Monday, December 10, 2007

Are Too Many People Trying to Get Rich off Baby Boomers?

In a recent post entitled "Pay Per Boom," Mark, the author of Going Like Sixty ( introduced readers to a new Boomer Web Site, After reading the description, I began to wonder who needs such a site? I admit I'm too old to be a boomer, but a lot of senior sites are arising too, some good, some not so good. To quote from Going Like Sixty:

"I may create a Dumb Ass Marketing to Boomers Award. DAMBA. And the DAMBA goes to…this is laughable. Another “new social network” launched. Here’s the really funny part: they want Boomers to PAY $19 to join. [The site offers a Premier membership for $29 too, with discounts on travel, etc., but no assurance that such discounts are or ever will really be available.]

"Of course, this [the fee] was done for our 'comfort' and to protect us from nasty comments, ads and spammers. Boy, we sure do need help with that. After all, we just can hardly figger out this internet. All those tubes and everything."

The site descriptions states, "So far the over 40 crowd has not caught the big wave of social networking. The creators of Boomers Network feel one reason for this is the commercialization of the free sites and the fact that this group of people are not interested in all of the applications that draw the younger crowds."

"Never mind the pictures that are stretched, the grammatical errors, the punctuation errors, and the typos. These people win the award just on their sheer ignorance of the marketplace."

I checked out the site myself. Yes, there are writing errors. Yes, stretching out pictures to full width makes for some interesting distortions. I can't imagine why anyone would join this site, with or without a fee. Neither can the author of Going Like Sixty.

I guess everyone is trying to figure out how to make money. That's the American way, and I'm not about to condemn it, yet all these attempts to "educate" and inform the 0ver-40 or over-50 set, both boomers and seniors, together or separately, bother me a bit. At least I hope that site developers, especially if they're not "typical" boomers or seniors themselves, will listen to us elders. The founders of the sites I write for do listen.

I guess I'm just an independent senior who resents anyone's attempts to stereotype me economically, socially, or any other way. I'm old, but I'm still an individual.

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


BeverlyM said...

Leave it to GoingLikeSixty to find these kinds of sites! He never ceases to amaze and even SHOCK me. I'm glad though that his blog led me to your site!

bobw said...

I actually like the fact that there are no ads and stuff. I got on Facebook and I get 50 e-mails a day from people sending me vampire bites and stuff I don't even know what they are.
I think that if they are going to charge a membership they will have to deliver the goods.
I market on the internet too, and most sites you can not see the information unless you sign in and if it is a trial you always have to give them your credit card paypal first. (If you are new to the internet you probably don't know that it is standard practice)

If they deliver and as I understand it is a new site. So we will see.
As for the grammatical, punctuation and other errors. I can't even comment. I am worse than most at grammer. I think that anyone that is doing something is farther ahead than people that just complain.

Thanks for the good info as always, think I might go sign up and see where that one goes.

seniorwriter said...

I agree with you about the ads, but I've come to see them as a necessary evil. I'm not exactly new to the Internet, and I'm skeptical--and a former English teacher, to make things worse! Thanks for your comment.

Catana said...

I took a major tour through the senior social sites over the last few months to see what was going on. Signed up with several, and have dropped all, including (sorry) eGenerations. There two primary assumptions--that boomers and seniors all want pretty much the same thing, and that anyone over forty is technology illiterate. I suspect most of these sites are developed by youngsters seemingly unaware that most people in their forties, fifties, and even into their sixties have been using computers on the job for quite a while now, and that they probably have one at home. As for this 70-year-old, I just made my new website/blog public, and have the writing and publication of ebooks in my future. If I want my hand held, it won't be by some arrogant youngster who thinks they know what I know, want, and need.

seniorwriter said...

I agree that social networking sites all have their problems, and most are, indeed, run by young men who make strange assumptions about us. I guess I like eGenerations because the founder sometimes listens to me (as one of his four official columnists, and the only one who is a senior rather than a boomer). That doesn't mean that he follows all my suggestions, but I've had at least a little bit of influence. I ignore a lot of parts of the site, but there are some interesting videos there if you pick and choose carefully. A few members are getting started on writing,too. That's my department.