Age UK join forces with Gransnet

April 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Since starting my blog I’ve become a regular visitor of Age UK’s website because it is packed with handy information, I’ve even taken part in several of their campaigns including the annual Spread the Warmth crusade and The Big Knit.

Now Age UK has teamed up with Gransnet, a social networking site directed specifically at grandparents, together they are hosting online forums which allow users to interact with other people who are a similar age and have similar lifestyles.

Gransnet Age UK online forum

Age UK recently joined Gransnet to host online forums

The forums covers all sorts of subject areas from hobbies to family and friends, TV and film recommendations to more serious topics like healthcare and politics- there really is something for everyone.

The partnership is set to be extremely successful as both Age UK and Gransnet have loyal followings that will get a lot from each other. Plus both organisations behold the same mission of ensuring a happy and healthy life for older people.

Join the discussions with Age UK and Gransnet here.

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Friends Reunited relaunch

March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In the year 2000 Friends Reunited took the internet by storm as thousands of people registered with the website to reconnect with old school friends. It was hugely successful and possibly the first social networking site which the majority of people used. 

Despite being hugely popular in its prime; I remember lots of school reunions thanks to the site. Friends Reunited quickly became overturned by newer social networking sites such as Myspace and most notably, Facebook. Unable to keep up with its competitors Friends Reunited was sold in 2005.

Friends Reunited Home Page

The all new Friends Reunited website

After seven years Friend Reunited is back with a new image and unique concept that hopes to bring internet users back to the site. This time around Friend Reunited is focusing on nostalgia, allowing users to remember great memoires from the past and share them with friends online.

The new-look site has worked in conjunction with Press Association and the British Library to create a catalogue of public memories- jubilees, royal weddings, Olympic Games, music events, all variety of public events. Together they have assorted a collection of photographs, videos and news clippings which users can browse through and ‘keep’ if they remember. Anything which the user keeps is then sorted in the user’s personal online memory box.

From there users can add their own personal thoughts and images to their memory box- merging both personal and public memories together. Cleverly the site allows you to share your memory box with friends via Facebook or it can remain private on Friends Reunited it’s completely up to you.

Friends Reunited Home Page

Collect your memories in an online memory box

Having explored the site I like the idea of a memory box and the image stock which Friends Reunited has established is really impressive; this is definitely a selling point. But I’m not convinced that the site will be as popular as other social networking sites because it is so different from Facebook and Twitter.

The site has lots to offer but it’s not for everyone. Memory boxes are time consuming and take a lot of effort to create so it is definitely a site for older people rather than younger. Fingers crossed the theme of nostalgia will encourage more older people to use the site and get online- a definite recommended site if you’re helping someone take their first steps on the internet!

The Anti-Social Network with Richard Bacon – Internet Trolling

March 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Monday evening I watched The Anti-Social Network, a documentary on BBC Three which was created by TV presenter and broadcaster Richard Bacon. The show looked into how the internet has become riddled with cyber bullying, now referred to as “trolling”, and the catastrophic effect that such has had on thousands of internet users.

Trolling is now common place on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and Richard Bacon has been a victim of trolling himself. Startlingly statistics reckon that a third of people aged 11-17 have experienced cyber bullying in one form or another since creating social network accounts.

Online bullies appear to range from school children tormenting their classmates to anonymous “trolls” mercilessly searching the internet to find innocent victims. Disturbingly it would appear that memorial accounts or RIP pages on Facebook are often targeted by trolls.

Richard Bacon the anti social network

Richard Bacon created The Anti-Social Network

On Monday night’s programme we were shown two cases of RIP pages been targeted with abusive messages and defaced images. Sickeningly both pages were commemorating the lives of young boys who had sadly died; the effect of trolling on their families was devastating to see.

Watching the documentary I felt utterly disgusted and angry. It’s heart breaking to hear that people are getting abused so viciously and often suffering in silence because they are too afraid to tell family and friends about the bullying. It’s also frustrating because there appears to be little that social networking sites can do to safeguard internet users against trolls.

Facebook The Anti Social Network

Cyber bullies often target Facebook & Twitter

Although the police have brought in a law to help stop trolling, only two people have been jailed under it because trolls, especially those who troll anonymously, work their way around social networking sites so strategically. Stealing other people’s identities’ to cover up their own or even creating fake names so as not to be traced.

As an advocate of the internet- I wrote a blog earlier this week encouraging people to get online as its Age UK’s myfriends online week– I’m obviously concerned that trolling will put people off getting online. Instead of avoiding the internet because of cyber bullying simple be aware of trolling and safeguard yourself. Ensure to keep an eye on your account and report any abuse to the appropriate site or police.

I would definitely recommend watch The Anti-Social Network which is on BBC Iplayer now.

We’re supporting Age UK’s myfriends online week!

March 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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blog banner myfriends online week

It is great to see that Age UK is encouraging the elderly to get online.

Their latest campaign, ‘myfriends online week’, which runs from 21st to 27th March 2011 is encouraging elderly people to get online to connect with family and friends, and to even make some new ones.

The campaign is also hoping to get family and friends of elderly people involved. Age UK want relatives to pass on their computer skills to give their elderly loved ones a helping hand into the digital world.

In the community Age UK are hosting events up and down the country to support elderly people who wish to get online. Events include ‘a guide to social networking’ and ‘simple computer basics’ classes, which means that there is something for everyone regardless of experience.

The ‘myfriends online week’ campaign is hoping to open up the minds of elderly people, giving them a new perspective on the digital world. Introducing elderly people to social networking resources where it is easy to communicate with relatives and make friends online. Helping to avoiding the loneliness that many elderly people feel from time to time.

I think that getting more people online is great. In particular I love the idea of more elderly people using online resources such as Skype, where you can directly connect with friends and family via online telephone calls. Programmes such as Skype are brilliant if you have children or grandchildren who live abroad or maybe are away at university. Not only is the service free but you can see who you are talking to in real time.

As my grandchildren live in Italy I find that Skype is a great way to stay in touch.  Its video technology makes a phone call to them extra special. As not only do I get to speak to them, I get to see how much they are growing, they can even show me their new toys and school projects. It’s perfect and so simple to use!

As Skype is an online service which really does show off how easy it is to use the internet to stay connected, I’ve uploaded an easy to use guide. I hope it’s helpful and that your first Skype venture is wonderful!

Skype how to make free video calls easy to use guide

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