Traverse City Record-Eagle

Body & Soul

September 28, 2013

Kathleen Gest: Blogging with the Senior Center Network

A blog (short for “Web log”) is an interactive, personalized web journal — like a forum — with a very short history.

In the past five to 10 years, blogs have taken off and become an important part of Internet culture. But it wasn’t until 1997 that the term “Web log” was coined. It was shortened to “Blog” in 1999.

There are several features that make blogs different from other websites: readers can leave comments or questions, the entries are published in chronological order and the content is updated regularly.

Blogging is not dominated by any single age group or interest. Blogs are completely nonexclusive — that is the nature of the Internet. Scientists, writers, politicians, sport fans, gardeners, chefs, travelers, teachers, students, grandparents, artists, philanthropists and couch-surfers all are among those blogging, Allison Peters, NMC Extended Education instructor said.

“Perhaps that’s what older generations are growing to like about it,” says Peters. “I wouldn’t say younger people blog any less, necessarily, though they might be more adept than the senior crowd at navigating new microblogs and social media networks over traditional blog sites.That being said, the style and function of the blog has changed drastically over the last 15 years and now a blog can be a magazine, a scrapbook, a character or a business. The Internet has only the limits the imagination has.”

As to how many older people are blogging, Peters says, “The Internet is such a vast, illusive thing that I can’t quantify it so simply. But not every senior blogs about “senior things.” Many of these blogs written by seniors are hobby/interest- or business-related.”

Peters says, "There are great blogs written by people young and old, of all histories, of all races and ethnicities, of all languages, all voices. Whether you explore what individuals have in common with you or not in common, sharing ideas on the other side of the world or right next door, blogging connects us."

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