By Laural Ringler
In 2008, my writer goals included not just new markets to explore, but platform-building steps like creating a blog and a website. Except I didn’t know how to use those on-line tools and it is expensive and time-consuming to learn through classes or hire a website designer. As a writer mama though, I have an unexpected resource for all things technology-related. My kids.
My kids are ten and twelve and have blogs, wikispaces, and know how to podcast because they learned about them in school as ways to share their writing. My now 7th grade son has a WordPress site he uses to post homemade films for his friends to see, posted podcasts to his Wikispace last summer while we were traveling, and knows YouTube and Flickr for posting media. Kids these days know technology.
Inspired, I started a blog with Blogspot last spring, a WordPress one this fall to stand in as my website until I can build one, and my son has been an invaluable and enthusiastic resource. I love our do-it-yourself method. Plus, now I understand and respect my son’s technology knowledge, we get excited together about how to use WordPress widgets, and I have the instant availability of my twelve-year-old helpline.
The cost? He got me to buy him his very own URL. We worked though the process together and got me one too.
In 2009, I will launch my Family Adventure Mentor website and couple it with my writer website. Sometime in the future I might need an adult professional, but for now my pre-teen son is excited to learn website-building software and step into the designer mode for me. This means I’ll have more time to write, he’ll have a project he’s excited about, and we’ll have a working partnership that sets us up to continue communicating positively as we enter his teen years. My kids have always been a great resource for writing topics, but kids these days are also a great technology resource, and this writer mama is happy to have finally realized it.
Having bicycled and backpacked thousands of miles both with and without kids, Laural Ringler encourages families in do-it-yourself outdoor adventures. In writing how-to articles or in presenting “Croissants, Canals, and Castles: Bicycling Europe with Kids,” Laural is an adventure mentor for families with kids of all ages. A regular contributor to Adventures Northwest Magazine, Laural has published over fifty articles and lives in Bellingham, Washington with her intrepid husband and their adventuresome two kids. You can reach her on-line at lauralringler.com.