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‘Awesome grandma blogs’ charge onto the Internet playing field

May, 2010

An Internet trend is targeting the senior population — blogging. A blog is an abbreviation for the term web log, an online journal, diary or newsletter that is updated frequently.

A wealth of topics are discussed, ranging from humour, personal history, stories about grandkids, hobbies and just keeping in touch with family and friends from across the world.

Nana Blogs founder Teresa Bell Kindred was a columnist for Kentucky Living Magazine for 13 years.

“When I was reading other blogs, I thought: ‘This is something I could do’,” Teresa said. “After I decided I wanted to blog, I got to looking and there were tons of mom blogs, but no awesome grandma blogs.”

So she started, a site where grandmothers can start a blog and avoid technical setbacks. The site has step-by-step instructions on how to get started, but if extra help is required, her Web design person, Char, offers free technical support via email.

“Technology is great when it works,” Kindred said. “But when it doesn’t, it makes you want to tear your hair out.”

She stressed that the great thing about blogs is that you don’t have to be a published writer. If people are apprehensive because they think they lack the talent, it should not get in their way.

“My mother wrote me letters when I was in college,” she said. “She always said that she wasn’t a writer, but I can still feel her presence and be with her when I read those letters. You don’t have to be a Stephen King in order to fill a need and have an important role in your friends’ and families’ lives.”

Grandma’s upgraded from ye olde Seidel & Nauman typewriter. Photo: Waelder, Creative Commons

Another blogging perk is the opportunity to share the ups and downs of grandparenthood with others who are going through similar experiences.

In one of her entries, she describes her top 10 blogging topics. These include men: “Yes, they are from Mars. They think PMS is a television channel. They think Bud ought to be the national food. But behind every successful grandpa there’s a nana who helped him get there.”

Politics: “Let’s face it: When it comes to politics, the Nana Generation has seen it all. We’ve lived through decades of people who never should have been in politics but somehow ended up there.”

And kids: “We push them in baby carriages, push them to join playgroups, push them to get into the best schools, push them out of the house and into college … and finally, we push them to give us grandchildren.”

In another blog, Better Than I Ever Expected, Joan Price discusses sex and love after 60. Her husband died recently and she gets support and encouragement from her readers.

One entry is a memory: She was rushing around her house and her husband, Roger, led her to the living room and put on the Michael Bublé song Put Your Head on My Shoulder.

“Robert enveloped me in his arms and began to dance me around the floor. I started to cry, feeling his closeness and knowing that nothing was more important than holding this man I loved in my arms. I don’t remember what I was rushing to that day, but I do remember every moment in Robert’s arms, the feel of his chest against my face and his body leading mine until our rhythms melted into one being. Yes, just like making love.”

Kindred said that blogging could be a form of therapy, a way to express emotion and get feedback from other readers that can be very helpful.

Another online columnist, Arthur Ritis, posts funny anecdotes from his day-to-day life.

He writes about an incident with his wife: “My wife and I decided to go sightseeing across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, last weekend. While we were there, we went shopping and my wife bought a clay kitchenware pot. As we crossed back into the United States, a customs official asked if we had anything of value to report. ‘Not really,’ my wife said, digging in her bag for the bean crock she just bought. ‘I only bought a little pot.’ You should have seen the look on his face.”

Whatever the reasons for starting a blog and whatever the content, it’s easy to get set up.

Kindred said the only reason not to start a blog is for fame and fortune.

“My advice is to do it for the right reasons. Do it because you enjoy it. If you’re looking to get rich or famous, that could take quite a while. Just enjoy the journey.”

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