With social media sites coming online at a rate of eleventy billion a minute, it's only a matter of time before we start to see some...well, interesting communities popping up. So what would happen if you not only got a bunch of senior citizens together (and I don't mean the "just turned 60 club," I mean the 80+ club) and built a Facebook type social networking site? And what if those seniors had a great sense of humor?

The folks at Straight From My Brain imagine it a little something like this:

pensionbook.gif

Now, once you've finished laughing, consider the link baiting lesson here. Any business of any size could have created this image. It's a great image that's likely going to spread all over the Internet. (There are already 3700 indexed results for the term "pensionbook." This is link bait that could be put together by a business of any size. Whether your business has one employee or one thousand employees, you simply need a little bit of creativity and you're good to go.

(Hat tip to Mack and Daan.)


December 19, 2007





Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.





Comments(19)

Maybe it's just me, but I don't find this funny at all. Just ageist and offensive. What if this was a parody site stereotyping gays or blacks? I'm sure it would cause an outcry. But this is just making fun of another minority who aren't really in a position to defend themselves.

I dunno Kalena, we ALL end up old at some point. Seems a little different in my eyes.

Besides, my grandmother, my grandfather and my 91 year old great aunt would all think this was hysterical, so I have no qualms about posting it.

I've got no qualms about you posting it either, (that's your prerogative as Editor) but I think the site itself is in poor taste. Maybe I've just spent too much time visiting depressed relatives in nursing homes.

I dunno Kalena, maybe if those folks in the nursing homes had a social site like this, they wouldn't be so depressed.

;) That's what kept everyone going when my grandmother was in a nursing home for the last year of her life. You either laugh or you cry. Much more fun to choose to laugh.

Perhaps I have misunderstood this, but it seems that this is a site not by senior adults, but by "younger" people making fun of older adults. In most parts of the world that I have been to, this would be considered "ageism". I agree with Kalena and think the distasteful nature of this sort of thing would be obvious if the focus was on those of Asian or African descent.

Jennifer, whether or not your grandparents would be offended personally or not, is not the point. Even if they weren't, they wouldn't be in the position to speak for all people their age. That is similar to saying something like, "I told a racist joke to a black person and s/he wasn't offended, so it must be fine to tell to all." A bit of faulty logic there. I can assure you that I could pass this link on to senior friends who would find it highly offensive.

I am not surprised that people get away with this sort of thing, but I am shocked that it is being "promoted" by this site.

Wow, what a disappointment... Jen, I have recommended you as good reading in my SEO seminars and to clients... I have regularly for months... But this seems so beneath you... I can not continue to recommend and support this kind of drivel... Did your battle with Google distort your perspective... What happened?

If you find that offensive then make sure you don't watch...

Saturday Night Live
Family Guy
South Park
The Dailyshow
Anything on Comedy Central for that matter.
Adult Swim
Any acts at a comedy club
And, never, NEVER watch this:
http://www.adultswim.com/shows/athf/

Because if that silly parody image offends you, any of the above will make your ears bleed.

(Seriously, don't click that athf link)

Fortunately, I don't watch any of the rubbish you mentioned and don't need to be advised to stay away from such trash - but thanks for the advice.

It sounds like it is being suggested that this site belongs in the same category as your list. I hope that such is not the case, as I have been using this site as a professional resource.

"It sounds like it is being suggested that this site belongs in the same category as your list."

LOL, yeah, that's what I'm saying, Jerry. roll eyes

The rolling of eyes was obviously a long considered response.

If you are not comparing THIS site to your listed sites, then your response was non-sequitur, as the point of these comments (as I read them) is our disappointment in SEG.

I would guess that many who come to this site do so for resources relating to this industry, not to see the editorial staff take humor in the suffering of the elderly. " . . . [W]hat if those seniors had a great sense of humor?" Does a "great sense of humor" include the suffering and death of "Edgar Jones"?

The issue doesn't seem to be the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of the original site, but rather disappointment that SEG staff are "promoting" it here. Comparing the original offensive site to other offensive sites is off topic.

*rolling head*

"...in the suffering of the elderly. " . . . [W]hat if those seniors had a great sense of humor?" Does a "great sense of humor" include the suffering and death of "Edgar Jones"?"

ROTFL! You need to lay off whatever you are smoking and remove the tinfoil hat.

What suffering? What death?

When a character dies in a movie, do you think the actor actually suffered and died?

Knock, knock! It's a picture, Jerry. It's not real. Say it again, slowly...

"It's.... not.... real."
"It's.... not.... real."
"It's.... not.... real."
"There's no place like home."
"It's.... not.... real."

Just have to say, I came across this site through google. I found the picture damn funny, subsequently spammed the link to many friends.

I also agree with Robert Clough. He seems damn funny too.

Oh, and Jennifer. Excellent post =)) From this anyone can see that (as you say) with a little bit of creativity you can get results, and you can get them fast. Hell, even if it does offend SOME people, who cares if the site you are now promoting is now #1 in google with your keywords? The fact is that it's viral. Viral Marketting is about as best you can get to completely effortless advertising.

So to those moaning out there, quit it and look at the positives that Jennifer has put in front of you. This is an SEO tip, don't like it? Then don't use it.

Happy New Year all.

Brian Topmark

So, a concern about insensitivity on the part of SEG staff becomes a personal attack on me? I do not smoke anything - thanks - and there is no need to talk slowly to me, as I have four university degrees (thank you very much).

The originally offensive site was making fun of the elderly - whether "Edgar Jones" was real or not.

It should have been obvious that your staff were insensitive, with a title like "When social networks go senile." The elderly are not by definition "senile".

Add to this the sick sense of humor regarding the suffering (real or imagined) by the elderly that the SEG editor exhibited.

As an educated person, I can appreciate the intent of a writer and possible effects of such writing (which is encouraged by insensitive editorial staff).

News Flash - The last time I went into a nursing home, the people there were not sitting around waiting for a site like the one Jennifer mentioned and, contrary to what she might think, they are not sitting around with laptops hoping for such a site.

At most PROFESSIONAL sites, editorial staff would apologize for making comments that readers found offensive (and certainly not insult people who were raising issues with content), but then that obviously at a different calibre of site.

I hope that you never find yourself in the sad position being made fun of by the original offending site. If you do, I hope that you have people to visit you that are more sensitive than the SEG editorial staff that have contributed to this page.

Guys - I think this has degenerated enough, don't you? Let's just call it a disagreement and move on.

Jerry,

I've actually found myself (both personally and generally) being made fun of on sites many times over. If I were to take offense every time someone said something I disagreed with or even said something negative about me, I'd waste a lot of my time being upset.

People are entitled to their opinions, even if they are different from my own. That's why I've allowed every one of your comments to be posted here. Even those where you jump to wild conclusions and accuse of of being cruel and of wishing ill on the elderly rather than seeing that we have a different sense of humor from you.

I hope you feel you've been able to adequately express your feelings here. As I mentioned earlier, my own grandmother spent more than a year in a nursing home and also suffered from senility. This was after several years of my mother and aunt being her primary care giver. I'm familiar with with families go through when these things happen. Some people choose to laugh, some choose to cry. We all deal with our issues in our own way. I would never dream of telling you how to handle the challenges of your life. I'd assume you'll pay me the same respect.

I know the intent with which this picture was posted, so I feel no qualms over letting it remain on the site.

However, if it offended YOUR sensibilities or your wife's, then I will say I'm sorry for that. I posted in humor, not in malice.

Take that for what you will.

Warmly,
Jennifer

Wow so are we all clear that the Jordan family does NOT like this? ;)

Jennifer,
This was a great tip... if it has such an inflammatory response on the comments here, just imagine the traffic one could gain from creativity such as this.

Good or bad... publicity is publicity!

Thanks again!

Jerry, I'm the original creator of the pensionbook image, I do apologise if my site or this image offends you.

Jennifer, thanks for the link, this image went a bit crazy and my web traffic has one through the roof.


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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > When Social Networks Go Senile