All about feeds…the lost art of writing


If you are reading this post as an “email”, then congratulations. You are officially subscribed to the Gen Plus feed. If you are visiting the site for the first time, then you’ll see a box, to the right, with a space for you to enter your email address. That is the simple way to subscribe to a blog.

Puzzled? Fear not. As bizarre as blogs (short for web log — a personal or business web diary) may seem, they are pretty easy to navigate…once you understand what they are and how different people use them.

Very few 50 plussers have caught on to the blog-wave. And yet, what a blog represents is a Boomer and Beyond match made in heaven.

So, what exactly is a blog? A blog is a very user-friendly format that allows anyone — from a high-tech nerd to a one-finger keyboard tapper — to share their version of the written word with the world. There are many different companies that now host blogs (such as www.blogger.com, which I use), but the magic of the blog, is that by opening up the internet to anyone with a mind and a way to type, the art of writing has resurfaced.

If you are 50 plus, then you will recall the many, many years before email, where you would write longing letters to your summer loves, now living many miles away, notes to your friends, tucked into their school lockers, letters from your parents on Parent/Teacher night, quick notes dashed off to friends before heading home for holidays, and thoughtfully worded business letters and memos. Cover letters painstakingly recrafted for every job application — decisions on whether to use grey or buff linen. Letters to friends while on trips, romances chronicled month after month in love letters that would then be boxed or tied with ribbon. Great journalistic essays and op-eds that could take your breath away. Letters to the editor — written with determination and deliberation.

That was the art of writing as we knew it.

The advent of email threatened to take away the thrill of the adjective or the power of the adverb. Upper case was lost. Grammar was irrelevent. And so, with the creation of the blog, people young and old, literate or barely so, are, often with great honesty, spilling their hearts and souls into cyberspace with ease…and with style. Still young, still evolving, every second blog is someone’s ramblings, musings, and rants. But within this world are some true creative geniuses, some just plain great thinkers, and windows into the behind-the-scenes of businesses your are interested in.

So back to the feed. When you subscribe to a newspaper, you get door-to-door delivery of your daily fave — LA Times, NY Times, Wall Street Journal…whatever your fancy. A feed is the internet equivalent of door-to-door service. So when your email address is entered into my subscription box, a service provider sends you an email whenever I make a new blog entry. Delighted to have found me? Thrilled to find someone who understands the everyday and ongoing concerns of the 50 plus demographic? Then do nothing and your service will continue. Every time I publish an entry. And as you visit more blogs, when you find ones that speak to you, subscribe. And you’ll get more deliveries. If you lose interest in your subscription, then you simply…unsubscribe!

Plain and simple. But be prepared to be delighted…because there are millions of bloggers using beautiful, gorgeous words…with attention to grammar, description, narrative…and yes…even spelling. And if you decide to join the blog world because you have something to say…welcome.

One thought on “All about feeds…the lost art of writing

  1. While I too enjoy the art of blogging, there remain so many people of our generation who I fear will never leave their pen and paper. Last week I had a conversation with a lovely couple in their 70s who bemoaned the lost art of writing notes. I can understand their point of view. The wonderful feeling of pen on paper as the words spill out and the ability to touch what one has written or received forever is unique. That art is lost in this way. So some of us will blog, some of us will learn to blog and some of us will thankfully hold tradition.

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