Just a quick note to wish many of our users a very happy Grandparents Day!
You can learn much more about this on the page describing it (our announcement of free e-mail this week for those over 100 years old), but here’s the upshot:
- Sign up your over-100-year-old friend or relative for a free trial
- Get him or her connected (demonstrate!)
- Let us know he or she likes it — and we’ll upgrade the account!
It’s never too late to get your grandparents, great-grandparents, or great-great-grandparents connected with the family. We just hope this will show you that you might just be wrong if you think “she’s too old” or “he’s not interested”. Try it, get a few photos from the relatives, and see!
PawPawMail has released a new version of its e-mail product specifically designed for senior communities — assisted living, retirement villages, etc.
We’ll be letting you know much more about the new edition soon. We’ve done a limited first release, but we’ll be available everywhere in November. But for now, check out some local coverage about one ALF using PawPawMail — Redstone Village in Huntsville, AL:
Fox Affiliate (WZDX 54) Coverage: http://bit.ly/EmailElderlyFox54
ABC Affiliate (WAAY 31) Coverage: http://bit.ly/SeniorEmailWAAY31
We got some great coverage of our easy e-mail product, as used in Assisted Living Facilities. We’ll tell you more in a bit, but for now, check out the coverage at http://bit.ly/cDCMSc
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Scott Adams wrote in his blog recently about his ideal computer system for senior citizens (“E-mail for Senior Citizens”, Dec 3, The Scott Adams Blog), which is an overlay for regular e-mail, showing only the basic functions while hiding the unnecessary complexity.
We like to think that his vision looked something like the screen you see here.
But regardless, check out this quote from the blog entry:
“All you would see is very large buttons labeled READ, WRITE, and OTHER. … there should never be any double-click situations. One click is enough …And seniors should only receive e-mail from people who are in their address books. No spam allowed…. Obviously someone would have to be available to do tech support, including entering new e-mail addresses in address books, and that sort of thing.”
It’s great to get some validation like this! Even though he may have only been talking about PawPawMail in the abstract, we love that he so closely described our system.
Creating an e-mail machine in minutes from an old PC
We just finished an overview of how to turn PawPawMail into the perfect e-mail appliance for seniors (or “email machine” as people like to call it). It’s simpler than you’d think. You create a shortcut to PawPawMail in Full-Screen (kiosk) mode, then toss that shortcut into your Startup folder. Go read our explanation!
Though it’s not widely regarded as a best practice just to turn a computer off and on, as long as a more experienced user makes sure updates are installed every once in a while, we’ve had really good experience with this.
And best of all, the seniors we’ve talked to about this setup love, L-O-V-E, LOVE it. The main benefit is that it cuts the learning curve down to nearly nothing. You don’t even have to figure out the difference between the filesystem and the internet!
And we think that this is the ideal system for seniors to use for staying in touch via e-mail. Just grab an old junker computer from the attic or from your nephew’s basement, hook it up to the internet, and it takes on a new life as a simple e-mail appliance with a whole lot going on behind the scenes but a clean, simple interface. And all you have to do is turn it on.
E-mail appliance alternatives
Just to be complete, though, we’ve also taken a brief walk through the alternatives. PawPawMail can’t be perfect for everyone. Some people want e-mail-specific hardware, and some people are just superstitious about computers from the get-go. So for them, we’ve toured the various e-mail devices that we’ve seen seniors using. Let us know if there are any e-mail machines that we’re missing!
Go check out our instruction guide on creating an e-mail-only device now!
Check out this article on communications technology for seniors (including phone, fax, and e-mail) in the New York Times last week!
It gives a great overview of technologies for helping seniors communicate — from the Jitterbug (the extraordinarily simply cell phone) to fax-based solutions for e-mail… to PawPawMail!
We’re thrilled to be written up (again! see an original profile of our story about senior e-mail in “Easier E-mail for the Older Generation”). But more importantly, we’re excited that the writer captured what we’re doing so well. It’s a better quick summary of PawPawMail than we’ve come up with ourselves:
“…For those who mainly use a computer for e-mail, PawPawMail (pawpawmail.com) takes the complexity out of the process. For $5 a month, users transmit and receive mail through PawPawMail’s Web site, which features simple graphics, large type and real names rather than potentially confusing e-mail addresses. The account manager, typically a younger family member, sets up the account, creating a list of approved e-mail senders; spammers and phishers cannot get through….”
So, check out one of the best senior technology overviews we’ve seen, and let us know what you think!