Craigslist, Online Shopping Attract Seniors

Craigslist, Online Shopping Attract Seniors

Natali Del Conte – PC Magazine
Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:18 AM ET

By far the most entertaining panel at the Web 2.0 Summit was the
conversation with users who do not work in the technology industry.
Last year, Safa Rashtchy, an analyst at Piper Jaffray and Company,
talked to teenagers and their parents about how they use the Web. This
year, Rashtchy talked to six Baby Boomers, which made for a comical
perspective of the Internet.

"I’ve used the Internet for one year now and I know everything," said a 55 year-old woman named Ev Corzberg.

Corzberg and her husband Les have an addiction to YouTube.

"You see the most craziest, the most idiotic things on YouTube," said
Les, 59. In fact, you can find the Corzbergs on YouTube teaching

When Rashtchy asked the panel how many of them had heard of Flickr,
YouTube, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and Ask, all of them raised their
hands. When he asked them how many had heard of Digg or,
only one person raised their hand.

Panelists also had very strong opinions about the way their search
engines advertise to them. They don’t like ads that are disorganized
and pervasive.

"Google is easier because it has less graphics and less information
other than what you need. When there is more information you don’t know
where to go and what to do," said a panelist named "Hector," who didn’t
provide his last name. "Sometimes if I see so many ads, I just ignore

Another panelist named "Lou" said he likes to patronize other search engines but usually ends up resorting to Google.

"I use Google, Ask and Yahoo," said Lou. "I use Ask because they’re the
underdog. I prefer to use someone who isn’t so massive. Unfortunately
though I have to go back to Google to get the answer to whatever I

The women on the panel also professed an addiction to Craigslist.

"I can’t stop reading on Craigslist," admitted a woman named Dee (no
last name provided) who works nights as a nurse. "I go from one
category to another and then I keep reading and then my night is over
and I realize I haven’t done the work that I’m there to do, but I’m
more educated because of it."

When asked if they would pay between $5 and $15 per month for Craigslist, most panelists unequivocally said yes.

Further proving that there is a generation gap in computing, the
panelists had almost no opinion about Apple. When Rashtchy asked what
they thought of Apple, he got mostly silence. They knew iPod and
iTunes, but did not use Mac computers.

Rashtchy asked what percentage of their Christmas shopping the
panelists would be doing online this year. Answers ranged from 30
percent to "most."

"I’ll do about 50 percent of my Christmas shopping online," said Dee.
"I start early and I get the good deals and the free shipping."

"This is my first Christmas since I’ve been on the computer and I will
be doing most of my shopping online," said Ev Corzberg. "If you go to a
mall, its mostly for the teenage world. But on Craigslist, it’s the
adult world and you can get anything."

Even though panelists are willing to shop online, they don’t like
registering for Web applications or services. Some professed to
creating separate email addresses just for the spam that goes along
with application memberships.

"If I have to go through two pages or more of registration, I may just abandon the whole site altogether," said Les Corzberg.

The fourth annual Web 2.0 Summit ended on Friday in San Francisco. The
conference had approximately 1,000 attendees who work in the social
media space and undoubtedly appreciated the chance to step outside of
the Web 2.0 microcosm and see their work from the end-user perspective.

Leave a Reply