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Social Networking Sites for Boomers Blossom

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Social Networking Sites for Boomers Blossom

Digital Life

Social Networking Sites for Boomers Blossom

Social Networking Sites for Boomers Blossom

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New social networking Web sites vying for screen time are targeting the older set. These sites are aiming to grab the attention of people who find that joining Myspace.com or Facebook.com feels like crashing their kids' party.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The boomer generation is defying stereotypes in a lot of ways. And here's a poll that you would not expect to find in a social networking site: What pill can you not live without - Viagra, fish oil, or Lipitor?

That's from the Web site tbd.com. It's one of a number of new networking Web sites vying for screen time with the older sets. These sites are aiming to grab the attention of people who find that joining MySpace or Facebook feels like crashing their kid's party.

Jeff Taylor is CEO of EONS.com.

Mr. JEFF TAYLOR (CEO, EONS.com): They are, I feel, anxious to join in with something that they've looked over the shoulder of their kids. Now they're really entrusted in doing it themselves.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Women and men of a certain age aren't known for trolling the Internet to make friends. But the boomer generation is defying stereotypes in a lot of ways.

Sean Callahan is the editor of a magazine for older athletes called GeezerJock. Their average reader is 52 years old.

Mr. SEAN CALLAHAN (Editor, GeezerJock): This is a group that's staying active. It's a big group, and they're changing the way we think about getting old.

INSKEEP: Which means staying sporty and spending money, more so than the gray-haired set of years past, which makes marketing to them especially attractive, as Jeff Taylor says.

Mr. TAYLOR: This generation, the kind of baby boomers and early seniors, has more money than any other kind of generation in history. I see numbers between $2 and $3 trillion annually in disposable income.

MONTAGNE: And when it comes to online networking, not all older folks shy away from the big sites. More than half of MySpace users are over 35. On Facebook, it's about 40 percent. As far as targeting content to older folks, EONS and tbd.com just might have a leg up, though. The winner of that poll, by the way, was fish oil.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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