Aunt May 2.0

4 08 2009

A few years ago, during a visit to the Portuguese Language Museum in São Paulo, Brazil, I found that one of my favourite childhood characters, Cebolinha, was getting into blogging:

2004 is typically considered the year that blogs went mainstream, so no surprises there. It’s expected that a cartoon character would just follow the habits of his target demographics.

That notwithstanding, I had a good laugh getting my weekly dose of geeky fix in this sequence of Amazing Spider-Man #599:

So Aunt May is active in both Facebook and Twitter? Is this just a Marvel plot to get more people to follow them in Twitter? One would expect Johnny “Human Torch” Storm to be twittering (see below), but Aunt May, seriously?

If you believe in this comScore report and the referred Reuters blog post from a few months ago, Aunt May could in fact be as likely to be a Twitter user as Johnny Storm:
comScore blog – (…) 18-24 year olds, the traditional social media early adopters, are actually 12 percent less likely than average to visit Twitter (Index of 88). It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving this trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group, followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely.

Reuters blog – Twitter may even be catching on among people who have a reached a post-business phase of their lives: Of the 4 million U.S. Twitter users in February, 5.2 percent were 65 or older.

To keep things in perspective, if you Google “Twitter demographics”, you’ll find all kinds of conflicting data, like this one by Quantcast or this other one by Pew Internet & American Life Project, so don’t start placing all your Twitter bets on the older segments of your target audience just yet. But keep in mind that the online landscape keeps changing at a fast pace: if you are still stuck in believing that Social Media is owned by generation Y, maybe it’s time to check if that latest Twitter follower you’ve got is not your grandma taking a break from all the World of Warcraft craziness.

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5 responses

4 08 2009
benedictedelachanal

Hi Aaron,
thank you for giving me the explanation of why I am not a very active twitter user, just fell out the age range (the 45-54 one…)
Aunt May looks so much younger …must be the facebook effect.
Very interesting post on Kiva.org. New to me.

4 08 2009
Aaron

Béné, my intent was to show that age may not be as important as personality when it comes to adoption of new technologies. I think you’re an effective Twitter user, as it’s not a volumes game, it’s more about content than anything else.

About Aunt May looking younger, that is a never ending discussion among Spider-Man fans. Take a look at this article, placing her age somewhere between 51 and 61 years of age: http://www.popcultureshock.com/cbclub/?p=744

Some people really have a lot of time in their hands (me included, apparently) :-)

5 08 2009
benedictedelachanal

The article about Aunt May age is very funny, all that research, and deductions…

I think also that age is not important, it is more the interest. Grand mothers are on face books and e-mails because they see very fast all the advantages: keeping in touch with their family specially the young ones and friends .

I am a bit allergic to stats because I find that it is as subjective as art. It is what triggered me in your post. I am even more allergic to it since I heard of a stat, made in Toronto for a group of people described like this ” don’t want lawn in front garden, prefer plants, flowers etc, don’t like surveys and don’t like to be identified in a group…” and I heard it when I was removing the lawn in front to replace it with plants, and the description was not that far!

5 08 2009
Sacha Chua

Hilarity! =D Thanks for sharing!

7 08 2009
Aaron

Béné, I hear you: having worked as a performance engineer for a long time, I know well that stats, despite its serious face, IS as subjective as art, as you say.

Sacha, thanks for the plug in Twitter!

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