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Saturday, August 04, 2007

More about mushrooms and fertilizer

Future Lab is one of the blogs that republishes some posting from this blog. It published my musings about the way that social networking sites for the 50-plus are mushrooming and one cause is the surge in traffic volumes of sites like MySpace and FaceBook.

Somebody left a comment on the blog to say they couldn't understand the connection. I thought it was worth a few more words of explanation.

Most people fall into the trap of thinking that high profile Web sites like MySpace and YouTube are the sole domain of the young. That’s a just good old fashioned youthful arrogance.

Over 40% of MySpace users are aged 35-54 and rapidly getting older. The average age of YouTube users in the US is 39 years old. Useful technology ages fast, always has always will. Have a look at my most recent blog post.

The 50-plus will adapt social networking for their own use. This might be like Eons.com (a generic site social networking site) or with the technology embedded into a vertical market site, like waitrose.com. The point is that the web literate 50-plus, who tend to be the better educated, more affluent will quickly use social networking functionality.

The final point I was trying to make, is the simplistic attraction of the 1% rule. This is when you have a large total market and you justify a venture on only requiring very small market shares. There are 76 million baby boomers – 50% (at least) are Web literate – they are a gregarious bunch and will naturally adopt social networking (say 20%) and surely we can get 1% of this group! If my sums are right that is 760,000 people. Social networking functionality Web sites are inexpensive to create (if you ignore the content!).

Bingo, I have the basis of a business case. Get the message? Dick Stroud

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