Today is the public beta launch of Boomerater, a question and answer service that caters specifically to baby boomers, which is a fancy term to describe people aged somewhere between 44 and 62.
The website is basically Yahoo Answers for baby boomers. It does exactly what you’d expect it to do; users can sign up and ask questions, exchange information, ratings and reviews with their demographic peers about shopping, housing, travel, caring for elderly parents, and browse through directories for specific forum topics (e.g. financial advice). It’s hardly enough to stand out considering the plethora of other knowledge and social networks that already exist on the web that welcome people of all ages.
Boomerater falls into the same trap as Eons, the social network for baby boomers that launched in August 2006 and has had a bumpy road so far. A year after its launch, it was forced to reduce its headcount by 50% and ultimately had to shift its strategy significantly by lowering the minimum age requirement from 50 to … 13. Last week, Eons had to cut another 24 percent of its staff. Baby boomers don’t want to hang out online with other baby boomers because it makes them feel old.
Similarly, why would they want to limit the potential pool of people who can answer their questions by age? People will gravitate to the sites with the best answers, which will be those with the most users.
You have to wonder how long it will take before Boomerater finds this out.