A 40-something on Facebook.
He looks kind of unassuming, doesn't he? Not like a force behind the next big shift in social media. But, he and other 40-somethings with young kids and disposable income are taking over the social web.
I don't know when it happened. It used to be the 30-somethings with their big ideas and the 20-somethings with their play-by-play who ruled the social web. Glibly trading observations on modern life; swapping favorite Daily Show quips; and spotting all the best new music, destinations and eats.
No more, friends. We've been sidelined.
The piracy sites that used to be home to the newest Radiohead album are now packed with episodes of iCarly and Thomas the Train. The fastest rising video on the viral charts is about a mini van - nay, a swagger wagon:
3 million people think that's hysterical.
And, if that's not confusing enough, there's the whole Betty White phemonomon. That's right, the 40-somethings are organized. They used Facebook and other social media to propel a Golden Girl onto SNL. I don't even want to tell you what they're doing for politics - passing petitions and POVs and counter-media ideas en masse.
Think through your own Facebook friends. Who are the most frequent posters (once you "hide" the farm and mobwars people, of course). Chances are they're 40-something moms with workout updates, social goings on, and lots of pictures.
How will we connect with this newly socially-empowered group? Products are already hitting the market that are designed to be part of the next wave of social adaption - not the full-scale asks for digital natives, but easy moves for the complex age bracket that's both pirating iCarly and promoting Betty White. Check out Zoove for one example.