Thoughts on Youth
In my day job, I am working on Customer Engagement and "da youts" are a big, important segment, so I love mining for gold, if you will, looking for nuggets of great insight. I've read a couple of very good, thought-provoking posts today on Youth that fit that bill:
An article over on Star-Telegram wonders what will happen when the kids get a bit bored of MySpace and move on to the next cool thing:
The 18-year-old gave the networking site a try a few months ago. She was disappointed by what seemed like less of a social network and more of a popularity contest.
The idea of the enormously popular MySpace falling out of favor among teens might seem unlikely. It's the third most-visited Web site in the country after Yahoo and Google, according to the Web traffic firm Alexa.
But at its core, MySpace is just another popular hangout, a digital version of the local mall, coffee shop or music store. And like those locales, its image can change as it grows more popular and its younger users could abandon it for the next new thing.
One of the most interesting thoughts presented in the article is the idea that the general purpose social networking site fad is over. To be successful, new social network sites need to focus on a niche group of users.
"Young people are not the future – they are the active citizens of today who need to be involved. Create participation avenues and you will be designing for the actual rather than the perceived."
Another ebook on the need for space goes hand in hand with the article on MySpace. It makes the point that youth today do not have physical spaces where they can hang out. The author believes this is why they hang out in Virtual Worlds (Social Networks, Second Life, IM, etc.), and suggests that there is a huge opportunity there for brands/businesses with young customers to create "spaces" for them; not just products or lifestyle purchases. This is powerful stuff!!!