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I’ve written an article giving my background and what I think of OlderCitizens blogging. Trying to get it published, here it is: Any age can learn to blog and chat about sl which I do. The video at the end  is filmed with two avatars dancing on a record. . I will be publishing an sl post soon. I will be spreading the word to older citizens. Please comment I need the feedback.

Older Citizens Blogging

About

The purpose of this hub is to get noticed. As an older citizen I feel marginalised as so many other older citizens do. The purpose of my teaching blog is to help older citizens have a voice. I am 67 years old and feel in many ways to be in my prime.

Spammy?

I write domains as “example dot com” when I want to tell people of a site where there is no need for a link. We sub vocalise when we read which is a memory aid. Of course when we say a web address this is how we say it. It is appropriate when an html link is not appropriate. My first gTLD (global top level domain) is IrishSecure dot com and I have had it since 1998. You can visit it if you like but there is no need for a link. There is also the practice in some platforms and blogs that if you put in example.com it automatically becomes a clickable link. Maybe its idiosyncratic but there seems to be no research on how to remember a web address? It would be easy to set up an experiment to test my theory. Give one group a list of web addresses with words example dot com and the control group example.com and see who remembers more.

Experience

I have an honours science degree in Psychology and I am a trained counsellor. I have a masters degree in Social Work. I worked as a Probation Officer for ten years in inner city high crime patch in London. I had 3 murderers on my caseload. I set up and ran an alcohol abuse training course that the courts could sentence to. I did 14 hour shifts in a secure bail hostel on my own. For two years. My reports were used to train magistrates.

I have been around the world, mostly overland. It took ten years. I went to India via the Nile…true story!

I am bipolar.

I have survived lung cancer.

Computing

I had my first computer in 1981. In 1986 I helped programme and install a networked touch sensitive computer system for Manpower Services Commission a British government body to access a database, in real time, of job vacancies nationwide. In those days the “computer scientists” in MSC were a bunch of psychologists, the only ones to understand the system. It is now (?) used in every job centre in England well that was in the days of MSC now gone *sigh*.

In 1994 I built my first PC from scratch. In 1996 I set us up as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) with two web servers and two name servers which were built from scrap. We had a Silicon Graphics work station as used by NASA to control the Mars lander. In 2000 we offered secure wireless Internet access to the whole town of Tullamore in Ireland. In 2006 we went bust through lack of support and repercussions of the dot com crash.

My YouTube channel which I set up in 2008 has had over 100k views and there are over 400 videos. I have published over 80 documents on Scribd (not written by me) which have had over 60k views. My major sites have a library of select books all out of print copies I have found, including James Joyce Ulysses, Moby Dick etc. available to read online or download. It’s on this site too as I love it so.  My blogs have over 6k subscribers.

Currently I operate a rented web server and name servers and have 25 gTLDs and untold WordPress blogs. The blog linked below took a week to set up including content.

I know what I am doing.

If you don’t blow your own trumpet will someone else? Older Citizens should have a voice, my aim is to give them one.

Our brains still work

“The good news is that far from slowing down in old age, the brain can actually keep growing new dendrites, which are the connections between neurons. Old brains are as plastic as young brains; in fact, the connections between the two hemispheres of our brains become better integrated with age……”

Dr. Natash Josefowitz “On becoming 90” Huffington Post

Yet there are some failings as Dr.Josefowitz points out in the excellent article. I find, myself, memories of 50 or more years ago can be quite fresh but I forget the password I created 5 minutes ago AND I am only 67. I use sticky notes on my computer to remember stuff. So clearly things aren’t perfect. However it doesn’t stop me. My email box is littered with “password reset” notices. No big deal. This has been recognised by the powers that be and I can log on using a one click Facebook login.

You can teach an old dog new tricks

I blog a lot and I find it keeps my brain ticking over nicely. I learn new stuff everyday and the important bits I retain. So the idea that learning stops at a certain age is a fallacy. So with this in mind I decided to teach blogging to older citizens and that it can be done. There is a noticeable lack of older citizens blogging and this needs changing. It helps greatly that with a computer and access to the Internet this is not difficult. It could be done in a library, It takes minutes to set up a wordpress blog. When you are in wordpress dot com “If it doesn’t exist register it” . How Zen! People use their name which makes it easy to remember. Given that there are there are approximately over 150 million blogs on the Internet getting a name may pose some problems however marionjwinslow for example or billwatkinssuperblog are probably available. Just need a bit of imagination.

Capitals are ok

The web treats capitals as lower case so when you are writing the name of your blog you can write it as MarionJWilson or BillsSuperBlog which makes it that more memorable when people read it. They don’t have to write it in capitals as a link BUT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE! So be imaginative and you can write a short but memorable sentence. MaybeOldButWhoCares is a potential blog address, it is memorable and that is the important thing. When chatting with friends you can say “MaybeOldButWhoCares dot wordpress dot com” and they will remember it. (By the way the teaching blog I have set up on wordpress is 100% free and there is no reason to spend any money).

Imagination

So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I'll give them a login

 So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I’ll give them a login

Research

After an extensive trawl I can find no research that has investigated cognition and blogging in the older citizen. Nor the potential impact on feelings of isolation and exclusion. Nor on the potential impact on family life. If a persons mother starts putting up pictures of when they were a child or writing about a holiday they had in 1965; anything that gives the son or daughter an historical perspective will bring families closer.

I have a very old family album which goes back to 1949 – 1952 and I used my camera phone to take a picture of the photograph. I then uploaded it to my computer and added it to my blog. Any family picture can be put in a blog.

A free wordpress blog is there in perpetuity not so people. If you have left a blog as a legacy how uplifting it can be. There needs to be research on the impact of blogging on mood. As the population ages, older citizens are a potential resource that shouldn’t be ignored.

Me and Mum 1949

 

The good old days

I read an interesting article on Facebook by an 86 year old who was lamenting the passing of an age in England that was post WW2 a time of the creation of free health care, a boom in affordable housing, education blossoming and freely available work. Its on my blog. After watching I, Daniel Blake it makes you wonder about the value we put on citizens today. Older citizens can take the values of yesterday and resurrect them for today’s generation and demand a return to things we hold dear. Compassion and honesty being the watch words. Daniel Blake received no compassion.

Older Citizens on WordPress

So I have set up a teaching blog for getting older citizens blogging. I have used video extensively with text support; a complimentary oldercitizens dot com and a quick start dot org. I am in the process of propagating it globally (why not?) and have plans to set up complimentary country sub domains on the dot com. It took me a week to set up the three sites including content so not much reaction yet. This is a free service not a business. No profit is being asked for nor made. Below is a video I made for adding your first post. Please watch full screen.

First Post

The Blog

There are four main sections to get you started

  1. Setting up and registering your blog
  2. Your first post
  3. Inserting an image and embedding a video
  4. Changing the theme

There are also sundry pages:

  • Contact
  • Useful Programs including the free Microsoft Expression Design image editor
  • A page on Widgets
  • And a Library of books (pdfs for online reading or download) which I love and put on all my sites including this one.
  • About Me

Yes a weeks work indeed…..

High hopes

This may take some time but having retired I have time, its a hobby as well as I hope a valued service. Getting noticed on the Internet is not easy and I know this. I put up my first web page in 1996 (its still there in Archives) and during a five year period as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) I am no stranger to the web. I rent my own web server and name servers so I know what I’m doing. The cost is minimal, a few Euro a week. What I am doing now is spreading the word so please visit the site leave a comment or fill out the form provided. I need feedback so I can improve. Nothing is set in stone and I will respond to both criticism and praise but I have high hopes. Hope you enjoyed this hub, there is a poll……

 

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I am a cyborg

The Huffington Post is a newspaper I subscribe to and comment on. This weekend was a TEDWeekend where various authors (4) were asked to comment on the following video but there are two remarkable coincidences. Firstly I put up the same video on DudeStarship dot com 5 days previously. Secondly two days before, I quoted the same video in starting a TED conversation. Thirdly, despite not being able to count, I put up a new blog dealing with serendipity the day before including an image taken from the video. I was notified of the TEDWeekend yesterday. You would think that I would be pleased at how in step with events I am . Watch and read:

 

The first commentator I read concluded:

Much work remains on the research I discuss here; through future waves of the online study, a rich, academically sound understanding of how social media and mobile technology consumers use the technology, how they interact with their network, and how they make purchase decisions based on social media input will be developed. At the end of this project, I will defend my dissertation to earn my Ph.D. in marketing. But beyond that, the goal is to provide a rich contribution on how social media and mobile technology usage by “Connected Consumers” is associated with psychological and technology factors.

“Much work remains…” .So many of us are already living what needs to be researched, according to his view, before we should embrace it ,what utter drivel A study, a two year dissertation for a Ph.D ,will be hopelessly out of date by the time it is published. Marketing? OMG what a waste of time. He is already out of date in his chosen field. Where is collaborative consumption ? See my earlier post last December. Failure to do proper TED research. Failure to read Time magazine that lists collaborative consumption as one of the ten things that will change the world. Failure to see how things are changing (RSAnimate Networks, Motivation, Outrospection). The Did You Know? YouTube video of 2008 states quite clearly that buying habits are more influenced by Blog recommendations and technological word of mouth than advertising. “Like” something on Facebook and it can be viral so this comment, (That video has had more than 15 million views)  peed me off. Two videos one academic / TED one Social media BOTH 2012.

 

 

The Second Commentator said this

The good news is that you can work anywhere, anytime. The bad news is that you can work anywhere, anytime. It’s hard to know when work ends if you interact with global teams across time zones or you don’t leave an office to signify the end of the day.

You can work anywhere anytime is both a good thing and a bad thing. In English this is a) meaningless and b) presumes no self discipline, no technological management and no self control. Children often act in a stimulus response type of way. Has not this person heard of answering machines where you do not have to respond because technology can? Oh we both know I could go on.  I have different email addresses that ….oh nvm they probably have two. I got peed off at the suggestion i couldn’t handle 24/7 global technology, in different time zones, that I was a child. Never heard of multitasking either. The idea of one person working 18 hours has already been tackled by some countries nationally by having 3 people work 6 hours and collaborating. See Microsoft > putting a PowerPoint presentation on line and configuring sharing with a team working in their time zone..Networks! :> Stupid comment.

 

The third commentator said and I will not bore you with the full article :

My years of personal experience and professional practice and research have led me to one rule that governs all of my electronic communication: I never email about anything important. (The same rule applies to text messaging, tweeting, social networking, etc.)

What century is this person living in? Presumably her  article was written with a quill pen and delivered by hand. This is denying everything that 21st Century Networks are  all about. An emergency with your offspring, friend, colleague, client not at “home”? Use semaphore? I was horrified and very peed off.

Clearly the world is not ready for my TED Conversation:

 

Robots vs Avatars : Social interaction can be better facilitated through a robot or through an avatar?

An avatar I shall be referring to is one created in Second Life (secondlife.com), a global 3D cybercommunity discussed in an article on cyberculture (onlybrackets.hubpages.com). Firstly an avatar is capable of a far greater range of gestures and interactions than a robot. It can be modeled and dressed to suit any virtual or real environment. If it is winter where one user is they can mimic the real world and dress accordingly. An avatar is ideal for communication at a distance. Real family’s exist in second life and I have witnessed 3rd generation interaction. Young avatars can interact with grandma avatars. Grandma will assist the youth in creating their avatar thus creating a sense of identity and ownership. Interactive play goes on. Currently a 16 year old age limit is in force but could this not be reduced?

Communication can be through voice (microphone) or for those able through typing in a chat box.

As a learning / teaching aide an avatar may attend programmed classes, a gym for example and will be expected to follow a regime in the real world. By engaging in a virtual group activity as an avatar peer support can be had. It would be possible to mimic an overweight avatar, programmed with the users bmi and, as they progress in the real world the avatar would change shape. Virtual classrooms with programmed study exist.

An avatar is also your cyber representative able to meet new people and explore new environments. An avatar is ideal for those with mobility difficulties.

This is all on screen therefore would fall short of having the physical interaction that a robot can provide. We anthropomorphize robots how much easier this is with an avatar. I may own a mobile phone that can do a Gallic shrug yet dancing with a friend on a mobile phone in a blues club is better done with an avatar.

But are they two different things and therefore not comparable? A robot is an independent entity its true but what if an avatar had artificial intelligence?

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My answer to this question is in favour of the avatar because generally it is free. Robots are incredibly expensive and the construction of such a mechanical device uses far more resources than warrant the benefits. Ideally the answer is both. However I realise now after seeing the TEDWeekend that the question is totally meaningless to mainstream as exemplified by the above. They just do not understand the technology nor how to use it. It saddens me but ignorance always pisses me off especially by so called “experts” or “leaders”.

I have an acquaintance who writes a blog I admire.  She wrote a post on flatterbots . These are bots that go around and will flatter you and then demand money. I commented as a flatterblogbot in fun, flattering her and asking that she put up an ad for me as “payment”  but  I also created a wordpress blog where I discussed flattery, its divisive nature and included a wonderful video of a flash site I had.

At the end of the comment I gave this link: on the blog was a map of the internet I took from the video discussed in the TEDWeekend

internetmap

AND THIS ONE from an RSAnimate on Networks:

internetted1

Make the connection?

She replied “shucks guess you got me there” Here name is Serendipidy . Which I discussed in the blog. She didn’t go to the blog as far as I am aware. That peed me off too.

BUT AS A CYBORG WITH A 21stCENTURY NETWORK OF SHARING TECHNOLOGY>>>>>>

THIS CHEERS ME UP NO END! I nicked it off my 19 year old daughters web site. Ha Like father like daughter!
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