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From left counter clockwise: Bruce Hume, Margaret Simpson, Fritz Lalendorf, Sandra Hamilton, Gene Helveston, Rosemary Hume. Photo by Dawn Ashcraft.

The Your Good Life team, after more than a year in preparation, held its final meeting Saturday before the official kickoff. On Monday morning approximately 300 introductory messages will be placed in mailboxes along with a request for an email address. Our intention is to send a message each Monday to every resident of Marquette with a link to the Your Good Life web site “Weekly” page.

While we were discussing final preparations, the newest member of our editorial team spoke. “What have you guys been doing? Several people here said they knew all about it already.” Then he added, “but now that I think of it, nobody said they have seen the site or knew much about it.”

This timely question and comment deserved an answer. It all started about a year and a half ago when one of us came up with an idea to start a web site with material “by seniors for seniors”. The original plan was to share stories, but over time we added other subjects including poetry, memoir writing, journaling and an online book club.

The earliest success of Your Good Life was the online book club which meets monthly with 10 members, an ideal size for a group meeting. Half read with a Kindle. The site is fully capable of supporting an unlimited number of guests online, either individuals or in a group like ours. This book club is now, “ready for prime time”.

A consistent feature of Your Good Life has been a 500 to 800 word original story published online for 46 consecutive weeks. The subjects range from lifestyle, to tech advice and travel and hobbies. Other features include tips on memoir writing, journaling, and poetry.

Earlier we held an open meeting followed by five separate demonstrations that were attended by about one-third of the residents. These sessions told us that approximately a quarter of our residents used their computers or phones for email so we concluded a like number would go online if they had a reason.

At these introduction meetings, we sensed a reluctance to share email addresses or complicate life with a computer. So, we decided to move ahead slowly while producing an attractive product. Now we have done it, and we are confident that even if we have a small number initially, we will continue to grow on our way to reaching the 26 million U. S. citizens over 65.

We are starting by contacting 20 local senior residences in central Indiana. We are also looking for ways to attract younger “seniors” and their families. We emphasize there is something of value in this site for any mature individual.

 

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