Sunday, May 17, 2009

You Are Never Too Old

Who said that the technology and digital revolution was only for the young? When Ivy Bean heard that a 97 year ago French woman was the oldest member of Facebook she decided to join. She soon attracted 5,000 friends and has 17,775 people waiting to be her friend. Unless you know someone older, Ivy from Bradford is now the oldest Facebook member at 103 years old and has now joined Twitter and already has 9500 followers!

Her daughter Sandra Logan, 61, said: "It has given her a new lease of life and she has met some marvellous people all over the world. She speaks to a woman in Norway who has named a cow after her."

Her latest twitters read :
‘hello im going to spend my morning reading papers ‘, ‘i have now reached 5,000 followers so im saying goodnight for today be back tomorrow thank you everybody ‘, ‘had a loverly afternoon with my friends here at hillside just had tea just having a chat with the staff.’

The PC may have past many of the older generation by and been seen by them as a mere expensive toy, the mobile may be viewed by many as a complex phone and only used as a phone, email may dominate our lives but unless you have others to email its not essential. Now thanks to new high-speed broadband connection in public libraries, thousands of pensioners are now able to only to join Ivy and learn new ways to communicate. This older group may now have found the way to start to be engaged in the digital world and influence its direction.

They may not have the disposable income but they have the time, a wealth of knowledge and experience and are historically heavy readers. Many may want to capture their own history and experiences, not necessarily for money but as a legacy, others to just find new friends. It is relatively easy to see many social communities develop that were not possible a few years ago.

Is it possible that we may start to see a shift, not only the source of content for the self publishing market, but also to break away from the current vanity publishing business models that may be seen to exploit vanity, more than encourage writing. We don’t need long works and these new tools demand shorter more focused content. Maybe it’s the older generation that will lead us to rethink the book in a digital form.

Well done Ivy and long may you enjoy twittering

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