Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Family That Blogs Together...

Is probably a great case study for some psychology phD candidate.

I remember when weblogs, the precursor to the everyday blog, was the rage.  And by rage, I mean Silicon Valley workers had them as well as a number of geeks.  The rest of us were like- what?  You have a what?  Why do I want to check in and read what you've been up to every.single.minute. of the day?  You're crazy.  That'll never catch on.

I've always held technology at a distance because I've always known it was going to take over our lives.  Rather than embrace that which is speed, multi tasking and utter mind blowingness, I've always been skeptical and annoyed that I have to learn how to do one more thing that will bring me into the current century and supposedly simplify my life.

I never thought a day would come when we say things like "the computer won't let me do xyz" or "the screen says xyz" or "well, email it to your gmail and then drop it to my dropbox and then pat your held and rub your stomach three times will sneezing" or I would actually require students to post comments on my school blog and get a grade for it.  I knew we'd be run by computers but who could have imagine this?

I remember when the non geeks started to know about the web when I was in college and I remember having to go to a special computer lab to use Netscape Navigator.  I didn't have to do it but I was slowly interested in what this was all about.  But then I didn't know what I would want to search for, so I didn't do much with it.  I kind of thought it was about alligators, because it was navigator and I didn't know why they didn't use an alligator as their logo.  You can see where my mind goes.

Email I was all over, but the internet?  Probably best left for those who were doing real research and needed to have an online card catalog.  That's kind of what I thought it was in the mid 90s.  A card catalog.

When I first started teaching, internet access at school just wasn't.  There was one little modem in the library that was connected to a local thing and you could check your email but there wasn't much to do on the web yet.  Of course it all exploded within about 2 years and a T1 line was created and suddenly computers abounded and here we are today.

My father has always been on the cusp of new technology and brought home the TRS80 from RadioShak, which we put on a typewriter stand.  God, I 'm not even that old and I'm harkening back 3 decades and some of you readers are like "typewriter- man she's old!!"  I remember playing The Temple of Ra or Sha or something like that where you got stupid commands and wrote stupid commands.  There were no graphics. You had to direct someone to get a key and not get eaten by the asp.  Maybe that was a Bible story.  It's ancient, that's all I remember.   The screen was certainly not multicolored.  It was black with greyish text.  Apple had the black with greenish text.

I blew the mind of my 4th grade teacher when I word processed my report on Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys on my Commodore 64.  My uncle sent us all sorts of games on the big floppys- the kind that were actually floppy, not the hard ones we came to use later that you could drive over and not damage.  We played Jumpman and the Summer Olympics and fiddled with Mastertype which did not teach me to type and yet I am a typing wizard today.

Along the way, my father went to the Mac side and started with the little classic and today has whatever the latest laptop is.  Though I used the mini Mac all through college and enjoyed it, I moved to the dark PC side when school did the same and I had to buy my first computer.  Oh and k-ster might have influenced that decision too because God help me if I own a Mac and then had a problem.  He is not Mac friendly and since I am sometimes a technoidiot, I need someone who will help me out of the jams I often find myself in.

Somewhere along the tech journey, my mother got off the typewriter and put her business stuff on the computer.   She emailed.  She learned how to use facebook.  She got an iphone.  She got a digital camera and became the photographer at her quilt guild and stored the pictures online.

And somewhere, I can't even imagine where, she learned to use blogspot and created a blog.  Long before I thought I should spend so much time telling the world of my day to day escapades, she created nutsaboutquilting and started putting pictures of quilts and then some.  She was the first to say "have you seen my blog post" and I would forget and didn't get the reason she was doing it.

My sister created her blog which is now callajaire (but might not always have been called that because I wasn't paying much attention).  She put up tutorials of her sewing adventures and then took a powder while she moved, got married, moved, moved, moved (?) and had a baby.  There may be one too many moveds there.  Luckily, l-ster inspired her to get back on the sewing horse and off she went into the sunset leaving tutorials from one coast to another.

Somewhere in the middle of their blogfests, I started reading blogs and realized the joy, necessity and sometimes frustration of creating and maintaining a blog.  The 3 of us have completely different takes on what a blog is and treat them all very differently.

Since my sister is the computer science major, she has the most skills of all of us.  I can hold my own when it comes to speaking blogger's code, but she's had to help me out of a jam or two.  My mother remains an expert at what she does with her blog but hesitates to journey down the path of adding widgets and ads and things to her blog.  She doesn't do a lot of self promotion but she has some followers who spy on her stop in to see what she's up to.  She's doesn't try to earn a living off her blog.

My sister, on the other hand, has recently had two offers to create tutorials in exchange for some fabulous gift cards.  I've made a penny or two from the things I've done on mine and I think the rush of ponyhats I've made has been due to the mention of them on my own blog.

In a twist of irony, we have another sister who actually works for an IT company and yet, she doesn't have a blog!  She doesn't care about having one and she doesn't do much with ours.  My father, of course, being a man, does not have a blog either, but he's in a race to stay on top of the Apple market and remains loyal to the core.  And he secretly reads ours once in a while too.

I look at 2 generations of us blogging and the different ways we each approach our blog and I think it's kind of funny.  My mother and I are not fans of new technology but we hang onto this one.  I actually have a separate blog for school that has become a mainstay as an instructional tool.   My sister can write her own code and make magic on her blog if she so chooses.  My other sister could also probably write her own code and doesn't even care about having a blog.

I'm sure there's a study there somewhere.

Linking here and here and  here and here and here and   here 


  1. Hehe "driver over and not damage" you must have computers on the brain!

    I remember emailing you while you were in college and my friends in high school didn't really get what we were doing haha.

  2. This is a great post. I remember all of the old computer stuff. I had my first blog about 8 years ago, but couldn't figure how to get people to read it. I think maybe I had a 100 page views a month. I was so excited when I finally started hitting 40,000 a month.

    Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. Have a great week.
    Debi, Charly, Marci, and Suzan


I love comments almost as much as I love summer. I reply to all comments except those ridiculous anonymous comments offering me dirty deeds and real estate. When you leave your comment, please make sure your own settings will allow me to reply to you. Nothing makes me sadder than replying to your comments and then realizing it’s going to the no-reply@blogger address!