Social media and baby boomers, Who is ignoring this demographic?

Ok so I admit it. Social media is cool. I love everything it stands for and the endless possibilities that it has. But my question to my educated audience is this. Is social media for the 15-34 age group? Does social media care about the baby boomer set? Sure I gave you the top 30 social networks for baby boomers awhile back, but what kind of play are they getting? Do they get the same kind of action that Facebook and Myspace get? Or are they glorified email holders with cute colors? Does the 50+ demo know the power of the social networks available to them?

I recently came across a site called Growing Bolder, great title and the premise was the promise. To boldly provide for the boomers a place to…where they can…while doing…in which…etc. etc… I’m not really bashing Growing Bolder, in fact I give them credit, along with the other 30 I have mentioned, for seeing a niche that can be catered to, marketed to and sold to. That’s right, sold to. What? you thought the reasons for creating this site and all the others, were purely altruisitc? Umm…ok…

Riddle me this, do we still have to call someone that’s 50+, an individual who is in pursuit of an active lifestyle? I don’t get that. Do boomers become sedentary? Do they just shut it down? I would imagine that most people don’t stop living or spending once they exceed 50, so maybe we should do away with the assumptions that accompany that age? To that end, shouldn’t we embrace the boomers that have taken Facebook for example, and made it an integral part of their lives? People run in the packs or the cliques that they most indentify with, but that doesn’t mean that the cool club or bar or restaurant that they want to go to, is going to deny them access. The same holds true for social networks. You stay over there and we’ll stay over here and there is plenty of room for all of us to enjoy what this place has to offer.

Check the stats, one of Facebooks biggest chunks of users are boomers or boomers on the cusp of being boomers. This does not mean that the advent and growth of boomer social networks should go away, it just means that boomers can go to any social network they want, and provided that their is a collection of their peeps there, more power to you.

Social media has not ignored the boomers but do boomers ignore social networks? Would boomers rather talk face to face or use a social networking app to do it? How do boomers relationships? How do they value social media relationships? I bet it has opened up a world of new possibilities for the person in pursuit of the active lifestyle! Sorry, I felt like saying active lifestyle again.

Here is the quick caveat though. Just because you the boomer is in Facebook, doesn’t mean that you have quickly transported back 30 years in time. Leave the 20 somethings alone and hang with your own people. I’m just sayin…

Baby Boomers and Social Networks.

So we have MySpace and Facebook and LinkedIn and a smattering of other social networking sites out there, but what’s out there for the wired boomer?  How about Eons? I’m not so sure about the name. But maybe that’s intentional? Eons sounds like a nightclub. You know the kind that’s only around for about 3 years and then is reinvented into a country saloon… Almost sounds somewhat presienct..  So before we spell the demise of Eons, Let me digress. Eons features sections on fun, love, money, body – and obituaries, among others. True to the demographic, you won’t be seeing obit notices on MySpace any time soon.

Founded by founder Jeff Taylor, caters to the 50-plus demographic, aiming to become their MySpace and Facebook, writes Reuters. “These are people who want to spend money to save time rather then spend their time trying to save money,” Taylor is quoted as saying. The site offers interactive games, news on entertainment and hobbies, a longevity calculator and an obituary database that sends alerts when someone you know dies. Note: If I’m starting to send obit notices to friends about friends who bit it in their 50’s, then it’s time to put away the bong and lace up the cross-trainers.

The site creates associations between members with similar goals, some of which, such as “take a trip to Hawaii,” will serve as leads for marketers, writes ClickZ. Site partners hoping for such leads include Verizon, Hyatt, Liberty Mutual, Harrah’s Entertainment, and Humana. also offers standard display ad units as well as high-level sponsorships and targeted contextual placements. Its “Cranky” search engine, which uses technology, allows users to rate search results, some of which will be vetted by human editors.

Another Boomer site is Boomj. I’m not sure if that’s pronounced Boom-J or is it Boomja? nevertheless  this site seems to have a little bit more going on than Eons. Here is Boomj’s description:

The name BOOMj derives from the two primary audiences we serve: the Baby Boomers Generation and Generation Jones – both born during the big 20-year, post-World War II boom in births from the mid-1940’s to mid-1960’s.

  • Baby Boomers were born 1942 to 1953; we associate their youth with Howdy Doody, Davy Crocket hats, and later, Woodstock and Vietnam War demonstrations.
  • Generation Jones, born 1954 to 1965, is a newer concept and name that represents the actual children of the sixties (more wide-eyed than tie-dyed); Jonesers were weaned on The Brady Bunch and Easy Bake Ovens and later were the teens of 70’s heavy metal, disco, punk and soul.

At this point it still remains to be seen whether these will actually work in the same fashion as some of the larger more notable social networks. The question is do Boomers want to spend time sitting in front of the pc making friends or would they rather be out in the clubs throwin down? It really does boil down to how the Boomer nation has adapted and adopted to social networking.  Social networking is more an extension of Gen Y and even younger as yet to be named generations.  Boomers with exceptionsl power and influence however may choose to keep it simple to the extent that their cell phones and email are what they consider as being wired in todays culture, Boomers will make a determination very quickly whether Eons and Boomj is for them or not.