Government engages silver surfers with social network

Early last week I was reading an article in Marketing Week and was delighted to see the breadth of organisations embracing the power of social networks, in particular the Government.

The Department for Work and Pensions is the latest organisation to welcome social networking. They will be trialing a new site on WordPress.com with the Hansard Society as part of the Government’s Generation Experience Initiative, with the express aim of targeting the older generation.

The site http://generationxperience.wordpress.com will be linked to other social networks including MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. It will encourage discussion on every aspect of life, including work and pensions.

Age Concern and Help the Aged are among the groups invited to participate and create debate. Pensions Minister Mike O’Brien commented: “This site fills a gap in the market by providing an online forum for older people to get their views heard.”

Personally, I think social networks offer a fabulous way for ‘silvers surfers’ to voice their opinions. Though widely regarded as orientated towards young people, my belief is that social networking offers opportunities for all age groups, lifestyles and cultures. Most importantly, it brings everyone together online.  

From an online marketing perspective we’re seeing increased interest in social networking from businesses in the public and private sectors. Companies are keen to embrace online PR and create buzz through blogging and forums. I believe social networks provide a great channel to engage and build relationships with every age group.