I could definitely describe my 76 year old Grandfather as obsessed with the internet. He can’t tell you what a URL is or a web page and he doesn’t understand just exactly what a Web Browser is, but he’s still able to search around and find all sorts of neat things.
The first time I remember him getting really into it was with one of those get rich quick things for selling things on eBay. He bought tons and tons of stuff that stayed in the house. (On top of whatever he paid for the eBay course BS.)
After that he got into real-estate. He even bought some “tax” properties, but I don’t think he has sold anything and after working at that and spinning his wheels for a while he found his newest obsession, which is that Empower Network stuff.
He’s really into the idea of blogging now. This is fascinating to me because he has so much trouble with computers. His memory is unreliable with recent things and he has trouble staying with one thought sometimes and it’s really difficult for him to learn new things involving the computer. On top of that, he still “invests” a lot of money in the businesses without really knowing what it is he’s paying for, how it works, and how to avoid being scammed. (He’s a repeat offender on the getting scammed list.)
I don’t know if Empower Network is a scam or not. I do know that they’ve told him over and over how anyone can blog and make money, no matter what they’re skill level.
That is a lie. I know that’s a lie. There’s more to writing. There’s more to holding a conversation and catching people’s attention. There’s something said about rich content and providing something to offer. You need all that and some kick ass talent for the mechanics of running a blog (or painfully won skill.) If it were as easy as they market it to be everyone would be doing it.
Here’s the thing. I don’t want to crush Grandpa’s dream. I understand why he wants to do this and that drive doesn’t just disappear because the method isn’t working. I understand that he wants money and because of his own physical limitations, the internet seems like a powerful tool. I believe he’s right and what’s more I’ve seen him be passionate about something he loves.
I’ve seen him sit and learn the same things over and over. I’ve seen him write dozens and dozens of letters to strangers in the name of business. He’s sat on the phone with tech support for hours and hours. My Grandfather was reclusive my entire childhood. But now he looks through one of the three web browsers he uses regularly to see another world and talk to people thousands of miles away. That in itself was a powerful thing. But it wasn’t the only thing.
I showed him how to use Google Docs (although, he’s kinda forgotten and we’ll have to go over that soon) and he started writing blog articles. I told him to write about his life. To share his memories and experiences so our family can read it, but also to share his story with the world because he has a genuinely interesting life.
But I don’t think blogging is perfect for him. He has a hard time writing, although he enjoys it. I think it would be perfect if there was someone who could work with him once a week to edit his recollections. He can read like a pro, I’ve never met anyone who is as voracious a reader as my Grandfather, but his grammar is poor. (Sorry Gramps! Love you!)
Videos would be better with a good mic. We’d still have to do a lot of takes and some editing, but Gramps is pretty charismatic and with a familiar script, I think he’d do fine.
But there’s really only one way to prove it to him and that’s results. I also wanted to help him and to do something with him. I love him a lot and I want to see him accomplish the feat of telling his life story however he can. So I walked into his office and sat down and said, “Gramps, I wanna make you a bet.” I explained that I thought using YouTube for free was better than paying for whatever it was Empower Network was actually accomplishing for him.
The bet is as fair as I can make it. We’ve both spent about two years learning about blogging. Neither of us know shit about recording or editing videos. I also thought that since the purpose of this bet was for Grandpa’s benefit we would be working together in a fashion.
I will be vlogging on YouTube. Gramps will put his videos on his blog. At the end of the year, the person with the most subscribers wins. I told him I would help him some. I plan to shoot and edit videos, but I’m leaving it up to him to do the writing parts because I’ll also have videos to shoot and edit for me.
Now, this story is running a little long and it’s getting late so I’ll have to end it here, but I’ve gone and left out one very important little detail. I haven’t told you what we’re going to be making videos about. Here’s the hint…
It involves a dog named Bob.