How I got a 60yr old to sign-up for Twitter

“We know you got a brick but sell ’em twenties til they tired”

-Jay-Z “1-900-Hustler”

I had dinner last night with a friend’s father who “didn’t see the point of social networking” but is otherwise a very progressive and intelligent thinker. After hearing his thoughts, it was clear that it wasn’t that he didn’t “see the point,” but that no one had ever showed him how it could fit into his already extensive information gathering routine. I decided to change that.

My key point was that Twitter could help him get news from his trusted sources faster and enable him to interact with the influencers he’s followed for years. It was also important for him to see that he didn’t need to divulge private information to gain access to the system.

The first order of business was demonstrating that all his news sources (like Car & Driver) were tweeting the same news he read in the paper and magazines in real-time online. Then we found a couple influencers (Mario Andretti) that were tweeting with fans, and giving exclusive information on what they were up-to. He exclaimed “I love to hear that he presented Sebastian Vettel with an award in the UK, thats great information.”

At this point it was already obvious that he was interested, so to finish off the debate I explained how FlipBoard works. The fact that he can get all of this real-time information in the same lovable magazine format that he already uses, put it over the top. Boom, I saw his eyes light up as he said “ok, I’m starting to get interested.” Which for a 60yr old guy is about as close as you are going to get to an affirmation that you’ve convinced him.

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How I got a 60yr old to sign-up for Twitter

3 thoughts on “How I got a 60yr old to sign-up for Twitter

  1. Great anecdote. I’m actually considering a startup based around this general idea of helping baby boomers “get it” and overcome anxiety and confusion that is preventing them from enjoying the new web applications.

  2. Cyndee says:

    We do this at the our geriatric tech lab at “The center at Journey’s Way.” Age is not the barrier, its exposure and experience with the technology.

    We could use more tech savy volunteers to teach classes.

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