One of the sessions at Web2.0 was a conversation with 5 teenagers (17-18yo) from the Bay-area, California. Jeffrey Mcnanus and Kareem Mayan both post about this talk. As with the Social Computing Symposium back in April, (notes here) there seems to be some surprise about how this group of people are using the tools, and also how the tools change the behaviour.
From both sessions, the need to be connected comes through; cell phones, IM, web browsing, MySpaces. Communities and friendships are driven from online interaction (” gets home, goes on computer right away, on myspace, talks to people on IM; ” “Sadly I spend a ton of time on it when I get home from crew all I do is talk online and wait for friends to leave me friend requests,”
As Kareem summmarises:
This was one of the more interesting panels, because the perspectives that these teens provided were candid, novel, and insightful. At the same time, these teens were found on Craigslist, which means they’re probably more internet-literate than your average teen. In any case, the audience ate up this panel–my guess is because these folks rarely talk to customers.
. Sometimes neither online interaction (such as blogs) nor formal research works – sometimes you have to go out and talk to people.
Update: there’s a piece in the Guardian about teenage internet use today, looking at content generation and news consumption.
Thanks for the link. Talking to customers (even a self-selected group) almost always yields valuable insight, in my experience.