Web2Summit: Pre-weekend Humor From the Senior Set

It’s a young crowd at the Web 2.0 Summit. I’m in my mid-40s and I feel unconscionably old here. Safa Rashtchy ran a session this afternoon in which he interviewed a half-dozen Baby Boomers, the generation in this country with most of the money, the generation the developers here need to know more about. Most of the panelists have adult children. The implicit message to the audience was, “Hello — you have to create something your parents can use.”

The lack of technical acumen across the panel, at least when compared to the alpha geeks in the audience, made the crowd laugh, sometimes sweetly, sometimes with condescension. It was, at times, like watching an embarrassing YouTube video onstage. (We’ll get to one of those soon, don’t worry.)

Several members of the Radar team furiously typed their favorite quotes from the panel. And, as a Friday afternoon gift to our readers, we’ll share them with you, in part because we never knew that Craigslist was such a useful parenting tool:

“I am so much more educated because of Craigslist. I learned things that I never thought I would learn.”

“I look at Craigslist every day. I look for jobs for my son, for my daughter.”

“You can find anything on Craigslist, even a wife for my son”

“The ads, they pop up, I wanna get rid of ’em.”

“You look for a medication and you wind up on a photo-renting website.”

“I love eBay. I can start out looking for electronics and wind up looking at jewelry. There are things on there I didn’t realize are for sale.”

“I would like a checkbox that would let me specify no-ads for the whole Internet.”

Wanna see two of the panelists? OK.

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  • As a boomer, I just hate it that our generation provided the “humor.” Isn’t that like AARP inviting some Xers and Yers in and questioned them about assisted living or long term care insurance?

    What I took from your post was that a lot of people weren’t listening or analyzing what was being said? Listening to the market is hard. It’s a skill that developers need to work hard to learn.

    Here’s point this boomer would have made: the future of broadband is in the hand of politicians because there is no leadership to put it back in the hands of the technologists where is started and belongs.

    eg: broadband is so widely defined that it includes DSL.
    WiMax could end up being killed in most communities because government isn’t equipped to analyze needs. So they listen to telco and cableco.

    I’ll listen to your audio file and I hope I feel differently.

    I know more than a few boomer bloggers that would be glad to have a dialog. They are in my blogroll.

  • Baby boomers encompass two decades. Those at the end of the spectrum are more more computer literate than those at the middle or beginning.

    It was the baby boomers who were the first users of the World Wide Web and pre-web newsgroups.

    Those on that panel do not really represent the millions of baby boomers in many careers that require advanced computer and Web literacy.

  • Heh. Joke’s on me I guess. The “listen” link is just a computer reading me what I read yesterday.
    I guess I just provided the humor. Drat.

  • Konini

    Baby boomer have way too much power and that power is consumer power as well as political power.

    One of the untapped web opportunities are services for boomers – no small print, less use for the thumb, better aggregation and filtering.

    Complaining about your customers is oh, so . . . boomerish.

  • @Konini: agreed that too much political power lies with boomers and older. But nobody is going to hand over the power, it has to be taken.
    You’re no small fonts applies to any age. Same with dark backgrounds and light color text. Good design is good design.
    I don’t know your age, but at least you are thinking rather than snickering.