Back in March, I recorded and shared an interview with my mother in which she discussed her experiences reading a variety of different blogs over the past few years: Powerful and Meaningful Connections from Blogging International Students, MilBloggers, and Others (An interview with Angie Fryer.) At that time, I also introduced her to social bookmarking with del.icio.us.

Tom Fryer, Wesley Fryer, and Angie Fryer

It was great to hear her praise del.icio.us today as we discussed various Internet and technology topics with a friend. She’s finding social bookmarking has enabled her to stop writing down information about websites and recipes she finds online in the “stickies program,” since now all the info she wants to save is included in her social bookmarks tags and item descriptions. By clicking on one of her tags, she can readily find any of her saved recipe websites or other bookmarks.

Today we discussed backup issues as well as concerns about possibly migrating her computer to a newer operating system, or purchasing an entirely new computer. I ended up helping her migrate a small inventory database she’d been managing on Filemaker Pro to Google Documents as a spreadsheet. Because she owns an older version of Filemaker, when she moves to a newer operating system she would have to pay for an upgrade to Filemaker software to continue using it. Since spreadsheet functionality will work well for the data she’s managing (there’s only about six fields/columns) a better solution was moving the data into a Google Spreadsheet. In addition to not needing to pay for a software upgrade, she’s able to share the document online with others and rest assured it is securely backed up offsite.

I showed her Lee Lefever’s excellent “Google Documents in Plain English” video after helping her create a Google Mail account and importing her data from an Excel spreadsheet. (We created it after exporting her data as a delimited file from Filemaker. For some reason a direct import of a csv file to Google Docs didn’t work.) Yeah for Google Documents!

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