Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Never To Old to Blog

Thanks to an email by Stephen, our Senior Computer Specialist at the Institute of Technology and the man who keeps the labs humming, I read of the passing of the world’s oldest known blogger. I will write about Olive in a moment.

A long while back, when I worked at Microsoft on Word for Windows, I made a template using WordBasic that would allow for you to make a journal entry and save. The entry would automate a date and time stamp and then append it to a document in reverse chronological order. Sort of an offline blog. Whoohooo!!

I kept it up for a few months and still have the print out. As journals go, it is OK. Some of the entries are embarrassing (like early attempts at fiction writing, the soul searching I did was forced and uninteresting) and yet other entries are intriguing to me, as they remind me of feelings and events I have let fade a bit.

What I like about blogging is that there is some pressure to write about something. Even the trivial is presented in topic format and most often has a point. Over time, though public and editable, a record of an individual’s life, thoughts and experiences is collected.

One frequent blogger I know, who has been at it since 1998, received a birthday gift once where his wife printed out several years’ worth of his posts and presented them as a book. To me, that is a very cool, tangible way of flipping through a person’s history.

And that is what I think is so valuable about Olive’s blog. She was one hundred and eight years old when she passed away. Born in 1899, she shared tales of growing up in the early 20th century and shared her thoughts on modern life. Her entries recounted memories which including two world wars and the Great Depression.

She had only been blogging since early 2007 and there are only seventy or so entries.

Part of the reason I blog is journaling. To paraphrase a wish Stephen passed along with the note, I hope I am still blogging (in some form or another) when I am 108.

More about Olive here and here.

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