Friday, August 22, 2008

I thought 60 was the new 40?

Ok, whoever came up with that expression had to be at least 60. But it does emphasize the point that the baby boom generation is healthier, and living and working longer than the generation before them. They’re also pretty affluent.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to me that according to both Focalyst and Dynamic Logic; and the Pew Internet & American Life Project, just 37.6 percent of Americans 62 and older are going online. That’s about 17 million boomers. So what about the other 62.4 percent or over 30 million?

According to the research, online boomers use the Internet for searching, keeping up with family and friends through blogging and e-mails etc, checking out news, making travel plans, paying bills and even learning online.

Two key factors keeping some boomers offline seem to be education and income. Neither should be an issue. Computing has never been easier to learn, we know that at Video Professor. Prices for computers make them affordable for just about everyone, and libraries fill the gap for those who can’t afford one.

I’ve blogged before about some of the jokes being made about the nation’s most famous baby boomer, Senator John McCain and his perceived lack of computer skills.

Computer literacy is crucial to our nation’s continued growth and success regardless of age or situation. I hope he embraces that, and leads millions of other baby boomers by example. Let’s not let the computer literacy gap become a chasm.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at

Friday, August 08, 2008

What’s your lifestyle choice? Real, virtual or both?

The folks at Google™ have joined the virtual life competition with something called Lively. In contrast to the spartan design of its regular pages, Lively is very lively! You can choose from avatars and have rooms to congregate in as you gather, giggle and google.

Sound familiar? Second Life® is another virtual world and remains the gold standard, or perhaps I should say the gold avatar of living an online life in case your real one is boring or mundane.

And these web sites are becoming hot stuff. Last season, an episode of CSI New York centered on Second Life characters. People operate businesses and other enterprises, all in a virtual world that exists only in their computer. And if what I saw on CSI was any indication, people via their avatars can take part in no small amount of mischief.

Participating in these virtual worlds is a full-time life for a lot of folks. I wonder why? Is our current real world that bad? When you read the headlines about the economy, gas prices and yet another political campaign season headed to Mudville, can you really blame someone for wanting to escape?

As for me, I like the real world with its challenges. Its ups and downs. For me, real life is a full-time occupation.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
Reach him at

Friday, August 01, 2008

It’s just business, not politics.

I get more than a few e-mails (which I always appreciate getting, by the way) about what networks we advertise on. One recent e-mailer was upset because we advertise on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News.

Another person wrote that they were upset because we advertised on a competing network that they didn’t like.

Where and when we advertise Video Professor Lessons is a decision based on audience and the cost for us to reach that audience.

Bill O’Reilly for instance, is controversial. Not everyone likes him. But millions of others do and we want to sell them our lessons! Advertising Video Professor on his show produces results, just as it does on other programs like FOX & Friends or news and entertainment programming on other networks.

While I do admit to having a soft spot in my heart for the folks on FOX & Friends since I have appeared on the show three different times, ultimately we advertise with them because they have such a great audience. And many of the viewers buy our lessons.

We have a talented team of media buyers who make decisions on audience, cost and which networks and programs produce the best results.

Politics and business are a bad mix. That’s why in our ads I ask you to "Try my product®." You’ll never see me telling you how to vote. If one of our commercials appears just before or after a story on any candidate, it doesn’t mean we endorse that candidate.

Ultimately it’s you, the consumer, who is in charge. I hate to admit it, but sometimes when people see my smiling face on a commercial, they switch the channel! Others, however, pick up the phone and order a lesson.

Most folks have hundreds of channels to choose from, plus the Internet, and we just try to reach as many of you as possible. If you don’t like what you see, the problem is solved with just a click of your remote. I know, I do that a lot during election time!

Please keep on writing and sharing your thoughts with me.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at