The middle-aged web?
January 29, 2008 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Where do 35 to 45 year olds hang out on the web? Do social media sites specifically for this age group exist out there?

I'm fully into the geekier aspects of the web and some of the interest stories on sites like Reddit and Digg. I just don't enjoy the standard of conversation on those places and the sensationalist headlines I see there. Seems to happen everywhere eventually because the younger crowd has more time on their hands, so any site that gains the critical mass of interest starts being flooded by all these dudes who know everything already.

I'm not interested in general chat - I just want to read interesting news and see interesting websites, put my 2c in and see what mature, intelligent people have to say about it. (Mature doesn't necessarily mean calm and civil - it just means "has been around the block a few times and knows a thing or two about how things work").

Note to the young dudes : No offence peoples. I used to be a misunderstood closet superhero who knew everything about life once too ;)
posted by vizsla to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
That's my age bracket, and the bracket of quite a few MetaFilterers I know. I also have started checking FaceBook once a day. I hang out on MetaChat. Beyond that, I haven't got enough time track many sites, but I visit blogs of friends and topic-specific sites that have to do with my work or subjects I'm interested in, like music. Try searching for a topic you're interested in using the Google "blogs" filter and see if you can find an interesting community.
posted by Miko at 6:35 AM on January 29, 2008

You are soaking in it, friend. Metafilter 4eva.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:45 AM on January 29, 2008

For interesting news stories, check out, but if you want to avoid the more annoying people, avoid most of the threads, though sometimes there are interesting things going on in there as well. The Geek tab might interest you as well, and they also have politics, business, sports, showbiz etc.
posted by Grither at 6:49 AM on January 29, 2008

fourcheesemac probably has the best answer, though. It's definitely more civil here than most other places I've found thus far...
posted by Grither at 6:52 AM on January 29, 2008

Slate forums (the "Fray") seem like a good match for you.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:14 AM on January 29, 2008

I enjoy the Straight Dope Message Board. Users there seem to be of a nice age range--from university students to a poster who is 80. Topics range from, literally Great Debates to Mundane and Pointless Stuff I Must Share.

However, it might be quite a bit more on the "general chat" side of things, though, rather than links/discussion of links, although links are posted and discussed.
posted by Savannah at 7:19 AM on January 29, 2008

Slate forums (the "Fray") seem like a good match for you.

And Salon has forums, too, I believe. "Table Talk"?
posted by Savannah at 7:20 AM on January 29, 2008

Yeah, Salon Forums (aka The Well) have been around since forever, and I imagine have quite a few nerds of a certain age.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:46 AM on January 29, 2008

I'm pretending that you're not framing this as "the middle-aged web" and that you mean "smart and civil discussion" instead, OK?

I find that Making Light covers a fair breadth of topics and has long, smart and civil comment threads. There's a fair emphasis on SF and a little inside baseball about associated issues, plus some political talk, but topics really vary, and there's always an open thread coming up. You don't get a lot of new posts each day, but what you do get is pretty high quality. Here are some of the more interesting recent discussions:

Explaining great music (with YouTube link)

Winter survival (one of a very long series on first aid and safety from writer/EMT Jim Macdonald -- see also Go bags)

The inner lives of small rodents

Open thread 91 (960 comments)

Oh -- look! An index!

People under 35 are welcome and will not be chased with sticks and fire. And I think some of the regular commenters are fairly young.
posted by maudlin at 8:27 AM on January 29, 2008

Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a great moderator, provided she agrees with you. Prevously, which mirrors my experience on boing boing precisely.
posted by Scoo at 9:25 AM on January 29, 2008

This site branched off from Salon's Table Talk, I think.
posted by Salthound at 9:50 AM on January 29, 2008

That Making Light blog looks kind of wonderful.
posted by Miko at 9:56 AM on January 29, 2008

h, xcpt fr tht n thng
posted by Miko at 9:57 AM on January 29, 2008

The place that I always find to have more mature discussion threads is Slashdot. The site is billed as "News for Nerds", so it has a strong tech and geek angle to it, but I find the discussion (when browsing at a threshold of +3 or above) to be quite insightful.
posted by kosmonaut at 10:15 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Salon Table Talk is the next best thing to MeFi. (I'm 33, fwiw.)
posted by desjardins at 10:39 AM on January 29, 2008

I don't read every thread at Making Light, so I'm curious about that publishing thread where all those who disagreed got disemvowelled. Was it the infamous Slushkiller post?
posted by maudlin at 11:10 AM on January 29, 2008

Welcome to MetaFilter.
posted by chunking express at 11:32 AM on January 29, 2008

I was simply deleted from a boing boing thread. When I objected on the grounds that my post was reasonably polite, her reply was "Clearly, we have different ideas of what constitutes "reasonably polite.""

That was her response in it's entirety. I pressed her for details, and was promised a more detailed response, which never came. She is an imperious Queen Bee in my opinion, a very poor fit for the freewheeling, anything-goes happy mutant vibe at BB.
posted by Scoo at 12:53 PM on January 29, 2008

I read somewhere that something like 50% of Facebook users are 35 or older, for whatever that's worth.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:33 PM on January 29, 2008

I'm 41 and think that Metafilter and Table Talk at are my favorite hang-outs that aren't attached to a specific topic.
posted by jeanmari at 6:57 PM on January 29, 2008

Related story
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