Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There is a New Web Site for Boomers

It seems that Boomers are getting a little respect now --at least for our buying power. Procter &Gamble and NBC just launched a group of web sites aimed at us called Life Goes Strong at Boomers seem to have $1 trillion to spend, so P&G and NBC thought these sites would be a good bet.

One of these web sites, called Tech Goes Strong,  might put this blog out of business.

The site has articles about technology aimed at baby boomers. So far there are only a few articles up on the site, but I urge you to take a look at it. It's a bit different from my take on things, but interesting nonetheless.

In one of the articles, author Erin Joyce gives Boomers some tips about starting out in Facebook. She quotes an expert as saying Boomers tend to be lurkers, who consume their media more than they engage. They read blog posts, listen to Podcasts and watch videos.

However, some Boomers jump in to social media with both feet and share too much. Facebook isn't a place to put up all those old jokes you used to pass around via email. It's more of a place to share what you are doing these days, something that is catching your fancy, or how you are feeling at a particular moment in time. It's also a place for people to interact with you and for you to interact with people.

So if someone posts, "I got a clean bill of health at the doctor." You can post that you "like" this revelation, comment with a wish for continued good health, or continue the conversation with something relevant to your health. This is a way people keep in touch with each other on Facebook.

You might want to post a favorite quote that gets you through the day, or something you recently read that surprised you. These kinds of posts get online conversations flowing.

One of the experts quoted in the article advises new users not to worry about how many followers they have or their level of popularity. I had to laugh when I read that. I don't know any Boomers who go to Facebook to collect new friends. They all are there to connect with old friends and acquaintances or far flung relatives. If you know someone who uses Facebook as a way to enhance their popularity  in this way, let me know, will you?

Another of the experts quoted in this article points out that you can control the level of privacy on Facebook. For myself, I've decided that Facebook is the place where I play, and LinkedIn is my professional network. Therefore, I control my privacy settings on Facebook, vigilantly.  I interact with friends and family there and really don't want anyone else on that page, so I ignore friend requests from colleagues or suggest we link on LinkedIn. However, I'm always careful about what I say and consider Facebook semi public.

Which brings me to another piece of advice in the article. Everything you do online is public and getting more so each day. If you haven't carefully adjusted your privacy settings, you may find something you post on your "wall" found via a search engine. So think before you post.

This was not in the article: Some people I know don't think the lack of privacy is worth the benefits of being on Facebook. I'm not one of them. However, if you ever want to leave, you may run into some trouble Officially Facebook says  you must "deactivate" your account, not delete it.  However all those pictures you posted and conversations stay online. Plus, Facebook gives you a guilt trip on the way out, saying things like "Esther Surden will miss you."

So if  you ever want to sever your ties with the social networking site permanently and without the guilt trip, take a look at this Facebook page. It will tell you how to permanently delete your account.


Kaye Swain said...

Hi, Thanks for the info on the new website Life Goes Strong. Looks like it has some interesting articles for those of us in the Sandwich Generation. :)

Also, thanks for the info about how to delete Facebook. I have saved it in case I get asked about that. I have friends that love it, friends that hate it, and friends who aren't sure, so I suspect it will come in handy.

Thank you :)

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