Since the birth of my twin daughters, I have been documenting every squirm, pee, poop, and cry via a Tumblr blog. I figured that this would be easier than emailing 20 relatives and friends every time something happened in my kids’ lives.
Not surprisingly, my family visits the site frequently to check for updates. However, they are also interacting with the site through the comment system (Disqus) that I configured versus emailing back and forth. This is interesting because my family (maybe with the exception of a couple of folks) are your ‘average’ US internet user. They aren’t reading blogs and they’re just using the Internet for web, email, and maybe some IM or casual games. The fact that my Dad now has a Disqus account and is commenting like a madman is pretty cool to see :)
Now, if my baby girls can get my Dad to sign up for Disqus, what’s the implication? I think that the average internet user who would not normally think to use niche social networking technologies (i.e. social bookmarking, digg, etc) might use it to enrich their experience and engage with content that they find incredibly compelling. Grandparents (content consumer) and grandkids (content producers) are the example we’re discussing here, but you could extend this theory to other pairings as well. I need to think about this some more but might these types of hyper-relevant pairings of content consumer and producer be a way for new social web services to get traction (versus targeting early adopter digerati, as is done today)?
Now I gotta go and get the whole family to subscribe to the baby blog RSS feed… ;)