About Senior Clan(老友帮介绍)

 1. Background

As the only country with the elderly population of over 100 million, China has been faced with serious aged tendency of population, thus rapidly stepping in the aged society. The famous scholar Maslow proposed five levels of human needs from low to high, that is, physiological needs, security needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self-actualization needs. Currently,the number of institutions and studies on the elderly’s medical and day-to-day problems from physiological needs and security needs has already been a lot, however, for the elderly’s needs on the top three levels (mainly the spiritual needs), the institutions and studies are quite less. Though most of the elderly are “institutional retired”, they are not “physiological retired”, their spiritual needs also need to be met. Upon this, one team led by Prof. Meiyun Zuo from Renmin University of China has specially developed a public social network platform for the elderly’s affective interaction and experience sharing, that is Senior Clan (Laoyoubang in Chinese pronunciation, its website is www.rd1860.com). This platform is designed to provide a particular interaction and sharing space for the elderly and to promote communication between them and young people.

2. Core Functionalities

The main sub-systems of Senior Clan is consisted of the following four aspects: Affective Interaction, Experience Sharing, Activities & Entertainment and Toolbox. There’re two important characteristics of Senior Clan. One is that the platform’s interface is specially designed to meet the features of the elderly, such as the larger font size and simplified interface. There is also a time reminder which can automatically remind the elderly to take a rest when using the platform more than 30 minutes.

 (1) Affective Interaction

The Affective Interaction platform helps users of Senior Clan to record their day-to-day life details. Specific functions are Zhiyan (like "microblog"), Pianyu (like "blog"), Memoirs (recorded stories in the past), Forum (to facilitate the discussion and sharing of information in one certain topic), album (batch upload and manage images ), relatives and friends (a private platform for the elderly to share their recent situation with children working outside, eliminating the worry of disturbing their children's work when using telephone calls)

 (2) Experience Sharing

The main function of Experience Sharing platform is the knowledge question-answering system, users can share their experience by asking and answering. They can share their life experiences, understandings towards life, common sense, business problems and other non-vulgar topics here.

 (3) Activities & Entertainment

Activities & Entertainment platform compromises the online activity zone and games zone. Users can participate in the online activities regularly held here. While Game Zone provides a leisure platform for users to have a relax through the easy-to-learn game.

 (4) Tool box

Toolbox is designed to provide more comprehensive and thoughtful life information services for all users. Users can search for various types of information closely related to their daily life,thus making their life more easy. The currently opened modules are Health of the Elderly, Welfare Policy, Impressive Stories and Daily Anti-fraud .

3. Expectation

Through Senior Clan,we hope to obtain the elderly’s affirmation, young people’s support and praise of the society. On the other hand, through interaction with the elderly on Senior Clan, we’d like to understand the trouble and problems the elderly have ever met and find out their behavior rules as well as the relationship between their activities online and activities in daily life when using computers and network. On the basis of the above study, we decide to find out the real demands of the elderly, explore some new and good services for them and to provide an academic research environment for researchers. If any scholar has interest in the cooperation on these platforms, please contact withzuomy@ruc.edu.cndirectly.

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