It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over: Boomers in Cyberspace

We all know that emerging media belongs to those under 30 digital natives, the Millennials, right? And that while Gen Y participates and adds value to this space, there is almost an invisible “Do Not Trespass” sign up for anyone older…

Apparently, this is only partly true. According to readwriteweb.com, “a new report from Forrester Research revealed some surprising information: apparently Baby Boomers aren’t exactly the technology Luddites that people think they are. In fact, more than 60 percent of those in this generational group actively consume socially created content like blogs, videos, podcasts, and forums.”

Notice the term above “actively consume”. The truth is that most Boomer age types are not as vocal when online as their younger cyberspace neighbors. Check the stats, one of Facebook’s biggest chunks of users are boomers or those on the cusp of being boomers (Direct Marketing Observations). I know myself that I probably absorb as opposed to spew on about a 5:1 ratio (not necessarily a bad thing, btw, and one that helps me figure out what’s unfolding before my eyes.)

However, other sources confirm that many Boomers do also actively respond and generate content. This is generally members of this group that often  1) have a passion for a specific topic, cause, philosophy, etc and 2) feel inclined to develop enough chops to compete and make themselves heard on the web and in social media.

One example is Ron Tannebaum, co-founder of “In the Rooms” (www.intherooms.com), which is the number one social network for those in recovery from addiction, seeking help and their families and friends, according to Start Up Nation. He and his partner made a concentrated effort to seek out the best minds in social networking, and then used their passion and knowledge of the recovery community to drive an internet presence with over 80,000 members in 50 countries.

You don’t have to poke around too far on a given social media site to find active users with some gray in their hair. And many of these are active using these sites to build or support businesses. It’s going to be an interesting decade.

Author’s Note: Those of you who have visited me on Twitter or Facebook may have surmised that I live in amazement over Yogi Berra and his pearls of wisdom. The headline quote is from him, for those of you who thought I might have been appropriating Lenny Kravitz lyrics. 🙂

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