Do you remember when telephones were a device used to

make calls? Do you remember getting change to use the pay phone? Do you remember using checks to pay bills? Do you remember using wind wings and cowl vents to offer a bit of respite from the summer heat when driving? Do you remember sipping a cold beer and playing pong on a table top device? Do you remember fumbling with road maps? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, there is a better than average chance that you suffer, to a degree, from the plight of technologically impaired.

A great deal of the past year has been spent working to overcome my  technological impairment. To be honest this quest consumes a great deal of my time but it is a matter of survival. I can’t write books on a 1948 Underwood typewriter anymore, and I can’t market the books, or me, using stamps, stationary, envelopes, and a land line telephone. 

For those of us who didn’t start kindergarten with an IPad in our book bag, new technologies made manifest in smart phones and self driving automobiles can be a bit overwhelming and rather intimidating. They can also add a bit of spice to life, dramatically expand horizons, and even open doors to an array of financial opportunities.

What started as a tongue in cheek joke about me having an ability to tell people where to go, has become a slogan for the brand that is Jim Hinckley’s America – Telling People Where To Go Since 1990. In 2017, I took the plunge and committed to learning as much as possible about new technologies as well as how to apply them. It has been, to say the very least, quite an adventure.

A podcast (still on the burner) fizzled and bombed. A lack of time and technical expertise, a need for equipment (being resolved), and the importance of developing projects that resulted in income while allowing me to provide the envisioned promotional service for authors, artists, small business owners, and communities took precedence. So, the project that dominated available time for development was a weekly Facebook live program, an enterprise that I refer to as Mayberry television.

It has been quite a personally rewarding endeavor, and has proven to be surprisingly popular even though technical issues such as internet connections, limited cell service, audio problems, and occasional video quality have hindered the addition of professional polish that I hope for. With this projects development being a primary focus, aside from the marketing of books released in 2017 and writing a new book for Rio Nuevo Publishing, I launched a crowdfunding initiative, which required another field of study.

When evaluating the analytics from the Facebook live programs I was pleasantly surprised. From the end of January through mid December the reach exceeded 79,000 people!

Needless to say, that has inspired me to take this to a new level in 2018. In addition to the weekly programs, plans are being made for an ambitious 21-day, 21-interview tour along Route 66 with the goal being to highlight the unique and vibrant nature of the Route 66 community. As if that isn’t challenge is a big enough goal to shoot for in 2018, there are also plans to host Facebook live programs from the European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic, and to FINALLY launch the podcast that provides another promotional platform for artists, businesses, and communities.

The moral of the story, if there is one, is this. You are never old to learn new tricks. Technological impairment can be cured.

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