Silver Surfers Take To The Social Web

While I’ve been busy finding out what teenagers are doing on the Web, Emily Vencat from the Daily Herald has been finding out what people 50 and over have been doing:

Like millions of teenagers around the world, Sue Bloom spends several hours socializing online every day. She posts pictures, meets new friends, updates her blog and runs a popular online photography group with almost 500 members. The only thing is, Bloom isn’t a teenager or a twentysomething college student — she’s a 58-year-old art historian. And the brand-new site where she hangs out,, is for baby boomers (and older) only: You have to be at least 50 to join.

Vencat reports that currently, only 1 million of the 215 million registered networkers are older than 50, but that number was exected to increase to 20 million by the end of the year according to an upcoming report from global analyst, Deloitte.

Why is that exciting? Well, teens may be the next generation of consumers, but the over 50 crowd already has buying power. It may well be worthwhile to start analyzing the silver industry.


  1. Being in that age group myself I’m always interested in what they’re doing, how they interact with websites etc.

    And I have to tell you that web designers these days are not taking my age group into account when they come up with their pretty designs.

    Blogs are a prime exampe of many of the things that are wrong with today’s design.

    Many older people still expect links to appear in blue and be underlined. There is a major link on most blogs that is never underlined and rarely appears in blue.

    You would also be surprised how many older people have no idea about URLs and how to use them to access sites. One of my sites sees a lot of older surfers who keep coming back for more.

    They type the entire URL of the site into the Google search field to reach my site. They don’t understand RSS and they don’t even understand bookmarks.

  2. Interesting. I’ve often felt that my content’s primary audience was the younger crowd, but I’m probably cutting across generational lines. I should test that and see if I can attract some attention from older Web surfers.

  3. DG

    My parents are both in their sixties, both of them surf the web quite a bit and they definitely make purchases so I try to keep that in mind when I look at sites. I didn’t really figure on a ‘social web’ boom for that age group though.

  4. Snexlex

    I hope this will make my Deloitte stocks go up so I make some money on it :-)

  5. I always feel like I am talking primarily to people under thirty too. We are at a little bit of a disadvantage in regard to the way blogs are set up I think. At least, I have a little trouble with some of the jargon etc. It could just be my older brain :)

  6. Excellent article, just another request, would you be able to elaborate the fourth paragraph in more depth please? Thanks

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