2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2008 1:51 PM by summers

    Gen X vs. Baby Boomers

      So I work with this community of technology savvy people, but the idea of social media seems to only resonate with the Generation X and not the Baby Boomers.  Our community is made of nearly 60% Baby Boomers - many of whom just don't get blogging... how do I get them engaged and involved?

        • Re: Gen X vs. Baby Boomers

          Hi Gina,


          We've helped SAP for many years with their communities, so are familiar with your audience. We've also worked with AARP for many years and are familiar with the Boomers use of communities. A couple of points to help out:

          1. Boomers are rapidly adopting social media tools, but they remain wary of blogs. The familiar message boards, photo/video uploads, and comments on articles are doing very well.
          2. Boomers do not like multiple offerings which appear to do the same thing or have the same purpose. They want clarity, not multiple choices.
          3. In terms of ASUG members in particular, we interviewed roughly 200 of them in 2003 at the meeting in Dallas for SAP. The main issue for those who were older than say 45 was time, not technology. They were able to manuever through the SAP community demo easily. But their comments all indicated that they did not have a lot of time to spend using a community during the business day. Therefore, your strategy should be aligned to quick hits rather than long content heavy offerings. Webcasts in particular worked well, as did downloadable presentations that these members print and read on the train or bus home.

          In our consulting work, we advise our clients to focus on the behavior and needs of their audience not the technology. Too often, organizations focus on the bells and whistles of the technology at the expense of the true needs of the audience they are trying to reach.


          Good luck!


          • Re: Gen X vs. Baby Boomers

            Great summary as always Mike.