Sunday, October 19, 2008

OMG, my mother is becoming a blogger

I just spent a short week-end in Oslo visiting my family between meetings and speaking engagements in Amsterdam and Berlin. After i arrive Friday afternoon and after giving my mom a hello hug, one of the first things she tells me is that she is writing a blog. "'Really?' I say. 'I didn't know you where a blogger.'" She admits that she does not really know what a blog is, but that she has something she has been working on.

A couple of weeks ago mom was in Madrid with a group of her friends. (She's the youngest in the bunch). They had a wonderful time and stayed in a wonderful little hotel. Upon returning home she realized that she had left something precious behind in her hotel room. Not of any monetary value, but of great emotional import. She tries to call but nobody picks up. Then tries to send them email but gets no response. Finally, after a second email they respond that, yes indeed they have her left article and will drop it in the mail (at no cost) the next day. She is so relieved and thrilled that she decides to "write a blog". 

Saturday afternoon I see my brother and sister and the oldest of my nieces and nephews, my brother's thirteen year old daughter asks me how she can set up a "net page" to write about fashion. 

My mom has had a computer for a while. She buys book on amazon, pays her bills online and googles now and then. She's also become pretty hooked on email, checking it a couple of times a day. My niece has her own laptop too. She mostly uses it to write stories and visit some internet sites now and then.

Why would they both independently want to become "bloggers"? What would compel them to share their opinions for the world to see? I something happening in my family? Is it a "tipping point" of sorts? And if so, what does it mean?

Not very much data to predict a big trend, but anecdotally pretty interesting that my seventy year old mom and thirteen year old Norwegian niece want to write blog posts. Seem like a pretty good indication that "citizen journalism" is a lot more real than not.

I was in Amsterdam and spoke at the World Association of Newspapers Digital Content conference on Wednesday. A pervasive theme was how people creating content, telling their stories, sharing their perspectives is something every newspaper and media outlet needs to integrate and leverage as a part of their strategy. Pretty real.

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