The world of blogging seems to be geared towards the young with the knowledge to understand what it is all about. Being a senior citizen and trying to learn how to blog for the first time is like walking into a Star Wars Movie and being introduced to the Dark Side for the first time. Bloggers have a language of their own and at our age we do not understand any of it.
How can a senior citizen learn how to blog and join in?
Even trying to understand a computer at our age leaves us frustrated. I was under the impression that Internet was only about e-mail. Learning how to send and receive e-mails was a frustrating experience of its own. When a file is sent with your e-mail having to understand there is a paper clip and you are to open this and read it.
Not only paper clips, but how to save addresses, create files and folders, delete old messages and creating a new message to send out. Opening the mail was easy but now how to get out of what you have opened? This one leaves us lost and understanding the blue arrows at the top of our screen. Now we are able to use the Internet to read our mail. Because of the Internet, the mail we receive at home is only junk mail. Here they call it spam.
How can we trust the information out there?
Being a senior citizen, we have learned to be skeptical about everything we read. We have seen many times on the television about the scams on the Internet. We see how senior citizens are taken for their retirements each day. How people out there prey on us. So what makes us think we can trust anything that is on the Internet? We are afraid to believe in anything in fear of being scammed and our money taken.
As we pass each day, we watch our great grandchildren grow and use computers for school, games and finding whatever they want on it. We hear them explain, “Grammy, you need to push this button to find what you want.” They are so quick and understand so much. Nobody seems to want to take the time to explain this new world to us.
Before, when we needed information on retirement, investments for our golden years and information on health, it arrived in the mail. Now, we have to try and find a website that shows us this information. Paper is becoming green and electronics are becoming kings. We sit each day trying to fumble our way through the billions of sites which offer us information.
What is blogging to us?
To a senior citizen, blogging is hard to understand. We have no idea about the difference between a website and a blog site. The only chance we have to understand the difference is to search on Google and ask a question. After the difference is clear to us, a website does not interact with you where a blog site does.
Our children seem to think we should share our knowledge. They are so helpful in offering to create us a blog site. Once created, we get a 10 hour lesson on all we are doing wrong. How we are not posting in the right place, how we are not using our categories and finally how we did not create tags for what we have written.
My daughter tried to explain to me that I need traffic to my blog site to attract visitors. I said to her there is enough traffic on our road why do I need more. Now I have found out that traffic on websites and blogs is not the same. Here we have to find unknown people with unknown faces to come and read what we write. This is what brings us visitors.
I keep getting complaints about boosting my ranking in the search engine. The better my ranking is, the better my changes are of fining site visitors. I should be concerned about RSS feeds. I need to make sure to use keywords in each article or post I make on this blog site.
When my daughter told me to write posts, I thought it would be fun. I enjoy writing and telling my stories. But I would have never in my wildest dreams thought this was anything but a way to pass my time. Now I am coming to find that people do not care what seniors have to say. They are not interested in the ramblings of the old and would much rather read inspiring blogs that uses a lot of 4 letter words.
How to understand?
The more I try to learn the more confused I get. There is so much out there to understand. I think I have figured out categories and to enter my writings into posts and not pages. Then comes another hurdle to overcome: getting someone to read what I have written.
When forced to join social media networks and becoming social, there are so many accounts to create that at our age it becomes difficult to keep track of and find all these accounts.
• Yahoo Account
• Google Buzz
• Press This
• Host Email Address
• Hosting Service
• Food Buzz
• Affiliate Programs
I am sure there are more out there, but this is the starting of what my brilliant daughter has me signed up with. She is wonderful and has provided me with all types of account information. The link address, username, password and when to go and check to see if I have any new messages.
Once I spent 3 to 4 hours trying to remember where to find these accounts, she told me to bookmark them. I have little time to do anything else. I was under the impression that blogging was for fun and enjoyment. That all I had to do was write something funny or interesting and everyone in the world would come to laugh at what I wrote.
More than just understanding accounts…
The world of SEO leaves me more confused than ever. Just trying to figure out if my blog pages are search engine friendly or not, if I remembered to use my keywords when I wrote articles and if they are embedded into my articles. Now, content is King. The problem with content being King is everyone out there seems to be King. There is not one King with the rest being followers.
To me, everything I write is important to pass down to the next generation. But, if I cannot find anyone to read what I wrote, will I be like all great artists who died? Nobody paid attention to them until they were dead and their paintings started selling for millions. So when we die, will our blog sites be considered important and will people now flock there to read them?
According to my findings, we need subscribers. We need to offer everyone something for free in order to obtain their email address. If we do not have anything to give away for free, nobody will want to subscribe to our blog. If you have no subscribers then you have no followers which means your blog is in a desert waste land dying from starvation.
How to survive?
It is not only time consuming to read all your accounts, see all the email messages you now receive and try to get all this information straight in your head. You need to find blogs to comment on, write articles for submission and write guest posts. How can you ever find the time to write for yourself to share the information you want with others?
With hours on end spent on checking accounts, writing articles, and guest posting, we are left with no time at all to create good content for our own blog sites. I have just found out recently that if you want people to read your blog, you need to be part of the inner circle. You have to now spend your time to meet the people who make up this inner circle of bloggers. Who would want to make friends and be concerned with the ramblings of an old grandma?
The young today have no time to even help us learn how to use a computer let alone explain the makings of an inner circle of bloggers. Seniors today are left behind in the new technology of the Internet and the inner circle of friends. The young find it interesting to join social networking groups, such as Facebook, and gain friends. But these friends are only names and photos on the screen. Do they really care about you?
What is left now?
If seniors want to fit into the new world of cyber space we need to learn how it all works. Internet to me is like knitting. You have to do it one stitch at a time. We are going to have to learn how to crawl all over again before we can take our first steps.
In learning how to be a part of society all over again, we need to understand so much computer jargon that it is mind blowing to us. Before, when we raised our young, we had to hear phrases like “cool”, “groovy”, and “peace man”. But now, we hear phrases such as, “check out this new blog”, “join this social network”, “tweet this” and “write content that is King so everyone will want to read.”
Now for all you out there, my perspective on this new blogosphere is the same as knitting a sweater. We can continue to plug along in our learning efforts and knit one stitch each day or we can drop all the stitches and settle back in a retirement community waiting for our time to pass here.
I for one want to plunge into the dark side and find the door that opens to the light. I think the journey through cyber space can prove to be interesting for all of us. Whether we are young or old, we all have something to learn each day. The only problem that I see now in this journey is where to go and who to follow.
What is the real truth behind all these websites and blogs out there today?
Are they for informing us on what we should know or are they all there to make money?