of the equation altogether, and this theory is included within the following quote:

"The best advice is this: Don't take advice and don't give advice" (Author unknown)

Yet, often in society, advice has been helpful.

A more day to day example would be "Eat your vegetables" or "Don't drink and drive." If this advice is followed, we can see that the benefits would outweigh the consequences.
Please Be Advised is a site where advice columnist "Aunt Savvy" offers general advice on various topics, very similar to the areas listed above.

Aunt Savvy is a generalist in that she does not offer specialized advice, such as psychological, medical, and sexual advice, but general advice, based on common sense and wisdom.

If a reader submits a question for which this columnist does not feel qualified to answer, she will say so and try to steer the reader in the right direction.

Right now, Please Be Advised is a one-person operation, but if you have a question, she will consider posting it on this website along with her best answer. In the future, team members may be added to this site.

For more information on how to submit a question, click here.

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