Millenials: Technology Unites People

Catching up on old magazines, I found this interesting quote in the March 22nd issue of Time Magazine re: the relationship between millenials (defined as the generation born between 1982 and 1995) and their parents:

But we miss the point, warns social historian Neil Howe, if we weigh only how technology shapes a generation and not the other way around. The millennials were raised in a cocoon, their anxious parents afraid to let them go out in the park to play. So should we be surprised that they learned to leverage technology to build community, tweeting and texting and friending while their elders were still dialing long-distance? They are the most likely of any generation to think technology unites people rather than isolates them, that it is primarily a means of connection, not competition.

via Generation Next – TIME.

What it means: as I thought, it looks like millenials are using technology to create communities and get closer (and not the other way around as some people might decode). I especially like the explanation about fearful parents. Useful to understand the current demographics wave and its impact on “social media”.

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Social Sites a Trusted Resource for Decision Making

Users put great trust in their social networks. One-half of Beresford respondents said they considered information shared on their networks when making a decision—and the proportion was higher among users ages 18 to 24, at 65%.

“This is a particularly important finding,” according to the report, “in that it suggests that these younger users have integrated social networks into their lives to such an extent that it has become a trusted resource for their decision making.”

via Social Site Users Depend on Their Networks – eMarketer.

What it means: as I mentioned a few days ago, social networks = friends = trusted source. Younger internet users will continue trusting their friends and using social tools for recommendations in the future.

Morgan Stanley: "Teenagers Don't Use Business Directories". Nothing New Except…

Morgan Stanley, the US research firm, released a report this week titled “How Teenagers Consume Media“. Written by a 15 year-old summer intern, the document explains what is relevant and what is not in today’s media/technology world from a teenager’s point of view.

Highlights:  

On newspapers: “No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV. ”  The intern adds that most of his friends do read the free newspapers like Metro.

On radio: “Most teenagers nowadays are not regular listeners to radio. ” They listen to online radio though.

On social networking: ” Most teenagers are heavily active on a combination of social networking sites. Facebook is the most common, with nearly everyone with an internet connection registered and visiting >4 times a week. Facebook is popular as one can interact with friends on a wide scale. On the other hand, teenagers do not use twitter.”

On directories: ” Directories Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as yellow pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which are services that teenagers do not require. They also do not use services such as 118 118 because it is quite expensive and they can get the information for free on the internet, simply by typing it into Google. “

On mobile phones: ” Mobile Phones 99% of teenagers have a mobile phone and most are quite capable phones. “

What it means: more anectodal than data-driven evidence, this report nonetheless confirms many things we take for granted now but it still holds a few surprises. The observation that teenagers don’t listen to radio regularly is, to a certain extent, a surprise to me. Radio used to play a very important social role when I was young but this might explain why we hear so much ’80s music on commercial radio these days. The industry don’t cater to youngsters. They’re trying to hold on to listeners from 20 years ago. A bit of a surprise on the cold reaction to Twitter as well but then again, they’re not prepared to build a second social graph after having spent so much time building one on Facebook.

On the other side, I’m not surprised at all by newspapers and business directories usage. I suspect very little teenagers (except for me!) used to read print newspapers in the past and Yellow Pages usage is usually driven by life events, most of them happening after you leave your parent’s house. So, no surprise there. I think what should concern directory publishers is two-fold. First, teenagers think that Google will provide them with the answers Yellow Pages used to provide to their parents on business searches. So, in effect, as Seth Godin said, “Google is the Yellow Pages”. Second, because they’re heavy users of Facebook, teenagers now bring their network of friends (their social graph) along with them wherever they go (including with their mobile device). That proximity enables easy word-of-mouth recommendations. So, what does that mean for publishers? It means they need to embed themselves wherever these kids will go for references as you might not be able to convince them to use your core web site.

Morgan Stanley: "Teenagers Don't Use Business Directories". Nothing New Except…

Morgan Stanley, the US research firm, released a report this week titled “How Teenagers Consume Media“. Written by a 15 year-old summer intern, the document explains what is relevant and what is not in today’s media/technology world from a teenager’s point of view.

Highlights:  

On newspapers: “No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV. ”  The intern adds that most of his friends do read the free newspapers like Metro.

On radio: “Most teenagers nowadays are not regular listeners to radio. ” They listen to online radio though.

On social networking: ” Most teenagers are heavily active on a combination of social networking sites. Facebook is the most common, with nearly everyone with an internet connection registered and visiting >4 times a week. Facebook is popular as one can interact with friends on a wide scale. On the other hand, teenagers do not use twitter.”

On directories: ” Directories Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as yellow pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which are services that teenagers do not require. They also do not use services such as 118 118 because it is quite expensive and they can get the information for free on the internet, simply by typing it into Google. “

On mobile phones: ” Mobile Phones 99% of teenagers have a mobile phone and most are quite capable phones. “

What it means: more anectodal than data-driven evidence, this report nonetheless confirms many things we take for granted now but it still holds a few surprises. The observation that teenagers don’t listen to radio regularly is, to a certain extent, a surprise to me. Radio used to play a very important social role when I was young but this might explain why we hear so much ’80s music on commercial radio these days. The industry don’t cater to youngsters. They’re trying to hold on to listeners from 20 years ago. A bit of a surprise on the cold reaction to Twitter as well but then again, they’re not prepared to build a second social graph after having spent so much time building one on Facebook.

On the other side, I’m not surprised at all by newspapers and business directories usage. I suspect very little teenagers (except for me!) used to read print newspapers in the past and Yellow Pages usage is usually driven by life events, most of them happening after you leave your parent’s house. So, no surprise there. I think what should concern directory publishers is two-fold. First, teenagers think that Google will provide them with the answers Yellow Pages used to provide to their parents on business searches. So, in effect, as Seth Godin said, “Google is the Yellow Pages”. Second, because they’re heavy users of Facebook, teenagers now bring their network of friends (their social graph) along with them wherever they go (including with their mobile device). That proximity enables easy word-of-mouth recommendations. So, what does that mean for publishers? It means they need to embed themselves wherever these kids will go for references as you might not be able to convince them to use your core web site.

Analysis: "Cable's answer to online's ad success: targeting"

“Cable’s answer to online’s ad success: targeting” via Yahoo! Tech.

By the end of the year, Canoe will start rolling out ads that let consumers request information, such as the hypothetical one for the Mustang, industry executives said. Cable operators involved are Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., Charter Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Bright House Networks.

Initially, over the next two months, they’ll tailor ads by demographic profile of a community, such as age and income. So households in a youth-oriented neighborhood might get pitches for concerts, while those in higher-income areas might get exotic travel ads. Previously, cable could only target an entire metropolitan area or town.

Ultimately, cable will target down to the ZIP code and individual household, although when that will happen isn’t clear.

Mini what it means: this article discusses the ability for cable networks to target advertising locally and by socio-demographics.  Interestingly enough, all the examples given in the article are either national advertisers with a local flavor or based on socio-demographics. No mention of the local advertiser.

Analysis: "Cable's answer to online's ad success: targeting"

“Cable’s answer to online’s ad success: targeting” via Yahoo! Tech.

By the end of the year, Canoe will start rolling out ads that let consumers request information, such as the hypothetical one for the Mustang, industry executives said. Cable operators involved are Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., Charter Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Bright House Networks.

Initially, over the next two months, they’ll tailor ads by demographic profile of a community, such as age and income. So households in a youth-oriented neighborhood might get pitches for concerts, while those in higher-income areas might get exotic travel ads. Previously, cable could only target an entire metropolitan area or town.

Ultimately, cable will target down to the ZIP code and individual household, although when that will happen isn’t clear.

Mini what it means: this article discusses the ability for cable networks to target advertising locally and by socio-demographics.  Interestingly enough, all the examples given in the article are either national advertisers with a local flavor or based on socio-demographics. No mention of the local advertiser.

What is MySpace?

Day 1 of the Kelsey Group’s MarketPlaces 2009 conference. Jeff Berman, President, Sales & Marketing for MySpace, was on stage for a keynote address.

Of note in his presentation:

  • Jeff described MySpace as a “social portal” halfway between a portal and a social network
  • 40% of online moms in the US are on MySpace each month
  • Their classifieds section, powered by Oodle, generates 500K postings a month
  •  They’re recently introduced MySpaceID, their equivalent of Facebook Connect or Google FriendConnect
  • When asked how do they differentiate MySpace from Facebook, he answers that Facebook is a social utility, a very powerful, elegantly designed, communication platform. But that there are no licensed music content and no licensed video content in it like you find in MySpace.
  • When asked “what is your USP?”, Berman said ” Massive content platform, social discovery around music”.
  • When asked if they’re interested in “local”, he started by replying that they’re careful before they go in a space because they don’t want to upset their large user base. They need the right model. They also need a foreseeable revenue component but he did say local was interesting to them.
  • Questioned about their target market, the MySpace exec said “everyone”

Here is the Kelsey Group blog summary of the presentation.

What it means: a couple of thoughts. First, I got the feeling that MySpace is in this bizarre brand/product positioning situation. They’d like to be Facebook and embrace social networking to the max but they’re not there yet. At the same time, the music/video component of the platform is what makes it compelling to a lot of users. If you’re a new music group, you need to be on MySpace and personally, I often start my search on the site when I want to listen to new acts bypassing search engines completely. I also like the level of activity in their classifieds section. Not bad at all! Finally, on the “local” question, I decoded from Berman’s answers that MySpace is not going to play in “local” in the short term. They’re still trying to find a model that will work. So, what is MySpace? A music/video site? A social network? Given that they’re owned by News Corp, I think they should morph into a “social entertainment” destination and platform. The launch of MySpace ID (now available on Yahoo! by the way) should increase their relevancy in the social ecosystem.