Jake Carlson and I worked tirelessly on the details of what Snabbo should look like, how it should perform and what type of interactive features someone in the Baby Boomer demographic might like to have available for use.
We researched other Baby Boomer websites and other niche social networks. We tried to cull what we liked and didn’t like from them all. Jake is an extremely talented programmer and he was able to develop any new ideas we decided to implement for the site.
As I have mentioned before in my earlier blogs, all meetings with Jake were basically ”virtual”. Either we met on the phone while looking at the development site for Snabbo or we discussed points via email. For me, it was a very unusual way to start a business, conduct business or just discuss important business matters. I bring this point up again only because I find it relevant to Baby Boomers who are thinking of re-joining the workforce. You might want to take a course or two on how to conduct searches on the internet and how to most effectively use email and all forms of social media.
Anyway, back to Snabbo.
So, Jake and I would try to thoroughly talk through and refine each feature of Snabbo before we went on to the next level of development. I must say here that I was chomping at the bit to get the website finished and launched. But Jake was influential in persuading me to slow down and take the necessary time and thought to create a product that was sophisticated and elegant in its functionality. I feel we did that with Snabbo. It was very tempting to rush through the process and get a website publically launched as soon as possible. Other programmers had offered that “carrot” to me as part of their development quote. In the end, I believe I would have sacrificed a lot of design techniques and features that, by developing the website thoughtfully with Jake, I feel we now have on Snabbo.
The final product works like this. Members upload one photograph of themselves taken any time during the 1940’s through the 1980’s to serve as their identifying “Member Profile” picture. The concept is that Snabbo enables the Baby Boomer generation to behave as if we had both the internet and social networking sites when we were young. On Snabbo, we can have a ‘face book’ experience–only with the same ‘face’ we had in our heyday.
Finding friends on Snabbo is easier than on other social networking sites since members list all the names they have been known as during their lifetime. For example, you may have been known as Margaret Smith in elementary school, Maggie Smith in high school, Tootsie Smith in college and finally Meg Eldringhoff when you got married. Members are also able to list (with corresponding years) towns they grew up in, schools they attended, companies they have worked for and organizations they have joined, including the military. The more information members provide about their past, the more likely someone can reconnect with them. So, if a person only remembers that in 1959 they went to a party where they met a girl whose name was Jane and she lived in Toledo, Ohio where she went to Mercy College School of Nursing-if she is a member of Snabbo-It’s a BINGO!
As a bonus, and unique to Snabbo, the website automatically creates a move by move, place by place chronological personal history that the member invariably finds interesting and reflective. Ultimately, Snabbo members have the opportunity to become a community that builds an extensive, searchable database of their peers, thus opening abundant reconnection possibilities.
In addition, Snabbo features a slick and easy photo tool. Members can create, manage and share eye-catching albums. Snabbo also provides opportunities to form or join groups with shared interests and the freedom to document their thoughts, opinions and feelings on a blog. Private messages between members can also be exchanged within the site. All under the aegis of strict privacy controls….and it’s free.
Snabbo is as mature-user friendly as we could make it. We tried to keep in mind that our target demographic may or may not be Internet savvy. A significant number of baby boomers have not yet been exposed to social networking and we wanted Snabbo to be a successful first time user-experience for them.
Even Snabbo’s advertising model caters to the desire to reminisce. Throughout the site, members will encounter nostalgic-focused products that relate to this inimitable generation.