As reported in the New York Times, a new Pew Research study finds that some of the greatest gains in social media use are occurring in older generations. For example, the percentage of Web users between 55 and 64 using social tools increased from 9% in December 2008 to 43% in May 2010. Now I was there all along but nice to see more of my age peers getting involved. At the same time period, those 74 and older who are online quadrupled their social networking presence from 4 to16 percent.
The same trend occurs with blogging. Only half as many online teens are blogging now as in 2006. Those ages 18-33 have also seen a modest decline. . At the same time, however, blogging has increased among most older generations. This has driven the rate of blogging for all online adults up slightly from 11% in late 2008 to 14% in 2010. Many former bloggers are now are doing blog-like things in other online spaces as they post updates on Facebook and Twitter, among other new channels.
What does this mean for the enterprise? Now we go from research by others to my opinions. The use of social media has often been seen as an act of the young workers. I usually objected to this but now there is research to back up these protests. We can now count on more older workers to have familiarity with social media as we implement it within the enterprise. I would like to see similar research within the enterprise.
I am especially pleased to see the continued rise in blogging by older generations. Perhaps they have more to say that what can be compressed into 140 character sounds bites. Blog on.