Reaching baby boomers: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Excuse us for blowing our own horns but regular contributor Marcia Barhydt has given us no choice: she just sent this tribute to what we do here at BoomerCafé. And have done longer than anybody. Marcia says it fits with the old cliché: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.

I recently heard about a new website called Next Avenue; it’s funded by PBS and its focus is providing topics of interest to Boomerslooking for something to do with their lives after retirement. I eagerly went to the website and started clicking away.

Marcia Barhydt

But you know what happened? All that I saw at the website was just like all that I see here at BoomerCafé. At PBS’s site I see articles about a variety of subjects that are of interest to Boomers. Ditto for BoomerCafé. I see rotating feature stories. Ditto for BoomerCafé.

The difference in ‘them’ and ‘us’ may lie in the realm of dedication. BoomerCafé is the baby of two former television network news correspondents, Greg Dobbs and David Henderson. They started BoomerCafé 13 years ago, in the summer of 1999, long before the abundance of other websites for Boomers.

BoomerCafé, the very first all-boomer-all-the-time website, was the original place online for Boomers who lead active, youthful lifestyles to have a voice about their challenges and victories. The founders say creating BoomerCafé was an act of love and remains so to this day.

Greg and David are both accomplished active journalists and writers and they have each won Emmy Awards for their work. They bring their own personal dedication to championing all of us Boomers, and because both David and Greg are boomers themselves, they can offer authentic insight into what we need in a website for Boomers only. From Day One, BoomerCafé has spawned a whole new type of website, geared only to our demographic.

David Henderson (L) & Greg Dobbs of BoomerCafé.

To be sponsored, to be funded by PBS, to have the PBS database of TV stations to supply articles, Next Avenue might seem to have a great range of information from established sources.

But from what I’ve seen both reading and writing for BoomerCafé, it is driven by innovative Boomer contributors, real women and men who are dedicated to sharing their own personal thoughts and stories as authentic Boomers, people just like you and me.

Here’s an excerpt from the BoomerCafé writers’ guidelines:

  • BoomerCafé is a labor of love, whose purpose is to provide an interesting, entertaining, and informative online home for baby boomers. As such, we do not pay for content. Your reward is positive exposure, but there is no guarantee.
  • BoomerCafe’s content is defined by and designed with a focus on baby boomers, which by definition means people born between 1946 and 1964. Our audience is baby boomers with active lifestyles and youthful spirits. Submissions must be relevant exclusively to that audience.
  • Our goal is to make every piece genuinely interesting for the boomer audience.

There’s always room for a new kid on the block, even when that block is getting pretty full of new kids. BoomerCafé pioneered this genre of website and it continues to be a groundbreaking website because of the diversity of its contributors.

So welcome, new kid. Thanks for emulating BoomerCafé. Now go to the back of that very long line.

© 2012 Marcia Barhydt

Follow Marcia and order her book at


  1. Marcia,

    Very nice article. Thank you. The reason why PBS is investing in this initiative to connect with baby boomers is money … $$$. PBS has been facing difficult economic times in recent years, and they’ve not done a good job of reaching audiences younger than our parents. While I wish them well, I would hope that they employ a reasonable number of baby boomers in this effort. Like AARP in 1999, PBS appears to be using a younger staff on this project, and I would predict tough times ahead if that’s the case.


    1. Hi Nadine and welcome to BoomerCafé. We are a community of about 300 or 400 baby boomers from around the world who share what’s on our minds. Your stories are welcome too. Or, just drop in anytime you wish and join the discussion.


  2. I just came across this article, I hadn’t realized Boomer Café was the first “kid in the boomer bloc”, how interesting and congrats to David and Greg for having thought of it first and done such a good job!

    You’re right about saying the site has followers from around the world: I live in Rome…yes, Italy not the US!

    1. Dear Claude,

      Rome? How wonderful. A city I love and have visited several times.

      Yes, Greg and I got the idea for BoomerCafé.com in 1998 after seeing that no one, including AARP, was paying any attention to the massive generation of baby boomers, in the U.S. and worldwide. In many ways, I believe AARP still has not found the pulse of boomers … but that’s another story.

      We always have a special “table” for you at BoomerCafé.


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *