More about mushrooms and fertilizer

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by: Dick Stroud

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 (a generic site social networking site) or with the technology embedded into a vertical market site, like 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?

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