A guide to turning up the volume in your library.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Some of you may be familiar with the “What Teens Want” conference that I had mentioned in a previous entry. It’s a gathering for marketers that focuses on emerging teen preferences and tendencies, with pricey videos and recordings of the panel sessions available for purchase.

Well, this month a free panel recording about teen preferences has been making the rounds. Guy Kawasaki (“Apple evangelist”) interviewed 15-24 year olds for a panel called Next Generation Insights. The questions were specifically about media consumption habits, so I think the video is particularly insightful for librarians.

Now, I have had trouble downloading the latest Flash player, so I haven’t been able to watch this footage at all. I decided to use this obstacle as a learning opportunity, however. I wanted to see what other bloggers had posted about the video, presuming that any website linking to it would be about teens and/or media trends.

Here are what some of the other bloggers had to say, courtesy of the new blog search engine, IceRocket:

(IceRocket worked great, except it did put the most important entry last on the results page – Guy Kawasaki’s blog entry with the original link!)

The only thing that bothered me is he seemed to be steering people away from any admissions about underground, grey market or piracy-type media habits (although this may have been for their own protection… the RIAA & MPAA has ears everywhere).

Lately, I have been noticing that many teens do not use email. See, e.g., here and here. I have learned that emails (not just mine, but emails generally) are a burden to my 18-year-old daughter. She doesn't like to respond to emails. She prefers texting. Or talking on the phone.

University age and younger, it seems, send SMS messages as a conversation, and only use email to communicate with, err, old people.

It confirms research reported last month from Forrester that reveals the key to reaching this important demographic group is through online communication.

On this list of podcasts from NMK’s excellent Content 2.0 conference in June, scroll down to find the panel “YOUNG PEOPLE & MEDIA: Invisible Culture” (click here to download the mp3). Finally, in the excellent Ibiblio speaker series, here’s a discussion with Danah Boyd on how young people negotiate the presentation of self in online contexts. The mp4 file is a bit huge, but it’s definitely worth the massive download.

Shouldn’t we know how kids are using technology if we want to reach them? If we can understand how they interact with and learn from technology, couldn’t we design better ways to teach them? We’re not training kids to work in a factory, we’re educating them to be citizens of the 21st century. For a 2 ½ minute, entertaining illustration, see Education Today and Tomorrow. That's also to show that Youtube does have educational value. In fact there is a group just for educators: http://www.youtube.com/group/K12.
(That one had the best synopsis I found of the video content itself.)

The Mobile Life 2006 survey Youth Report paints a good picture of how mobile technology is changing the lives of young people in the UK (IT claims to be the biggest survey of its kind, with over 1250 11 to 17 year-olds included.) http://www.mobilelife2006.co.uk/PDF/Mobile%20Life%20Youth%20Report%202006%20Colour.pdf

The other thing that was interesting to me was how much influence and control the college students’ parents still appeared to exert in their lives. One student had to close her MySpace account because her parents didn’t like it. Several others apparently have their cell phone bills paid by their parents. That’s a different experience than I had at university, certainly.

I encourage everyone to watch this, especially those of you who consider yourself tech-savvy, as it will bring into strong relief the fact that most [young] people are clueless. Case in point, Q: “What browser do you use?” A: “Google.”

A few of these were from two excellent articles referencing the piece:

Marketers Beware: Gen Y Is Coming

Marketing To College Students 101

I don’t necessarily agree with any/all of these commentaries, but I did appreciate the range . . . did you watch the video? What do you think about teen media habits and marketing?


Blogger thehardgoodbye said...


My name is Greg. I am 23, and I work at the circulation of a medium sized suburban library (www.websterlibrary.org). I am currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo’s Library and Information Science program. Right now, I am working on a project that requires me to address the needs of an under represented group at the public library. I have selected teens as my group. A coworker (she maintains www.watat.com) told me about your blog, and suggested that I contact you about a question that I had.

The crux of my project stems from the question, “What can public libraries learn from the success of MySpace?” One of the reasons that MySpace is so popular with teens, is that it allows them to discover new music that they may not be able to hear on the radio. In an effort to copy MySpace’s success, I am proposing that libraries set up and maintain a wireless streaming audio music server that contains all of, or a majority of the library’s music collection. This server would allow patrons with a wifi-enabled laptop to stream music from the library’s collection while they are at the library. Teens without access to a laptop would be able to access the library’s music collection from one of several computers located in the YA section of the library. I have compiled price lists for the necessary hardware, and I have located software to that would allow users to browse the library’s collection, and listen individual songs or albums. The software would not allow users to copy the music stream.

The only piece of information I am missing, and the question I am hoping you can answer for me is: Is it legal? I know the library that I work at buys an annual license to show movies to the public. Do you know if a similar license exists for playing music recordings at a library? I don’t think Fair Use laws would protect the library from copyright infringement, but maybe since you have a background in music as well as libraries you could provide a clearer answer than I have come across thus far.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated, and if you can’t, thanks anyways!

Greg Benoit
glbenoit{a}buffalo.edu → replace the {a} with an @

7:41 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home