This was a question my son asked me yesterday, and in this internet-connected, twittering age of facebook and social networking, it’s probably a natural thing for someone to want a blog.
What I thinks is unusual is that Iain, who wants his own blog, is just 6 years old. Or am I wrong, and this is something that happens a lot?
Either way, let me share the short story of how we got to this amazing place, where a 6-year old who only just learned how to read wants to publish his own thoughts on the internet, so that others can Google what I have learned as he puts it…
3 months ago, Iain finally convinced me to cough up the $5 per month it costs to have a Club Penguin account. It’s a Flash-based web site where kids play their penguin character in a virtual world and can interact with each other. They play games, read the newspaper, solve quests, make friends, and other cool stuff – and it’s clearly very attractive.
When he got the Club Penguin account, Iain could already read very well and would read books and other games. Having just started Year 1 in school, he was also beginning to write simple things.
Now, just 3 months later, he is frankly transformed. He has 100 friends on Club Penguin (it’s the most you can have, dad, and you need to get rid of an old one if you want a new one), knows about txt-spk (it’s a cool way of writing by spelling things wrong) and has recently started using Google to search for solutions to some of the harder puzzles.
And now he has evidently acquired so much knowledge that he feels he needs to share it with others. (If I write down all my tricks, then other kids can find them if they have a problem, isn’t that cool?)
So, today I added an extra blog to mertner.com. And he took to the new terminology, technology and processes you need to with the kind of ease only a child can. Some of the quotes are just unmissable for me:
- What is a “Post” again? Oh yeah, it’s a thing I write. I get it.
- Wow, bullets, that is soo cool! Bang, bang!
- I think I’m done here; it’s a good secret. Can I publish it now?
- How do you spell “imagination”?
- Can we see if it worked? Can I google my secrets now?
I think it is amazing that this is possible and want to help however I can; I don’t think there are a lot of downsides to this as long as Iain doesn’t do any of the things we have agreed he won’t, like publish his password, address, etc.
Welcome to The World, Anno 2009. And welcome to self-publishing, Iain: I can’t wait to see what you are going to say, and how this story will unfold.