Growing Bolder and Breaking New/Old Ground on Twitter

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Something remarkable happened on Twitter Thursday night. Despite the fact that less than 10 percent of online adults over the age of 50 use Twitter, a live 2-hour chat focused on 50+ America nearly reached the top of Twitter trends -- a real-time gauge of the most popular topics. The chat, sponsored by the Growing Bolder Media Group, attracted a global audience.

Something remarkable recently happened on Twitter. Despite the fact that a recent report from Pew Research revealed that less than 1% of American online adults over the age of 50 use Twitter, a live 2-hour chat focused on 50+ America nearly reached the top of Twitter trends - a real-time gauge of the most popular topics.

The debut of the live weekly chat called The Age of Opportunity, or AgeOp, included a brisk exchange on pop culture, ageism, intergenerational relationships, the Internet, Media, marketing, and more.

"We're creating a unique think tank and everyone is invited to contribute," says AgeOp co-founder Katy Widrick. "AgeOp is not about being over 50. It's about looking at our culture through a 50+ prism. The age wave affects everyone and presents unprecedented opportunity - not just to individuals but also businesses and organizations of all types."

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that restricts posts or "tweets" to a total of 140 characters. That puts an emphasis on making your point quickly and clearly and results in rapid and, at times, thought-provoking exchanges.

The first session of AgeOp included an international cross-section of thought leaders including Chuck Nyren, a Seattle-based 50+ marketing guru and author; Danny Brown, Canadian founder of Press Release PR and the 12for12k Challenge, a charity project using social media to change the lives of millions; Marc Middleton, Orlando-area founder of GrowingBolder.com, a unique video-driven social networking community; Maria Parkinson, a Los Angeles-based author, comic, and actress; Michael Blakley, an engineer and inventor from Colorado; Andrea Eliscu, owner of Medical Marketing Inc. in Central Florida; California resident Terri Dennis, "The Pop Art Diva," and many more.

"It was a great first effort," says Widrick. "We wanted to create the equivalent of an online cocktail party - an opportunity for men and women of all ages and all backgrounds to engage in interesting and informative conversation about this amazing age of opportunity in which we all live." Based upon the twitter tweets, it was a success:

@sherisaid: that was awesome. I can't say I ever enjoyed a chat more
@newscafe I don't think there is another chat like this anywhere. This is going to get really big.
@uberbabyboomer: I am totally enjoying this #ageop discussion tonight - we need to keep this going

Here's a sampling of tweets from the first Age of Opportunity Live Chat

Marketing to 50+:
@chuckhov: the last really successful campaign was the dove pro-age campaign. There are some age-neutral campaigns that are pretty good.
@newscafe: The brands that succeed are those that don't use gimmicks. We've seen them all. As The Who said, "We won't be fooled again."

On the Job Market:
@PopArtDiva: maybe we should start up the concept of protests again. . . ."hell no we won't go - away from our jobs!"
@BillShafer: I'm not sure it's ageism as much as WAGEISM. Nobody wants to pay top of the scale any more. Give up experience to save some $$$

On Social Media:
@marcmiddleton: The social web will transform old age. It will do what journalism hasn't - give voice to the voiceless, power to the powerless
@PopArtDiva: @sherisaid My life includes people from all walks of life and all over the globe now - could I have said that b4 the web?
@dannybrown: Here's a thought. There are millions of *old* voices with plenty to say - use Twitter, social media and more as your microphone
@sherisaid Love the way the web strips off all the pretense - age, race, income level, and leaves only personality.

On Intergenerational Relationships:
@PopArtDiva: @sherisaid My life includes people from all walks of life and all over the globe now - could I have said that b4 the web?
@BillShafer: The real story about 50+ is for the under 50's. We're pioneering what will be possible for THEIR lives. That's powerful stuff!

On The Age of Opportunity:
@WizardKinetics i'll be 60 next November and I'm in better shape now than when I was in my. And look, I'm even on twitter!
@mmiandrea: I see no limitation based on # of birthdays. I just started rowing 3 months ago and I am a grandmother.
@newscafe My attitude is, I wanna kick a little butt. This is an incredible time to be alive. Truly, the age of opportunity.

For more information of the Age of Opportunity chat on Twitter: http://growingbolder.com/ageofopportunity
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