Many people helped shaping the TAO-project –and their initiatives may also continue when the project ends.
“These social media courses are not in ‘computer-Chinese’, they are more a step-by-step cook book. That’s why I like them.” A Swiss lady told us at the beginning of the TAO-project, some two years ago.
From the very beginning, it was clear to the TAO-team that we did not merely want to talk about older adults –we especially wanted to talk with them. So the team actively went to older citizens, we met in shopping centers and organized courses at local evening schools and community centres. We wanted to hear directly from older adults and what they thought about online communities, why they chose not to use them and what support they wished for. Together with them, we brainstormed better services and products.
This research approach resulted not only in academic papers and conference presentations, but also in an online “Handbook”. This Handbook, which is available to everyone, gives generally applicable guidelines to bring older citizens and online communities closer together. Also, some of the activities that started within TAO are already planned to continue afterwards; so even when the TAO-project officially ends this autumn, we are optimistic that its initiatives and products may benefit the Third Age for some time to come.