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My Grandpa Is a Blogger and Doesn't Even Know It

When I talk about social media I often mention the fact that my grandpa has a blog. Well, actually two blogs: one for his local mycological society and the other for his local pensioner organisation. It all started when his mycological society wanted a website where they could post news and announcements. I told him I would set up a website where he could post his own news. And that was it. I also created a short manual with a few annotated screenshots of the Blogger interface, so that it would be easier for him to start. And now he rarely needs my help with his two blogs; he writes and tags his posts, adds pictures from various events, and even gets an occasional comment from his peers.

Why am I writing about this? I think this is a good example of how sometimes there is no need for getting too involved with the specifics of a technology we want to adopt (or convince others to adopt). My grandpa doesn’t need to know what social media or blogging is and he doesn’t even need to understand how hyperlinks work because he mainly writes about real life events nobody else is blogging about. He had a need and I helped him to find the right tool for the job and provided what he needed to start. And that’s where we should all start when thinking about new technologies: with the need they can help us fulfill. The tools are usually not the problem anymore. So don’t be tempted to make web 2.0 (or any other shiny new technology) about buzzwords or about technical specifications. Web 2.0 is a web that enables people to share experiences easily and more effectively, and Web 2.0 is for me a web where my grandpa is a blogger.

Originally published at http://ialja.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-grandpa-is-blogger-and-doesnt-even.html