New Computer For Seniors – GO Computer

firstSTREET, a national catalog, magazine, and online marketing company specializing in products for “Baby Boomers and Beyond,” will introduce its designed for Seniors GO Computer™ at this summer’s Boomer Venture Summit June 16-17 in Santa Clara, CA. The Summit is an annual crossroads of market opportunity for companies, entrepreneurs and products that focus on the needs, interests and power of the baby boomer-and-older generations.

According to firstSTREET CEO Mark Gordon, the designed for Seniors GO Computer™ is to be marketed to “that older, often-more skeptical age group that hasn’t quite trusted computers and consequently has missed out on the whole wonderful cyberspace world of information, entertainment, communication and connection.”

Gordon considers the designed for Seniors GO Computer™ to be “the most distinctive and significant product firstSTREET has ever introduced.” He points out that while the younger demographic as a group accepts computer technology more quickly and enthusiastically, “sometimes seniors are reluctant, doubting, confused and even fearful” when faced with the prospect of computer ownership and operation.
“A life-changing product”

“That’s why the designed for Seniors GO Computer™ is truly a life-changing product,” says Gordon. “It’s perfectly logical and simple to use–so much so that the older generations can master it easily. It’s an out-of-the-box operation. It takes about five minutes to set up, and no tools or special skills are required. Plus, it is so easy to understand, no computer classes or DVDs are necessary.”

“As a company that has for some time focused on finding and marketing products to enrich the lives of boomers and seniors, firstSTREET had long searched for an easy-to-use, non-intimidating, basically crash-proof computer,” says Myers. “When we couldn’t find exactly the right product, we went to the experts and had them create one, with our input, and we are totally pleased with the results.”

“This computer is both the cat’s pajamas and da bomb!”

In addition to some obvious but essential physical adjustments to better accommodate an older user, like a large-letter keyboard, an easy-rolling trackball mouse and a zoom feature that magnifies up to 200 percent, firstSTREET’s computer features a whole new operating system based on a “GO” screen concept, backed up by immediate phone access to around-the-clock U. S.-based remote service and assistance.

Gordon and Myers are expecting their computer to shake up the Venture Summit. “After all,” says Myers, “who else can promise seniors a computer they can’t break, crash or confuse; a computer that won’t lose what’s put into it, that’s protected from viruses and spam? What firstSTREET is offering here is basically a failure-free and fear-free computer.”

What’s the key to the computer’s ease of use? Stay tuned for the launch, says Myers, who says he can’t wait to introduce all the fine points of the computer, including its innovative “GO” screen concept. “There’s a lot to say about this computer, starting with the fact that it’s going to add so much to so many lives,” says Myers. “It’s the cat’s pajamas and da bomb–bringing a much-appreciated simplicity to senior computing, as well as high-performance technology. This can bring seniors–and anybody who may be feeling a little technologically challenged these days–smoothly and effortlessly into the 21st century. And without the kicking and screaming.”

For more information, go to


Younger Boomers Helping Drive Twitter Growth

twitter-chart1Have we finally broken the cylce of early technology adoption always begins with the younger generation? The latest Comscore numbers show strong use of Twitter by younger boomers.



It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving the growth trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group,.  They are followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely. 

And even the leading edge boomers seem to be more attracted to twitter than the younger crowd. 

Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up an impressive 700+% vs. year ago. The past two months alone have seen worldwide visitors climb more than 5 million visitors. U.S. traffic growth has been just as dramatic, with Twitter reaching 4 million visitors in February, up more than 1,000% from a year ago, according to ComScore.

It’s another reason for companies targeting boomers to take a look at adding Twitter to their marketing mix.

posted by Laura Rossman

Baby Boomers Fastest Growing Group for Text Messaging


The fastest growing demographic for texters (people who text message) is 45-64. More evidence that baby boomers are rapidly adopting new technologies.

“Text messaging is no longer just a young person’s activity. The average age of a texter is 38 years old – up from 19 years old in 2003. The fastest growing demo is 45-64,” says Jeff Hasen, CMO at HipCricket.  “ Part of the reason is that kids and grandkids don’t often use phones for talking – if you want to communicate with Johnny or Sue, you need to speak their language. In 2008, for the first time, the number of texts sent in the U.S. exceeded the number of calls.”

Jeff will be speaking at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit ( on March 19 in Las Vegas on a panel about text messaging fits into an integrated marketing campaign.

 Women are active text users.  Here are the stats for women 45-54 (comScore, 12/08)


  • 51% sent a text in last month
  • 23% sent a text almost daily
  • 39% took a photo
  • 5.7% accessed weather info
  • 4.7% accessed news
  • 11.8% received info on their phone about a product, service or brand

Hear more from Jeff about mobile marketing and boomers at the What’s Next Boomers Summit (

HDTV Tops Baby Boomers’ Technology Wish List

HDTV Tops Boomer's Technology Wish List

HDTV Tops Boomer's Technology Wish List


Baby boomers’  love affair with technology continues and they plan to keep buying new technology. 

The question for retailers is when.

New research from the Consumer Electronics Association shows what those in their 50s and 60s have on their technology wish list.  A couple differences among the top five demonstrate that  buying behavior of younger and older boomers are not the same.

In their 50’s:

  1. HDTV
  2. Laptop
  3. Cell phone
  4. Desk top computer
  5. GPS

In their 60’s they want to buy

  1. HDTV
  2. Laptop computer
  3. Cell phone
  4. Digital camera
  5. Desk top computer

The list is in order of preference and based on intent to purchase in the next 12 months.

What’s new in technology for boomers will be featured on a panel at the What’s Next Boomer Summit (  Hear from executives at Verizon, HeartMath (its emWave Personal Stress Reliever won the people’s Choice Competition at CES) and Microsoft.

The research also demonstrates that buying behavior differs among older and younger boomers.  Mark Schofield from Keating Magee  will be presenting new research on what older boomers want.  Jody Holtzman from AARP will be talking about what younger boomers are interested in and what drives their buying behavior. The panel, moderated by Mary Furlong, will also look at new opportunities for business in the boomer market space. It’s business intelligence that can help drive marketing strategy and sales.

The Greying Gadgets: How Older Americans Shop for Consumer Electronics study was conducted online to a national sample of 3,135 U.S. adults during November 2008.  The study was a collaboration between CEA and TNS Compete with TNS Compete fielding the study to their online consumer panel.

Baby Boomer’s Strain Increases as Caregiving Burdens Grow

caregivingCaregiving is taking its toll on their marriages, draining their bank accounts and increasing sibling squabbles as one-in-two baby boomers take care of an aging parent.


According to new research from, eighty percent (80%) of baby boomers caring for an aging parent say that it has put a strain on their marriage.   “The time spent caring for an aging parent can take a serious toll on the caregiver’s relationship with their spouse,” said Andy Cohen, COO of, a website for caregivers (  “Time that is traditionally spent with one another once the kids have left home is becoming more and more time when children start to play the role of caregiver to an aging parent.”


The financial strain is increasing, as caregivers find themselves without jobs, or working more to make sure they keep the job they have.  The emotional strain on the caregiver and family relationships is increasingly evident. There has been an increase of 62% in the numbers of parents age 65 and older living with their adult children, according to the Census Bureau.


“We find more people seeking professional help with managing care of an aging parent.  Sibling disagreements are increasing about not only what the right care is but who is going to shoulder the burden of care, said Dr. Dan Tobin, CEO of Your Support Nurse, (  “We help them identify local care solutions and work together as a family to solve their problems.”


Unfortunately, technologies that can help older persons age at home are often overlooked or undiscovered.  Laurie Orlov, Founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch (, a research firm, cites a Clarity 2007 study in which 51% of baby boomers believe that technology can help their parents, but only 14% have looked for any – perhaps because marketers have yet to clearly target them.


Can baby boomers afford to pay to help parents age in place? “According to research from AARP, boomer caregivers do express willingness to pay less than $50/month for technologies to assist in their parents’ care,” Orlov says, “But interestingly, they typically pay more than $300/month for tech-related services for themselves.


Orlov recommends that instead of waiting until someone falls in their home or is admitted to the hospital for failing to take medication — boomers should act now. PERS (personal emergency response system) devices, medication reminders, and sensor-based home monitoring tech — all can make a huge difference.


Cohen, Tobin and Orlov are among the speakers at the Boomer Summit who will be covering issues such as caregiving and technology, case studies on how to reach caregivers online, distribution partners for companies targeting caregivers and new services aimed at helping boomers handle their caregiver responsibilities.


Baby boomer caregiving trends and resources and services to help them is a key topic at the upcoming What’s Next Baby Boomer Summit being held March 19 at Bally’s Las Vegas (  The national conference focuses on baby boomer trends, marketing to baby boomers and entrepreneurship opportunities serving the boomer market of 78 million people.


Baby boomers more digital than ever

The Silver Summit at the Consumer Electronic Show was quite an experience.  The program put together by Susan Walker, Robin Raskin and Mike Sarfartti was great! Eric Dishman of Intel gave a compelling presentation on the need for reform on Digital Health. He shared three important trends: Demographic Disruption and showed a map of what the world would look like in 2020; Technology Disruption and Economic Disruption. These three forces together cause a need for innovation and reform. I had the privilege of hosting a panel on lifestyles. Lee Ranie, of Pew Internet Research group gave an important update on the changes of the boomers regarding 2.0 media. He gave the following data points of boomer use of 2.0 media in 2008: 74% use the Internet, 62% have broadband at home; 72% use a cell phone, and 43% connect to the Internet wirelessly.. What is new and important is the move toward fast, mobile computing among the boomers.  

The ‘other news’ according to Pew is the growth of social networking applications. Pew research cited the following: 91% of the boomers use search engines; 78% search in health care, 30% use online ratings, 38% share video feeds, 26% read blogs, 17% share creations, 16% have a social network profile, and 7% blog.

 Also on the panel, Howard Byck, shared the latest strategy regarding the lifestyle area at AARP. He discussed the uber environmental trends of increasing singledom, delayed retirement, going green and technology. He also talked about the AARP member’s (40 million strong) unmet needs for control, thriftiness, desire to stay fit and achieve peace of mind. These trends and needs were important to their new strategy for products and services related to travel and entertainment, discounts health and wellness, lifelong learning, technology products and services and pets. 

 The increase of boomers using social media is why we decided to make that an anchor theme for the What’s Next Boomer Summit ( in Las Vegas on March 19. In this down economy, every dollar spent has to matter. We want to help our conference sponsors and attendees develop sales strategies that can work in this new economy. With consumers spending less, it simply takes more of them to meet 2009 goals.  Finding more business means a fresh look at new strategies and new distribution channels.
Hope you will be joining us on March 19 in Las Vegas.
Mary Furlong

Baby boomers use of technology and online search strong

Lots of news out of the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last week.  And a research study confirming what many of us know –older people are using technology and at similar rates to younger people.  They may be slower to adopt technology, but once they do, they integrate it into their life.

We’ll be covering boomers and technology at the Boomer Summit on March 19. The results of this survey confirm that technology can be a great way to reach this market and should be part of the marketing strategy of any company trying to cultivate boomer and senior customers.  So plan on joining us there to hear more about how boomers are using technology including online social networking and search.

TNS Compete and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® joint study, “Greying Gadgets: How Older Americans Shop for and Use Consumer Electronics” reveals that the age segments of 50-somethings, 60-somethings and 70+ use many technologies at or near comparable rates as younger age segments.

Consumers in their 50s are as likely to own, or plan on buying, an HDTV as those under 50.

 Eighty percent of 60-somethings used a cell phone in the past week, nearly equal the usage rates of 18-34 year olds.

 Additionally, 71 percent of 60-somethings and 52 percent of 70-somethings used a search engine in the past week, compared to 77 percent of 18-34 year olds.

Not all technologies have comparable usage rates among age groups. Younger demographics are much more likely to play video games, use portable MP3 players and visit certain websites, and their usage rates of social networking sites nearly double the older age segments.

“In any environment, but particularly one with difficult market conditions, companies need to learn more about how to effectively reach this critical segment of older consumers,” said Elaine Warner, director, consumer technologies, TNS Compete.

The study also showed that the majority of older Americans are comfortable researching and purchasing electronics products. Across all demographics, the Internet is an integral part of the research process. Older Americans do, however, rely more heavily on in-person information sources. Sixty-three percent spoke with a sales associate in-person when researching their consumer electronics purchase, compared to 47 percent of those aged 18-49.

Older consumers reported a higher level of frustration with the complexity of technology. Sixty percent of consumers aged 50 and older indicated that a product having too many features was a main reason for being frustrated with technology, compared to 39 percent of consumers aged 18-49.

“While satisfaction with CE products is high, frustrations do exist and this should be viewed as an opportunity for companies to seek ways to better address the technology needs of older Americans,” said Tim Herbert, CEA’s senior director of market research.

 A webinar on the survey is being held Thursday, February 5th at 2pm EST .  To register for the webinar visit: