Social Networking for Distance Caregiving and Aging in Place: A Case on Web 2.0 Technologies for Virtual Support

Social Networking for Distance Caregiving and Aging in Place: A Case on Web 2.0 Technologies for Virtual Support

S. Ann Becker (Florida Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-609-4.ch011
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Abstract

This case examines the business development process for launching a social network targeting older adult caregivers many of whom have chronic health conditions. An older adult becomes a member of a social network called iShare-With-U.biz to monitor online one or more health conditions. He or she invites family and friends to join a private network for support in distance caregiving, staying connected in personal health management, and socializing using common social networking features. Web site design is discussed in terms of usability by older adults. Health Web sites and social networks are assessed in terms of usage by age group. Options for revenue generation are identified when taking into account free and fee-based Web site membership. The case concludes with a discussion of challenges facing online startups given rapid changes in technology, minimal barriers to market entry, and a near saturation point for Web sites with social networking capabilities.

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