Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pensioners who blog

Somebody wrote to me a few weeks ago and said that, at a seminar at the London Book Fair, there had been some discussion of blogging as a young person's game. In response, someone else had mentioned the GOB as an example of an older person who blogs. And now, lo, the mighty and esteemed NY Times has a whole article about pensioners who blog -- or Elderbloggers, as they're apparently known. (Link from Blogger Buzz.) The article doesn't mention the GOB, but we'll forgive them for that.

You have to register to read the NYT stuff, but you only need to do it once and then you're in. The NYT suggests that the internet is home to approximately 54.3 million blogs (double the previous highest figure that I've seen). Nearly 60% are written by people younger than 19, and just 0.3% of blogs are run by people aged 50 or older; yet that's still about 160,000 bloggers.

(How do they know this stuff? I mean I know the NYT is hot on fact checking, but I don't remember anyone ringing me up and asking how old I am. But I have been rung up by someone from the house magazine of American Airlines. There's fame for you.)

None of the bloggers specifically mentioned seems to write directly about books. But then there are other sides to life. Or so I'm told.

Worth looking at are Pete Lustig's blog -- he's 84 and thinks he may be the world's oldest blogger. Then there's Ronni Bennet, who's a mere 65. Ha! She has links to a hundred or so other oldies who blog. And Ronni, by the way, has an alter ego called Crabby Old Lady. Mort Reichek is another octogenarian. And finally Milt Rebman, who is surviving with prostate cancer and still has things to say. None of these people is any sort of slouch at the blogging business.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the mention, Grumpy. I appreciate it and so does Crabby.

I'd like to second your motion about visiting the people on the ElderBlogger list at my blog. There are more than a hundred excellent bloggers there older than 50.

Anonymous said...

I am 66 and have been posting the books I write online, daily, since March of 2000. While my web site, The Daily Bulletin, is not a blog, readers comment on my work by email and I respond to their comments in the work. Also, I link to other sites, so it's like a blog. A blog I can screen the spam from. I'm mo own filter.

Maxine Clarke said...

Well I believe that old bloggers have more interesting things to say becuase of their longer lives and more varied perspectives!

I have seen some of these "total numbers of blog" figures bandied about too, but I was recently reading an analysis which stated that virtually all blogs are abandoned. Most within a few weeks, and (surprisingly according to the article) a large proportion of the rest after a year of previously active postings.

So a better figure for "total number of blogs" would be "total number of active blogs" where "active" is some reasonable frequency and duration of posting.

As we all know, it is not so much how many people read your blog as the quality of those who do. I trust that your discerning readers afford you more satisfaction than a mention in the NYT and several million undiscerning ones?!

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

I keep track of books through the NYT online.

N A said...

This frightens me.

I assumed I would grow out of it soon.

N A said...

No, I changed my mind.

It heartens me.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the mention, Grumpy. When it comes to book reading you have avid participants in Penny and me. Penny gets her books through services for the blind - on tape. She is an insomiac and reads 4 or 5 books a week. I go through 2 or 3 novels a week.

To us, books are a source of entertainment, diversion, learning and escape. All together powerful reasons for reading.

Anonymous said...

Grumpy, you should read this blog from a WPC who wrote a touching piece. Very moving picture it paints.

Keep blogging