According to a study published this summer by Experian Simmons, baby boomers and senior citizens (the over 50 crowd) is the fastest growing segment of social network users online. And apparently, they don’t give damn about privacy the way the uptight young ones in their 20’s do.
The Older Adults Technology Services organization in New York (OATS) wants you to know that the elderly population is not taking a quiet back seat on the tech-bus. They want to be tech and social media savvy like you (move over millenials!). There are no doubt dozens of similar organizations across the country that address the needs of the elderly who need to be trained in technology and social media but who have limited resources with which to do it (no computers or expendable income to pay for training). OATS has created a great community organization.
I went to an OATS ceremony several years ago honoring people who contributed selflessly to the organization’s cause. I also had the opportunity to speak with several OATS members (elderly people who had been recently trained on using the internet and computers) and was very moved. In this day and age, being online is no longer an option, it’s a means of survival (particularly for an elderly person who can’t leave the house to interact with the rest of the world as much as they would like).
This video (produced by OATS) offers a peak into a community’s efforts to education its elderly in technology. How would you feel about adopting an elderly person in social media or in your local neighborhood and helping them to become tech-savvy?
To support OATS click here http://oats.org/get_involved
- Seniors: An Untapped Source for Your Social Media Campaign (compukol.com)
- Senior Citizens Expand Their Social Network Online (money.usnews.com)
- The Rise Senior Citizens On Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC] (penn-olson.com)
- Helping senior citizens learn how to use Facebook (colleenscommentary.net)
While writing this post I have come to realize two things: (1) if it isn’t wireless, social or mobile, it doesn’t exist and (2) I have difficulty spealing the word “bicycling” (don’t know why – just one of those things).
Ryan Rzepecki (a for NYC Department of Transportation employee) understands my first realization very well (the second, not so much). Rzepecki is the founder of SoBi (as in social bicycling) (a wireless bike-sharing system). SoBi allows customers to rent bikes by mobile phone or a kiosk which uses a wireless system that tracks, finds and unlocks bicycles using a smartphone app(completeling eliminating the eyesore, space-consuming bike racks usually associated with bike-sharing). Think of it as ZIP-car for bicycles.
According to GovTech.com, The City of New York has awarded Social Bicycle a contract to make New York a more bicycle-friendly place by allowing the startup to launch a test pilot with 20 bike by the end of the year (presumably before Winter).
Anyone who lives in an urban environment has, by now, asked themselves, “What about the thieves?” Bicycle theft is a way of life for certain criminals in the big city (with top-of-the-line bikes fetching hundreds of dollars on the “market”). Rzepecki thinks he’s solved the problem of securing standalone bikes on city streets:
“Any lock can be defeated with the right tools, but you want to make it as difficult as possible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and with the right tools, there’s a way,” he said. “But with GPS tracking and the social system around it, we can limit [theft].”
Rzepecki has already been tapped by other cities and universities across the country to introduce SoBi to their citizens and students. Being the first to create a model that seems solid (obvious problems aside) and gaining traction on potential competitors by landing deals with major cities across the country, it looks like Rzepecki could be the next startup superstar on the block. What say you?