50connect.co.uk, the UK’s largest editorial-led website aimed at today’s over 45s, has named its top ten useful websites as Silver Surfers day approaches on 23rd May.
“The aim of Silver Surfers Day is to bring the benefits of the internet to those who are afraid to use a PC or who are not yet online,” says Rachael Hannan, Editor of 50connect. “We chose these sites to illustrate the variety of the web and to show that the advantages of getting online encompass all areas of life. These websites provide some extremely useful practical guides and advice, along with money-saving services that you can’t find offline.”
With the escalating price of fuel this site is a boon. Simply enter your postcode into the search box for a list of the cheapest fuel prices in your area. Register with the site and you will receive a newsletter each week, listing the garages selling the cheapest petrol in your location. The site also has a blog with the latest fuel news, a gallery of its many happy users displaying their ‘cheaper fuel’ stickers and an excellent ‘environment’ channel, with information on bio fuels, green cars and lift-shares.
Once you get past its apocalyptic name, add this site to your favourites. The design is simple, but the information indispensible. The site aims to expose bogus and bona fide email scams, virus warnings and hackers. Use the menu on the left hand side to navigate, or the article menu on the homepage. If you are worried about an email you have received, you can search for a specific virus warning or email hoax in the search box at the top right-hand side of the site. If you want virus warnings and hoax email alerts straight into your inbox, sign up to the useful newsletter.
Save money on your gas, electricity, telephone and broadband costs with this price comparison site. As well as finding the cheapest supplier, Energy Helpline offers £15 cash back if you switch via their website. Simply enter your postcode and your current rate, hit the submit button and see the saving you pocket by switching supplier. You can also compare costs on mortgages, loans and green energy.
An indispensible guide to prescribed medicines, with online patients’ leaflets, information on what to do if you missed a tablet, the most effective way to take it, what’s in your medication plus any known side-effects. Click on the ‘Browse Medicines’ guide on the left-hand menu for an A-Z listing of medicines, then select your chosen medicine. When you click on its name, a new menu appears on the left-hand side with all information about that drug. You can also search by condition, and there is a useful roadmap detailing when new drugs will be available on the NHS.
With over five million members across the globe, Freecycle is a non-profit movement that encourages users to give and receive unwanted items for free in their own towns. You know what they say: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and this site provides an outlet for people to offer unwanted items. The site aims to reduce the amount of useful items that end up in landfills. Enter your town and country to find the Yahoo Group in your area. You will have to sign up to Yahoo! Messenger if you are not a member already, but once you are, you can post your items and have a look at other people’s unwanted things. Once registered, you can have the new postings emailed directly into your inbox. The only thing you have to remember is you must give something away before you can start receiving!
Known as the ‘consumer revenge’ site, and run by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis - a regular on GMTV and now with his own show on Channel 5 - this site has reams of sensible advice on how to save money. Free of adverts, Martin’s articles compare ISA rates, suggest ways to reduce your supermarket bill, explain the benefits of switching bank accounts and how to maximise loyalty points and Child Trust Fund vouchers. The site also has an extremely good currency search tool which tells you where to go for the best exchange rate on your holiday money. Famous for his lead in urging consumers to claim back their bank charges, Martin explains the how’s and why’s, and there are downloadable letters for you to make your claim. All you need to do is fill in your details and send them off.
BigBarn aims to rebuild the country’s local food supply chains, by helping users locate the best in locally grown, accountable and tasty food and drink. Enter your postcode into the red search box on the right of the homepage for an interactive map of your area with a key to local veg box schemes, farmers markets, pick your own, butchers and more. Simply click on the icon on the interactive map to bring up the name, web address and contact details of the supplier. The site also features a ‘what’s in season’ guide, recipes and a food issues blog.
Before you part with your hard earned cash, remember to visit Discount Voucher Codes. The site lists discounts and the relating voucher codes available at major retailers like John Lewis, Curry’s, Dell and many more. To find an offer, use the menu on the left hand side to select your product or alternatively chose a retailer. To claim your discount, simply go to the participating website, and enter the promotional code at the checkout before you pay for the item.
Look up directions, a specific address or local business on Google’s interactive map by entering the name or post code into the search box to bring up the town or the business you are looking for. Then use cursor keys on the left of the map to navigate. It’s great if you are away from home, because if you want to find a non-specific business - add ‘cinema’ for instance after the postcode - a list of cinemas in that area will appear on the left hand side of the page. Click on one of these and the map will pinpoint the exact location. With a click of your mouse, you can change the map to display a satellite image of the location, which is an asset if you are house hunting, or just plain nosy! Ramblers and cyclists might find the terrain setting useful when planning a route.
No other website contains footage from The Who’s 1968 concert or Queen live at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1974, but with YouTube, the possibilities are endless. Anyone can upload video clips onto YouTube and anyone in the world can watch them, which means there are clips on just about everything imaginable. The videos range from interviews with the London Mayoral candidates, clips of Top Gear and a promo for Alan Bennett’s West End production The History Boys, to cookery videos, language learning videos, adverts from the 1950s and 60s and home-made spoofs of current chart toppers. Even if you aren’t looking for something specific, simply enter a random word in the search box and see what wonderfully crazy and subversive clips people have added. You will never fail to be amused, amazed, repulsed or simply intrigued.
50connect is running an interactive feature on the website, asking its audience to nominate their favourite websites in time for Silver Surfers Day.
About The Demographic
50connect is the leading site for over 45s in the UK and is officially re-launching today, 1 May 2008.
Here are some statistics about the mature market:
* 35% of the UK’s web users are over 45
* 1/3 of over 50s are online
* 60% of over 50s shop online
* By 2020, over half of the UK population will be over 50
*Sources of statistics: Sourcewire and Millennium Direct
50connect (www.50connect.co.uk) is the UK’s premier lifestyle portal for today’s over 45s. We are the largest independent and most established web site in the mature market, attracting a sophisticated, affluent audience. 50connect was founded in 2000, and became a standalone business in 2005 when the company was bought by current shareholders. Editor Rachael Hannan has worked with 50connect since its inception and recently oversaw the launch of the new-look site in January 2008. Seasoned journalists Michael Wale and Andrea Kon contribute to the site; Michael as environment correspondent and Andrea as resident agony aunt and relationships expert. 50connect was awarded eSuperbrand status in 2006, which recognises it as one of the leading online brands in the country alongside the BBC, Lastminute and eBay.
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