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Summary:

As I continue to see the benefits of moving more of my work and organizational tools online, it gets harder to see my friends and family continue to use their traditional desktop counterparts. I could go on and on about the productivity gains I think they […]

As I continue to see the benefits of moving more of my work and organizational tools online, it gets harder to see my friends and family continue to use their traditional desktop counterparts.

I could go on and on about the productivity gains I think they would see by using tools that are easier, but in reality my reasons are mostly selfish. I’ve standardized and their continued reliance on incompatible tools just makes my life harder. I already use these tools for my business and can only imagine how nice it would be if I could better integrate my personal life and interactions into them.

I would love to be able to send out a shared Google Doc that I know everyone would be able to open. It would be a joy to be able chat with everyone in Skype rather than needing to maintain multiple IM clients. My tech support role would be much lessened if I didn’t have to worry about keeping up to date with everyone’s various email clients.

Am I dreaming? Have you managed to move your friends and family online?

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By Scott Blitstein

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  1. Totally agree. The only web-based constant in my family is email and everyone uses a different service. Even when I got my parents on IM, they would write dissertations as if it was Instant Email.

    In the end, I think it’s about showing them what’s broken in what they do. If something doesn’t appear to be broken, most people won’t look to fix it…

  2. Patrice Chollet Monday, May 19, 2008

    Thanks for sharing this. In my experience, web working brings about diruptive productivity improvements. Our focus is then moving from an application specific paradigm to a content specific one. What’s important is the content and the fact that you can share it and interact with it.

    I believe in leading by example. Therefore, I show around to my family and friends how I work and how cool it can be!

  3. I moved my mother off checking her POP3 email via Outlook on to Gmail last weekend. Why? 1. She was complaining about the fact that she didn’t have access to her contacts when she was at work and 2. Outlook froze up on her once again, and she was just as tired of asking me for help to get it working again as I was of giving it.

    I told her that Gmail would easily solve both her problems and that she would still have access to her old email from the Gmail window while transitioning her friends and contacts to her new @gmail.com email. That finally sold her and the switch was painless.

    I then showed her the benefits of being able to chat with me anytime via gTalk, and that we can share calendar events, etc. All good. :-)

  4. I’ve convinced my all family to switch to gmail.

    Not only is booking “family events” via google calendar a breeze, I don’t have to rush over and bail my mom out when:

    a) she can’t find an email
    b) outlook crashes
    c) shes somehow screws up her SMTP settings, even though they are already set

    and bonus: I’ve stopped receiving those stupid, viral 100mb Powerpoint attachments from her.

    woot woot

  5. Talking Books Librarian Monday, May 19, 2008

    To some degree family and friends are involved, but not as much as me. That must be the librarian in me! :)

  6. Lisa M. Hendey Monday, May 19, 2008

    The one place I would love to have my extended family online is at Twitter – I’d love to get tweets throughout the day from my brothers and sisters, just to know how their day is going. We live all over the country and talking on the phone is tough due to different time zones and schedules. I think it would be fun and a bonding experience, but alas, none of them are into Twitter or Facebook yet.

  7. Adam Darowski Monday, May 19, 2008

    My mom doesn’t even have an email address. :) Heck, I’d love to share a family calendar with my wife. But nope… I’m the web guy.

    The most frustrating thing is hearing mom/family say they haven’t seen pictures of the kids in a while. It’s like… hmmm… they’re all on Flickr! Just look! :)

    My Twitter pals know far more about my life than family does.

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