Blogging for the over 40s

When you are a person of a certain age, or so I've heard, the internet is a strange and unknown beast. 

For users of my generation and those of prior generations working in the IT sector, everything seems so natural and I feel at home in browser, command line or app. Whereas for my parental units, a browser is called an internet, a command line is hacking and apps are kitchen appliances. 

Let us not write off those of advanced years however, their wisdom gained from years of life experience deserves to be heard; at least give them the chance to broadcast their musings. 

Following my blog post detailing how to create subsites easily, I've been more inclined to spawn new sites on whims or whenever I drop my hat. So when I was approached by parentals coveting my blog and desiring the opportunity to have their own platform I decided to set up a quick site for the over 40s; The Over 40 View.

The challenge for me in this project was to architect a site simple enough for my parents, their friends, colleagues and anyone not familiar with the internet to use. The site needed also to be easy to browse by those interested in what's written and offer a welcoming community aspect which would encourage like minded individuals to sign up and share their thoughts too.

I tried to keep the number of modules to a minimum which would help keep the site simple; perfect for the target audience.

A selection of modules I enabled are as follows:

  • Blog - The simplest way for low maintenance multi-user blog sites;
  • BUEditor - I like the simplicity of the WYSIWYG editor on drupal.org and simplicity is key here;
  • Color - Ideal for altering the appearance of the contributed sky theme;
  • Fivestar - Allow site visitors some interaction and feedback with the content written;
  • Google Analytics - Important to grab some demographics about the site users;
  • Pathauto - Friendly URLs won't scare people off so easily, even the word node can be foreign;

I have opted not to enable comments on the site as moderation can be a bit of a time sink sometimes and I plan to be as hands off as possible. Similarly, I've not set up any database logging, I'd hope there'll be limited errors anyway! Currently the site is administrative invite only but I hope to pass some of that responsibility on to the Over 40 View community to manage their own authors at some point.

If you, or someone you know is over (or at least near) 40 and wants the chance to espouse their views, opinions, and just day to day thoughts either comment on this post, or contact the Over 40 View admin.

Happy blogging and remember: You're never too old to learn the internet.

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