Magazine article USA TODAY

Tapping the "Freeager" Internet Market

Magazine article USA TODAY

Tapping the "Freeager" Internet Market

Article excerpt

Local community content, colorful, non-jarring graphics, and intelligent conversation are but a few of the requirements "FreeAgers" are seeking on the Internet, according to a survey by wisecity.com and zoomerang.com that questioned more than 600 Web users over the age of 50 on what they like and dislike on the Web. "FreeAgers are people who are usually 50 or better and are experiencing new freedoms in their lives because their children are grown up and their job responsibilities are lessening," notes John Ryan, CEO of wisecity.com, an Internet site specifically designed for that audience. "They represent the fastest growing segment of Internet users, and it only makes good business sense to give them what they want."

Ryan indicates that FreeAgers see the Internet as a tool that helps them pursue their lifestyle. They don't see it as their life, the way many younger individuals do. They want to use the Web to keep in touch with their friends, family, and community, but they don't want to spend all day surfing. They want to get on the Web, get the information, and log out.

FreeAgers don't like cluttered websites. "Overwhelmingly, the survey respondents said they enjoy colorful sites and love photos and graphics, but they don't want to be working on a site that has a fluorescent orange background and blinking banner ads. …

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