AND THE WEB GOES...
FOR BABY BOOMERS OPEN DOORS TO THE PAST, OFFER HELP FOR TODAY
By Lynn Voedisch
Special to the Tribune
June 8, 2000
traded granny glasses for bifocals and Woodstock for blue-chip
stocks, but Baby Boomers are still a force to be reckoned
with on the Internet. Although it might look as if every site
on the Web is tailored for Generation Xers, Boomers still
make up an undeniably attractive market. Numbering about 75
million and earning incomes that average $75,00 or more, the
former rebels are today's demographic dream.
no wonder that an ever-increasing number of Web sites and
portals are focusing on this set. No one can pinpoint the
Baby Boom generation exactly, but anyone born from 1948 to
1964 is probably in the club. That puts most Boomers in their
40s, with the leading edge in their early 50s. However, a
lot of Boomers aren't ready to slow down yet.
who are in their early 50s today are not into AARP (American
Association for Retired People)," said David Henderson, founder
of the Boomer Cafe (www.boomercafe.com). "My partner Greg
Dobbs and I were talking about magazines (for our age group)
and he said, `This doesn't relate to me at all. I'm out kayaking
and mountain climbing."'
and Dobbs' Boomer Cafe is anything but a retirement site.
About 30,000 people visit the cafe each month, reading articles
on spirituality, travel, books, families and relationships.
to be an on-line magazine for people who are really interested
in new things," Henderson said.
Boomer Cafe operates on a shoestring (the site has yet to
see any profit), other, slicker sites have launched with firm
(www.myprimetime.com) is backed by entertainer Joan Rivers
and has a partnership with Fidelity. ThirdAge (www.thirdage.com)
is partly backed by CBS. Both are going for the lucrative
Boomer market in a big way and they are tailoring content
to focus on an active lifestyle, rather than on nostalgia.
site is about changes going on in your life: caring for aging
parents, kids moving out, finding romance in mid-life," said
Mindy Cebers, public relations manager for ThirdAge. "We know
what works and what doesn't. A lot of people would be offended
if you called a 52-year-old a senior."
articles on travel, finances, health, fashion and pop culture
make this site worth a visit. On-line classes focus on travel,
finding romance and Net issues. There are more than 1 million
registered users at ThirdAge.
a recent article focused on women who are pregnant in their
40s -- hardly a typical topic for "seniors." Sub-titled "A
Personal Trainer for Life," this site focuses on mid-lifers
as active participants. Articles on boxing for women, real-estate
investing and "The Zen of Work" make this a site for those
with eclectic interests.
when many people think of Baby Boomers, they think of aging
hipsters who still play air guitar to Jimi Hendrix music when
no one's looking. Surely, nostalgia plays a big part at Boomer
sites, because the '60s was a decade that's hard to forget.
In light of today's celebrity idols, such as 'N Sync and Leonard
DiCaprio, many people would like to go back to the Beatles
and "Easy Rider."
about tie-died T-shirts, go-go boots and Afro hairdos at Baby
Boomer Memory Bank (www.octanecreative.com/boomerbaby/index.html).
The new site archives recollections of those odd little relics
of the past, from push-button car transmissions to Sting-Ray
bicycles. They are seeking input, so tell them all about your
memories of Rat Fink toys or purple bell-bottoms.
Boomer Headquarters (www.bbhq.com) is a vast site that covers
everything from the 1969 moon landing to parenting issues.
There are sites for '60s trivia, a reunion area for looking
up old classmates, polls, book reviews, featured records and
even a tour of the entire site.
Now there's a shattering life change for any former hippie.
Baby Boomers Homepage (www.netwalk.com/ duchapl) addresses
this and many other mid-life issues. The '60s get a special
salute and a doctor answers questions about such unhappy surprises
rock reunions, oldies music, radio stations and trips back
to the '50s and '60s are features at Boomernet (www.boomernet.com).
Text-heavy and still under construction, this site focuses
on the music of past.
International (boomersint.org/home.htm) has plenty of facts
and figures about the graying Me Generation. There's a bulletin
board and chat room here plus articles on politics, music
up for the Boom! E-zine (www.boommalls.com/frontpage.html)
and get articles delivered straight to your e-mail box. Chat
with other folks who remember eight-track tapes and ironing
hair at Baby Boomer Bistro Page (http://www.bbb. org.uk/).
This site is based in the United Kingdom.
happened the year you were born? Zip over to Boomer Initiative
(www.babyboomers.com/ index.htm) to find out. Don't feel old,
but chances are that Dwight Eisenhower was president.
mid-lifers, the '60s is the only decade worth remembering.
The era of psychedelia and free love, the '60s still spawn
devotion, even among kids who dote on Austin Powers. Here
are a few Web resources:
(www.slip.net/scmetro/sixties.htm). All we can say is "far
out." This site has myriad links to everything from Bob Dylan
to John F. Kennedy to Carlos Santana (new again).
'60s: Literary Tradition and Social Change (www.lib.virginia.
edu/exhibits/ sixties/index.html). In-depth articles on the
Beatles, Timothy Leary and a wonderful section on Woodstock.
(www.hippy.com/60s.htm). Haight-Asbury, The Summer of Love
and everything groovy get center-stage at this site.
(www. sixties.net). More amazing links including radio archives
and "Jimi Hendrix Digital Voodoo."