Are you too old to blog?

There seems to be a dichotomy in the blogosphere – and an entrenchment of camps based on the conviction some have that age matters. It troubles me to see a crew of young vocalists asserting that geezers are now anyone over the age of thirty and the relics who have passed into the forties and beyond are such technology neophytes they think AOL is cutting-edge.  

As one who would probably be considered breakthrough to have discarded my Smith Corona (I haven’t – look it up, kids), I’m not so sure those claiming to be the only ones able to embrace technology are quite as open-minded as they think. In fact, I’ve found that the so-called mature adults are actually open to learn about the technologies their younger counterparts embrace and seek out their input for wisdom – not so much always the case in reverse.  Of course, it’s a small group stirring the pot, but it is disappointing to see the apparent buy-in on these messages from their peers.

What business are you in?

If you’re selling rude T-shirts or retailing “39 Clues”, it might make sense to make your message appeal to only a young age group with verbiage that excludes others, but for most, alienating a huge buying sector isn’t smart marketing. Baby Boomers represent the largest population segment in the US and they are prolific buyers. Of course, the same holds true for our youth, but I don’t see too many older business owners attacking this audience, although some certainly are not very effective at appealing to their needs. Still, if you’re blogging for business, while controversy is a proven effective approach, eliminating a vast number of potential buyers with a caustic message may not be the smartest move if your intent is to thrive long-term.

Granted, the majority of successful and wealthy bloggers are young, but I haven’t seen any of the celebrated achievers lambasting any audience segment – the savvy operators embrace them all with information, offerings and language that is inviting to even the most novice (or oldest) visitor. My guess is a good deal of the revenue comes from those others are now labelling as passé. They’re kind to all and demonstrate the character to ensure their name is celebrated and passed along.

Blogging for business

If you’re going to start a blog intended to bolster your business, it makes sense to spend some time thinking about your audience, appropriate content and long-term objectives. Be careful about posting caustic messages that may come back to bite you. Alan Singer did a recent blog post on what he termed Workforce Darwinism (http://thefuturebuzz.com/2010/01/30/workforce-darwinism/). He indicated that 70% of HR professionals in the US rejected a job candidate due to their online reputation.  He goes on to note that 63% of consumers get this, but less than half consider their reputation when they post online. You can surmise his conclusions (or read them at the link above).

Of course, while the studies pertain to those in the job market (and a good number of former small business owners are joining these ranks) this applies to businesses too – and it amazes me to see that some who are trying to earn their living from selling online information seem gleeful about attacking what might have been their biggest potential market.

Gray cells can come in handy

While some of us may not practice a constant daily exercise routine that fortifies our thumbs and require a discovery process to get up to speed on what is considered second-nature by today’s youth, there is beauty in wisdom and experience. I relished reading Agatha Christie novels as kid and found Hercule Poirot a fascinating character. You’re never too old to make a blog work for your business. Of course, communications skills are only a part of the mix – use the resources out there to understand how technology enhancements can help you spread the word (I’m still working on this one).

If you’re looking to leverage creative, cost-effective solutions for your small business success, call Fulcrum Communications at (585) 554-4612 or e-mail FulcrumCom at aol dot com. Nanette’s honing her blogging skills in the equine industry (a much more forgiving audience than marketers) at www.HorseSenseAndCents.com/blog. Of course, she learned a long time ago to delegate, and the design and plug-in enhancements are waiting on another, so it’s content only for now.

Nanette Levin

Founded marketing firm Fulcrum Communications, leveraging creative and cost-effective solutions for small businesses, in 1989. Paid marketing writer, feature freelancer and op-ed columist for a variety of business publications. Active small business advocate, including attendance at the 1995 WHCSB as an appointed delgate. Writer for equine trade magazines. Horse trainer specializing in working with young horses starting under saddle and resolving issues of those started badly. Publisher of the Horse Sense and Cents(tm) series. 

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  12 comments for “Are you too old to blog?

  1. February 2, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Interesting perspective, since I’m a web-savvy baby boomer. You’re completely right. It’s nice to see!

    I hope, perhaps, can can connect on LinkedIn as well!

    Margy

  2. February 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I hope that even the younger generations will not be so quick nor so bold to write off those of us over thirty – the old-timers per se.

    At the age of 39 (sh… don’t tell anyone) I consider myself on the progressive edge of technology, information management, and as of late learning more about social media and it’s takeover of the planet. So to imply or presume we (and I use that pronoun loosely) don’t have any place in this web savvy era… is a sad sad inclination. I am hopeful they will be surprised as their research reveals otherwise… if they even do any research. :)

  3. February 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I think if you’re a person with years and experience, you are precisely the one who should be writing a blog. You might be surprised and find that wiser young folk will pay attention to what you write there.

  4. February 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    God bless you, Nanette!

    Mike Clough
    http://bestbizpractices.org

  5. February 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks to all for your kind comments. While this has been brewing for a while, what prompted me to write this was a blog guest post (not so smart on the host’s decision to approve, in my opinion) that labeled people who didn’t grow up with cell phones attached to their ears as clueless. Interestingly, the poster was representing a marketing firm. Goes to show, even some of the so-called internet savvy crowd still don’t get it. I’ve been encouraging relationship marketing for decades. This isn’t a new idea that came to the fore with the advent of the WWW. But, of course, the tool makes reaching people easier – whether it’s to send a message that creates buy-in, or alientation. Some are better at looking before they leap, don’t you think?

  6. February 3, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I am OLD and I blog. Thanks for your article.
    I just turned 65, and I have had a blog about humor in the works for about a year and a half. (I don’t sell anything on it)

    My plan is to start a second blog that will have ads (Adsense?) for some residual income.
    At 65, I love all social media. Oh–I also got my 1st tattoo two months ago, so maybe I am not the norm.

  7. February 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Bob, how dare you call 65 OLD! My dad, who is older, would shudder at such an admission (and he was really pissed – a term he’d reprimand me for using – when AARP sent him a join card when he was in his 50s). He relishes his senior discounts now, but can still run circles around most of my contemporaries both with mind and body. And he looks twenty years younger than he is – and probably feels fourty years younger. I’ll always believe that age is in the mind (not too many who really know me would ever give me the moniker of “mature”). What irks me, though, is when others stereotype on age alone (both ways, of course – I’ve met some very savvy and mature youngsters – my nephews among them – I’d be comfortable giving these kids – and they are as grammar school attendees – more responsibity than some of the employees I’ve hired).

    Glad to hear you chime in with your engagement in social media. Dare I ask – what did you decide on for a tattoo?

    Bounced over to your blog, by the way – what fun! Short, witty entries that are a great brief respite to anyone’s busy day.

  8. February 4, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Hi Nanette
    I meant old in a good way. I have earned the status. I salute your dad.
    My tats were related to my heart surgery. The left upper arm has a big red heart with stitches and a band-aid. The right upper arm has 2 stars with the name of each of my very young granddaughters. Having them around helped me through my surgery.

    My wife was not thrilled but is ok now. She just asked that they not be on my forearm, neck, etc.

    Thanks for commenting.

  9. February 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I’m new to the Blog Zone and still feeling my way around. I’ve been blogging a while, http://alicerene.wordpress.com, and am not sure I’m getting the most out of it. I’m here to learn. But in the meanwhile, I need to sound off about “older bloggers.” Please don’t insult me before I even get my feet wet in this group!!

  10. February 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Alice,

    I’m really confused by your post. Did you read the article you are commenting on?

  11. February 6, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Nanette,

    I just reread my post and agree … it’s garbled. Point one was that I am new to this group. Point two is that I agree with your blog about older bloggers. Being one of them myself, I take issue with the youngsters who think there’s no place for us in the blogosphere. From my point of view: what do they know anyway?

    Had a peed at your LinkedIn profile: I’m also a writer and marketer. Perhaps we should connect.
    Best, Alice

  12. February 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, Alice. When I read your comment, you sounded angry about the content of the blog post and I wasn’t clear why.

    Welcome to the group.

    I’d enjoy connecting with you. But I wish you hadn’t peed on my profile :-). We writers need to laugh at ourselves, don’t we? Your autobiography sounds interesting and your blog is certainly forthright. You’ve certainly lived an interesting life.

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