SeniorWeb.NL is the non-profit association which runs the most popular community platform for seniors in the Netherlands. Its mission is to familiarise those generations with computers and the Internet who have not had the chance to grow up with them. An important premise is that this should be done for and by seniors. In the last 15 years SeniorWeb has developed a well-functioning network of highly motivated and enthusiastic volunteers. SeniorWeb has a rich experience with elderly people, enabling it to develop new products and services for this target group.
One of the most important aims of SeniorWeb is to extend the participation of senior citizens in the information society. Over the last years, membership of SeniorWeb has grown to almost 125’000 users who pay a membership fee of 26 Euro a year. Members have access to members-only parts of the website: They may make use of the helpdesk and profit from help at home, join mail-groups, take online courses or post mini-advertisements. Members also receive the quarterly magazine “Enter”. Finally they obtain discounts on products and services from partner organisations.
SeniorWeb has a clear and highly-accessible website. Here visitors can find news, educational advice and information about interesting subjects, such as Computer and the Internet, Leisure and Fun. The website also has many interactive features. Increasingly the site is developing into a platform for virtual communities like mail-groups, chats and discussion lists. Every month, more than 230’000 people visit the site.
SeniorWeb volunteers give courses throughout the country, which are understandable and affordable for everyone. These volunteers not only teach courses, but often take the full responsibility locally for the organisation of an educational centre or an Internet café. For this reason they are also called “Ambassadors”. There are more than 3,200 active Ambassadors in the whole country, most of whom are seniors. In addition to educational activities, volunteers provide a computer helpdesk, offer technical support at home or serve as hosts for mail-groups.
Based on the results of the exploration phase, see other report, SeniorWeb and MERIT agreed on two activities to be followed during the action research phase. On the one hand there will be a follow-up on the use of and the distribution of knowledge with regard to the SeniorWeb Social Media Specials and on the other hand a living lab based on co-creation will be developed, to involve SeniorWeb members in developing new and innovate the existing web contact services and other online applications of SeniorWeb.