This is pretty neat: Granny, 107, takes web by storm
AT 107 she is probably the world’s older blogger and cyber granny Olive Riley may also lay claim to being the oldest YouTube user.
She is stunned by the number of people who read her blog but is thrilled by the “thousands of new friends from all over the world” that she has made.
“I thought I might have a few (readers) but I didn’t think I’d have so many – but they all seem to be so happy about it,” she said.
“I’m sure they do enjoy them because of the replies I get. I get some real good replies. I’ve made a lot of friends by doing the blogs – thousands.”
I can’t express the glee I feel from this story. Although more senior citizens are learning to use computers and Web 2.0 tools, they’re still an underrepresented demographic in cyberspace. There has also been at least one study suggesting that senior citizens have taken residence within virtual worlds like Second Life, and I’ve heard some testimonial evidence which supports this. Considering that the technology is available now, I wonder if a virtual world could be used to gather oral histories from groups of people who share a common event. Say, World War 2 veterans who can’t attend physical gatherings or people who attended the original Woodstock.
Of course oral history isn’t limited to seniors, but often the impulse to collect oral histories is more urgent if the subjects are aging. One benefit I could see from using a virtual world to collect oral histories is that shared remembrances might come out more readily as stories are shared. Also, the text-logging and voice-recording capabilities of some worlds help facilitate the capture of the interactions. Obviously, if the subjects are elderly, access to technology and the knowledge to use it may be limited, which is a problem now, but will not be as current computer users age.
The thing I find fascinating about Mrs. Riley’s video-blogging is that, although it was a family friend who approached her about this project, she is involved in the process and excited to make new friends outside the borders of her nursing home. In one video, she explains how a flatiron is used, pre-electricity. Thousands of people who’ve never seen a flatiron can watch and understand its use. What a great compliment to our museum collections!
Mrs. Riley telling a story about the horse who drank beer: