Sunday, October 09, 2005


Blogging, Young Communicators, and Old Information Gatherers

There's one industry marketing executive who kids me about blogging, and it comes from disbelief that blogging really matters in the grand scheme of things. I happen to think that blogging does matter, and its influence is just starting to be understood. What we think doesn't matter. It's what younger media consumers do that will shape the media markets of the future. So I read with great interest this article from UK's Guardian,16559,1586891,00.html

"...among those with a web connection at home, 31% said that they had launched their own personal site or blog. Those aged 16 to 17 have taken most avidly to personal online publishing, with a female bias... Some will have started personal sites with rudimentary personal information or centred around music or sport, while others have become mini publishing magnates before leaving school."

The young people in the poll view the Internet in a way beyond their parents: it is for communication AND information. Older users tend to view it for information alone. I know I'm a technology geek (not from a technology/science standpoint but from a user standpoint), but I know that folks in my age group seem to have lots of problems adapting to instant messaging. Others seem to have incredible problems figuring out e-mail and attachments. Yet, every teenager seems to have figured this out as easily as they figured out knives and forks.

It's very important not to bring our personal media biases, habits, and preferences to the discussion of current and future media acceptance. Young people are immersed in media choice. My generation, raised on three TV networks and dial telephones have lots of trouble grasping the significance of that. We see these media as additive to what we knew. Younger ones don't know a time without these media, and don't see them as additive, but see them as enhancements to their immersion since birth in a constantly connected world.

I think you've got a bit of a wait before the printing industry catches up in Internet savvy. Whether it's blogging, wikis, Linkedin and the like or even more mundane stuff like email, printers are the Hatfields, and the Internet is run by the McCoys.

Steve Duncan
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