Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Web 2.0 For The Over 50 - A Good Experience

Good Experience - The Web 2.0 question - and Grandparents.com. As has been mentioned before, Mark Hurst has been one resource in this endeavor to learn more about Web 2.0. As one getting to the hump of the fifth decade, I was interested in his post on what does 2.0 mean to people over 50 years of age. Then he goes with the assumption that everyone over 50 is a grandparent, at least at the start. His real point is the necessity of figuring out what your customers, grandparents in this case, really want. Figuring out what the over 50 crowd wants is something that nobody on the Web seems to be doing all that well now, despite some recent attempts in the news. (I am over 50, I can't remember who they were - actually I am over 50, and I don't care.)

As one member of this demographic, I don't plan to wait for the market to define my web experience. I can't help but notice but that the people in the forefront of making a difference in the brave new world are young. The world of Web 2.0 and new technologies like nano-technology are young. Google, which I use extensively, has only been around since 1998. I am trying to learn because I find so much of this fascinating.

One particular insight made by Hurst's post was listing the various groups that have the ear of the executives who put up the commercial sites that are suppose to be designed to appeal to a market segment.

  • The technology press, whose job it is to report on the newest and flashiest trends, not necessarily what actually works in the long run
  • Bloggers, many of whom are technophiles who enjoy playing with, and writing about, Internet trends and gadgets
  • Investors, who often want quick results, and look to the press and bloggers to point the way

I would place myself into the second category but primarily for my own education. He then goes on to include two more groups, industry colleagues, who can (in some cases) be very helpful, "helpful" in this context would be something like the Councils (I paraphrased here emphasizing the positive) and customers. The later who are not on the list despite the fact that they can point the way forward, both in the short term and the long term. I put myself on both lists. As customers, clients and most especially citizens, we don't have to wait to be allowed to react to somebody else's web based marketing ploy. We can learn from the new technology and then find ways to contribute the one thing, we have hopefully acquired after half a century - wisdom.

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