Startup targets baby boomer web surfers

Startup targets baby boomer web surfers

David Louie

– Baby boomers may be showing their age, but they’re still
seen as a target audience for those with something to say or sell. Now, online
sites are popping up and looking to be their go to place in cyberspace.

Sites like MySpace have been getting plenty of attention, but they’re not for
everyone.

Tom Murphy, Redwoodage.com Editor-In-Chief: "I don’t know about you, but
I’m not that thrilled about Paris and Nicole that I want to read about them
all the time."

So, Tom Murphy is jumping to a space he considers an unmet need.
Information for boomers on the Web.

Tom Murphy: "This is the generation that changed the way we think about
race, about medicine, about women, war, almost everything we touch. They’ve
affected the music and they’re going to change the way we think about aging."

Murphy is preparing to launch a Web site called Redwoodage.com, filled with
news about health, money and politics for boomers. Murphy is a former wire
service reporter and was founding managing editor at the business news Web
site, Marketwatch.com. 

Competition is heating up to serve boomers on the Internet. Each is using
different approaches to appeal to an audience in their 40s, 50s and older.
Some even offer social networking like online introductions, MySpace for
grown-ups. But Redwoodage.com is trying to be different.

Ian Smith, Redwoodage.com Chief Financial Officer: "We’re not trying to be
the next MySpace. We’re not trying to be a lifestyle site. We’re purely
focused on journalism."

Featured stories make that clear — "Stocks fall, boomers sweat" and
"55-year-old ready for blastoff." 

Paul Kleyman is editor of Aging Today, a publication by San Francisco-based
American Society on Aging.

Paul Kleyman, American Society on Aging: "We want to know and understand
more about the events of the world around us, but also apply it in the context
of our own wisdom base, our own knowledge and more experience base. For the
most part, the media has not framed things in those terms. I think that’s
changing quickly." 

The challenge is whether advertisers will support boomer Web sites, and in
the case of Redwoodage.com, whether venture capitalists will want to invest in
content sites aimed at the over-40 crowd.


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