Posts Tagged ‘CarePages’

Will Facebook Replace CaringBridge and CarePages?

Posted in Caregiving, Illness on April 23rd, 2009 by Jim Hughes – 6 Comments

Yesterday I wrote about using web applications such as CaringBridge and CarePages to keep friends and relatives informed about serious illness or injuries.  I also recommended blogs.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long until one of my Facebook friends read the post and commented on Facebook that they used Facebook for that purpose.  I have in fact noticed a growing use of Facebook to do exactly that in my circle of friends.

In yesterday’s post, I didn’t mention Facebook primarily because people who are not your friends on Facebook don’t/can’t see the information.

But the likelihood that your friends and family are in fact on Facebook is  changing fast.  There are currently 200 million people who have a Facebook account, 60 million of them in the U.S.  That’s one out of every five Americans alive.  Further, the over 35 demographic of Facebook has doubled in the last two months.

That means that a lot of your friends and family who will be interested are on Facebook.   So, depending on your situation, it may be a very viable communication tool for this purpose.  And it’ll get better by the day.

In fact, within a year, I won’t be surprised to see it all but replace the specialized web applications like CaringBridge and CarePages.  Why?

  1. People are already using it for other communication with friends and family.  They’re all comfortable with it, it’s easy to use, and it’s rapidly becoming second nature.  Why use something else?
  2. I believe that within a year, most people that use the web at all will be using Facebook.  It is rapidly becoming THE communication tool that we all are on and using.

So, what’s your take.  Do you think Facebook will replace CaringBridge and CarePages?

Keeping Folks Informed About Chronic Illness

Posted in Caregiving, Illness on April 22nd, 2009 by Jim Hughes – 2 Comments

One of the important yet time-consuming parts of having someone in your family with a serious chronic illness is being able to keep other family members and friends informed about what is going on.

You’ll soon find that if you don’t have a good way to keep people informed that you’re going to spend a significant amount of your time telling and retelling the same information to folks that care and want to know.  And you’re also going to be spending time correcting incomplete or incorrect information as well.

So deciding on a good vehicle that allows you to provide the information once and yet keep everyone that wants to be informed up to date is valuable. There are several good ways to do that.

The first two are similar web-based products, CaringBridge and CarePages.  Both allow you to set up free webpages with photos, the background story, and updates, as well as providing a way for friends and family to provide messages in response.  Both also allow you to select from a variety of privacy levels, depending on your wishes.  Your friends and family can subscribe to email notices of updates.  These services are very easy to set up, requiring little if any tech knowledge.

Another good option is setting up a blog.  Blogger and WordPress are two leading services that provide free blogs, and both are relatively easy to set up and use.  The advantage of setting up your own blog is that you have more flexibility in design and how you use it.  A disadvantage can be that subscription by friends and family can be a little more challenging for those that are not tech savvy.  However, you can rather easily add the capability to subscribe by email to help them out.

I’m a big fan of all of these services, and currently I’m keeping up with a number of people through them.  If you’re not familiar with them, check them out.

The Power of Web 2.0: Engaging Community

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5th, 2009 by Jim Hughes – 1 Comment

During the last couple of days I’ve been touched by many things I’ve read on the web from people going through difficult seasons.

The first was from a 5 year-old boy who asked his mom, “Can we pray for me a new face?  This one doesn’t work very well.”  He can’t smile as a result of brain cancer surgery.  His name is Gage, if you want to join his family and those of us who know him through CarePages in praying for him.

Then there’s a graphic prayer request from Debby, via her sister, which was posted on Flickr.  Both are well known in the Houston Twitter community.  (Be sure and take a look at this request.)

And third, Larry James wrote a nice blog post about what he’s feeling facing life following the passing of both of his parents.

Social networking, a product of Web 2.0, is powerful for building and engaging community.  As these three examples show, it’s a very effective way to reach out and share what’s happening in your life and get support from a caring community.

Maybe some of you have stories of how the web community has been helpful in supporting you through a difficult season.  If so, please post about it in the comments.

_____________

Tomorrow, in response to several recent comments and suggestions,  I plan to start a new series here about making visits to seriously ill folks.