I was just reading over here about how the author explained blogging to his grannie. Quite amusing, but it also reminded me of those times I’ve also had to explain blogging to old people.
Everyone, regardless of age, is aware of what a computer is. But of course I start out by asking “You know what a computer is, right?”
“Yes, of course I have, you fool!”
“Well, do you know what the internet is?”
“That’s that newfangled contraption that you need a computer for, right?”
“Right… well, you know how you can talk to people on the phone, right?”
“What is it about ‘you fool’ that you don’t understand?”
“Good, I’m glad you understand. Because the internet uses the same telephone network to allow your computer to talk to other computers in much the same way as you use the phone to talk to other people. Are you with me?”
“Now, the way the phone works is it transfers your voice electronically to other phones.”
“Right…. anyway, the computer allows you to send letters via that network, as well as documents and photos, not to mention allow you to use it just like a telephone, but with video as well.”
“Gasp! What if they see me coming naked out of the shower!”
“As horrible as that thought is, random old person, it would only happen if you chose to turn on the camera that’s attached to your computer. And I’m sure you wouldn’t be pointing it at your bathroom door, would you…?”
“Ok, moving right along. You can use your computer to publish documents so that anyone on the network can access that document. This network is called the ‘world wide web’ and the location of a document or documents is called a web site. Are you with me?”
“Are there any spiders on this web? ‘Cause I don’t like spiders…”
“No there isn’t.” I don’t bother explaining that there are programs which search through documents that are called spiders… just not necessary.
“Ok, good… hang on, there’s fake spiders?”
Damn. “No, there aren’t any spiders at all.”
“Ok, so there are also documents that are published on the net called ‘web logs’, which are areas where people write articles and report or provide opinions on news or events in their life. These documents are called ‘blogs’ for short, because people are lazy and don’t want to say the whole title any more….”
“I can understand that. Back in my day we…”
“Yes, I know, you had it hard back then.”
“You young whippershnappers just don’t know how easy you get it!”
“You’re right…. can we get back to this?”
“Is there much more to this story? I’ve got to take my pills soon.”
“No, not much more.” I didn’t mention that if they stopped interrupting, I would have finished a long time ago… “So anyway, these ‘blogs’ can help people make money, because just like advertising is done on tv and in magazines and newspapers, advertisers place their advertisements on these blogs too. The more popular the blog, the more money they can make. And the owner of the blog makes money for providing space to these advertisers.”
“So it’s all about making money then? You know money is the root of all evil, so that just confirms this internet is evil! EVIL!”
“It’s as evil as the TV you watch every night, random old person, as well as the newspapers that you read. Advertising is everywhere, including on billboards on the street. Really, are you going to say that they’re all evil? Do you really…. ahem. Sorry, I was getting carried away there.”
“You should be sorry. I’ve missed my pill time! Now, what were we talking about again?”
“What blogs are.”
“What logs are? They’re long bits of wood, you fool!”
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