Sunday, July 6, 2014

How is Grandma keeping up with the news today?

With more and more news and communication sources moving from print to online, I always worry about those who might not be going online, especially our senior citizens. Thankfully these days I think I can worry a little less.

In 2001 only 15% of Americans 65 and older went online (as per a Pew Research study.) As of 2012, the number had significantly increased with 59% of our Seniors going online at least “occasionally.” 

So what does this really mean? As the number of Seniors going online regularly continues to increase, we can worry less about their losing contact with local and world events. The access to news online means they can keep up-to-date on the world around them and not be ignorant to their surroundings.  They can also keep in touch with their distant friends and family by email, a much quicker way to write and send a note than regular mail. (My apologies to the United States Postal Service as the art of letter writing has died out since email took over!)

I also see this as a chance for Seniors to not be as isolated from their friends and family, especially the children in their life.  In 2010, Pew found that Seniors age 74 and older were the fastest-growing demographic on social media.  Grandma is on Facebook!   

Of course Grandma being on social media has a whole new set of challenges for those who like to keep a few secrets from her…you might want to change your picture settings to private before you post those drunken skinny dipping pictures from spring break.  But all in all, there’s nothing better than knowing that Grandma can now keep up with the news, her friends, and her family.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A blog by any other name...

Twenty years ago if you asked a journalist if they wrote a column many would have proudly said yes. Today if you asked them "Do You Blog?" the response would overwhelmingly be yes.

A column is a regular feature in a publication, usually with a heading and byline, that reports or comments on a field of interest (i.e., politics.) A blog is a website – or section of a site - containing a writer's experiences, observations, opinions.1 Are they different? While the content or topics may be similar, a blog (a term coined in the late 90s) is dynamic, editable/updateable by the author and usually allows the reader to make real-time comments and provide timely feedback. 

In 2007, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn penned a blog entitled "Blogging vs. Column Writing"2. He clearly said column writing wins because columns have more "readers and therefore more impact and more money" yet he challenged his own statement saying that if and when it changes (as it has for many prominent bloggers) and blogging provides more readers, impact and money, then it wins in a rout.

More recently, journalist Steve Buttry blogged on the difference between a columnist and a blogger3. His most telling statement: "One of the biggest disappointments of my career was not getting a columnist job when I was in Omaha. I wanted it desperately and thought it would have been a great fit both ways. In retrospect, I'm glad and relieved that didn't work out. It might have pigeonholed me, where my blog helped boost my career and elevate my profile in a way that an Omaha column never could have."

So I ask, do you blog? If Eric Zorn's 2007 observation is correct, it looks like in 2014 blogging might be winning.

2 Eric Zorn, January 12, 2007 Steve Buttry, October 18, 2002

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The time has come!

Word of warning...I'm going to be blogging again.

Be very afraid!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Long Time, No Blog

There are so many things I want to say, and I don't hesitate to do so, but lately I'm shocked at how easy I am finding to do it in short outbursts.

In a click I can tweet the article I'm reading, comment on it,  and share it with my followers in 140 characters or less.

In a few seconds I can tell all my friends and family how I'm feeling by posting a new status on Facebook.

But blogging is a bit different.

In order to do it right you need to sit and think...and type. I thought I had forgotten how to hold a pen but some days I think I've even forgotten how to sit at a real keyboard (and write in full sentences.)

I need to re-learn that skill.

I have lots to say!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Loyalty and Rewards

Thought I don't travel as much as I used to, I still enjoy the benefits of hotel and airlines loyalty programs when I can.  And by staying at one hotel brand and flying one airline as often as possible the payback can be nice.

I recently checked into one of my favorite hotels, where my "gold" benefits offer me a club lounge amongst other treats, and they informed me that if I'm in town on the 22nd, when I wake up the next morning I'll be at a totally different hotel!  (And for a brand where I don't have an elite status.)

So the question is do I continue staying at a favorite property once the benefits are gone?  

Is it really my favorite property once I'm no longer special? 

I need to think about that!

Happy travels!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

If we couldn't laugh we just would go insane...

Like many people, I'll hear a song on the radio or think of a song title and then it gets stuck in my head.

Many of the songs are really good and inspiring...others are frivolous and make me smile (and probably inspire me too)...some just drive me insane!

Some of my recent "head songs" include: 
  • I Am What I Am (from La Cage aux Folles)
  • Tik Tok (Ke$ha)
  • Manop Manop (The Muppets)
  • Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen version)
  • Brand New Key (Melanie)

And for those who didn't recognize the song quoted in the title, it's one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes":   

With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldn't laugh I just would go insane
If we couldn't laugh we just would go insane
If we weren't all crazy we would go insane