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One Year In, Public Media Website Next Avenue Goes Viral In Social Media

Fiftysomethings Find a Place and a Voice in Today's Media

SAINT PAUL, Minn., May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than two million boomers have discovered the public media website since its launch in May 2012. And many of them are finding it through social media. Sometimes seen as Luddites in the social media space, they are posting, sharing, tweeting and expressing their opinions—and it's catching on, with several posts going viral in the past year.

A Facebook and Twitter firestorm raged around a recent Next Avenue blog about the singing competition show American Idol. On May 2, John Stark wrote a piece called Why Harry Connick Jr. Couldn't Sit Idle During 'Idol' about how Connick "couldn't stand hearing young singers mangle the great American Songbook."

On May 3, Connick tweeted the article. The next day, a Facebook influencer posted it, and from there it took off—more than half a million people accessed the article via alone. There were also pick-ups in media outlets from the Philippines to Australia and follow-up tweets from celebrities like Aimee Mann and Betty Buckley.

In April, Next Avenue's article about how to talk to one's aging parents also went viral. Other popular articles have addressed the surprising decline in boomer volunteerism, the unspoken allure of women in this age group, our deep-seated affinity for vinyl records, and how we really feel about growing older in this society.

"But Next Avenue is only temporarily a boomer site," said Judy Diaz, Next Avenue's president. "It's conceived to be like PBS KIDS, where new generations of people 'older but not old' and entering a new life stage can find trusted information and perspective. The idea is that there will always be a growing audience of people who think about what is important in life's second half and embrace greater authenticity and deeper insight."

Next Avenue—an offering from St. Paul based Twin Cities Public Television (tpt)—publishes original articles and blogs daily on everything from work and relationships after 50, to culinary explorations and caregiving for aging parents—all written and edited by veteran journalists. It is designed to capture what people 50+ are thinking and feeling which will get people talking and sharing. To date, with several viral articles from the 50+ set, and a nomination for a MIN Award for Editorial Excellence—in the company of, and—it appears to be working.

About Next Avenue
Developed in partnership with PBS, APT and PBS stations, Next Avenue launched in 2012. In addition to its original content, Next Avenue editors curate and feature information from more than 27 content partners including the Administration on Aging,, the National Institutes of Health, and public broadcasters across the country. A full list of partners is available at

Elle Krause-Lyons
[email protected]

SOURCE Next Avenue

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