Melora Zaner from 3 degrees came to speak at Intel about the Net Generation. She had a variety of interesting approaches to the Neg Gen and since i can’t find a meaningful reference, my notes from the theoretical hafl of her talk are contained within.
Net Generation: 12-24 (broken into 12-17 | 18-24 … aka home or not)
– Typically maintain 5-7 digital conversations
– Mantra: friends, fun, music (school & family are not highly valued)
The NetGen’s prioritization of communication forums is interesting. Face-to-face dominates. Next comes cell phone (SMS or not). Next IM (usually AIM). Then email. Many had Live Journals which are more valuable as a form of communication than email. Email is assumed to be tracked by parents; cell phone conversations are not. Email is for dealing with parents. If there’s going to be asynchonous behavior, use LJ (group commenting).
NetGen only on IM when available to talk. Otherwise, it’s rude to be on IM; log off if you can’t talk. Away messages are not valued to them. MSN is perceived as staunchy and old, not where your friends are. Friends are at AIM.
NetGen will use things that seem much “older” (i.e. older siblings like it… 17 Mag when 12, Cosmo when 17). Friends are the most influential in tech usage.
Melora broke the NetGen into five categories along axes of “adult orientation” vs. “peer oriented” in terms of behavior and pressure.
Isolator: 8-15% (low adult, low peer). Delinquents, drug dealers, outcasts
Non-Teen: 15% (high adult, low peer). Geeks, dweebs, academics. Small social networks. Mostly men.
Explorer: <10% (low adult, high peer). Group that pushes the edge, follows passion. Activists, rebels, freedom fighters, horse lovers, etc. Heavily female influenced. Interests-driven. Status Quot: 25-35% (more adult than peer). Preps, normals. Well-rounded, goal oriented. Often exhibits signs of adult stresses. Visible: 30-45% (more peer than adult). Social, well-known, pleasure seeker, charisma, large social networks. Fashion-driven. On a Saturday night, the visible would be at a party, the non-teen would be at home and the explorer would be pursuing a passion. Mass adoption starts with the explorers, peaks at the point between the visible and the status quo and dies by the time it reaches the non-teen. The sweet spot for determining success is between the explorer and the visible... the "visible leader." MTV focuses on "visible leaders" with 10% focused on explorers for tests Socializing is not communicating. - figure out social network & then navigate based on what they want to do - focus on shared visibility, experience, presence - meet new people to test assumptions about identity (but have high bullshit detectors) The NetGen's online social network included people who are only online (i.e. fellow LJs). No desire to meet these people offline. Online is heavily 1-1 behavior... NetGen deeply desires small group organization online. [Note: without a publication, it's really hard to tell how accurate this is. I don't know her sample size or method for getting this information, but i do think that it's something to think about.]