Demographics of Teen Content Creators

The information in this presentation examines how teens create and communicate, both in school and in their personal lives.

These slides were shown at the public forum The Power of Youth Voice: What Kids Learn When They Create With Digital Media, a public forum presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Writing Project, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, on November 18, 2009.

Media Usage & Consumer Spending: 2004 to 2012

Estimates for time spent were derived using rating data for television and cable television, survey research for radio, mobile, out-of-home media and yellow pages, and consumer purchase data (units, admissions, access) for books, home video, in-flight entertainment, Internet, newspapers, magazines, box office, recorded music, video games.

Adults 18 and older were the basis for estimates for newspapers, consumer books, consumer magazines, in-flight entertainment, out-of-home media, yellow pages and home video.

Persons 12 and older were the basis for the estimates for box office, broadcast TV, cable TV Internet, mobile, radio recorded, music and video games. Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States/US Census Bureau

Related: 2008 Multimedia Audiences Summary

Global Youth: Win a Trip with Nicholas Kristof 2010

Nicholas.kristof.tripNicholas Kristof, The New York Times Op-Ed columnist and co-author of Half the Sky, invites students to enter an essay contest to win a reporting trip to Africa, giving them an opportunity to blog for and to file videos to The Times and YouTube.

The contest is open to students at American universities – either undergraduates or graduate students – who are 18 years old or over. The application deadline is a minute before midnight, Eastern Time, on Monday, Jan 18.

So what is Mr. Kristof looking for? Here's the scoop from his blog:

You can apply either with an essay of up to 700 words, or a video of up to three minutes, or both. Send the essay to

Post the video on my YouTube channel,, next to my own video invitation for applications. In either case, explain why I should pick you.

So what kind of a person am I looking for? The truth is, I’m not entirely sure – except that I want someone with excellent communication skills, who can blog and vlog (video blog) in ways that will capture the interest of other students.

If you’ve done blogging, vlogging or journalism, be sure to mention that. Ditto for anything else that makes you special or will make your voice more memorable.

What a fantastic and life changing experience! I would encourage any student who is interested in social justice issues (like global poverty) and sharing "the we stories" of people who don't have a voice to apply for this opportunity.

For those of us who are a wee bit beyond our college years and ineligible for this trip--you can still get involved by supporting the Half the Sky Movement, Charity Water or Oprah Winfrey's For All Women Registry. There are lots of ways to help people suffering from crushing poverty.

Even $5 dollars can change a life.

For you university students' who are interested in applying for this trip, be sure to check out Mr. Kristof's blog which has all the details, rules, info on the selection process and legalese from the NYT lawyers.

Good luck!

Weekly Wrap: Social Media Revolution, iPhone Apps for Students, TV's Growing Pains, Family Friendly Horror, McDonald's Social Media Strategy, 3D TV, Kindle vs. Vook, Mobile Coupons & More

Social Media & Blogs Capture More Internet Time & Advertising: Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blog sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace from a year ago, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company. Among those taking note of this trend: advertisers.  Estimated online advertising spending on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119%. [Nielsen Wire] [Computer World]

P&G, Timberland, Target Invest In College Market: Building an early relationship with consumers is a smart long-term strategy. As Forbes reports, Procter & Gamble has given students control of their brand in order to create brand ambassadors on college campuses. [Brand Channel]

Panasonic Enlists Hollywood to Promote 3D TV: In recent years, TV manufacturers have tried to entice buyers with thinner screens and crisper images. Now Panasonic is trying to portray itself as a force in the tech industry by taking the lead in spreading high-definition TVs that can handle both 2D and 3D images. Also related: A complete guide to 3D TV. [Business Week] [techRadar]

Pulling the Plug on Landlines at Iowa State: The Ames, Iowa-based university is in the process of pulling all such phones out of the dorms in favor of the cell phones that students have been carrying around with them for several years now. A campus survey revealed that 90% of students had cell phones and were using them in lieu of traditional telephones. [Campus Tech]

Move Over Kindle, Here Comes the Vook: A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story. Also, the NYT reports that publishing powerhouse Simon and Schuster are jumping on the vook bandwagon. [] [NYT]

Growing pains: TV's Hold on Digital Media: Digital media has become a mantra in the venture-capital community. The term is on everyone's lips: from broadcasters looking to tap into new advertising revenues to technology gurus seeking to catch the new industrial wave. [Financial Post]

Michigan Public Schools Partner with Sprint to turn Cellphones from Classroom Nuisance to Valuable Learning Tool: For years, schools have mandated policies barring cellphones from the classroom in hopes of avoiding disruptions to a student's learning environment. Today, one school district in Michigan believes cellphones deserve a spot in the classroom. [TMCnet]

How McDonald's is Using Social Media: Here are a few great ideas from Heather Oldani, senior director of communications and Steve Wilson, senior director of global web communications on how McDonald’s is using social media at all levels of the organization. [SmartBlog]

Speed Round: Disney toons help it fly high overseas, Sam Raimi launches a family friendly horror label, check out this video: 'Social Media Revolution' (tip: kill the horrible music), American Girl's "Homeless" Doll sparks outrage, what college millennials watch on TV, Apple shares its own list of Apps for Students, Japanese mobile phone coupon usage, toys get the augmented reality treatment, and finally..."Jackass" star Steve-O has a new gig: spokesman for PETA. "Cut class, not frogs," says Steve-O to schoolkids! [Variety] [MTV] [YouTube] [KTLA] [Millennial Marketing] [Apple] [What Japan Thinks] [Crunch Gear] [ABC 7 LA]

Fall 2009 Internship: 'On-Air with Ryan Seacrest'

This college internship looks like a great opportunity for a college student interested in kicking off a career in social media, film, radio broadcasting and/or marketing.

Here's the scoop:

The On-Air with Ryan Seacrest radio show is looking for college students with strong writing/blogging skills and an innate understanding obsession with pop culture, specifically as it relates to social media.

Seeking multitaskers and proactive thinkers with good online research skills. Must be able to keep up in the fast paced environment of a live radio show.
Strong writing, HTML, graphic design, video shooting/editing, on-camera hosting skills are pluses.

Duties include (but are not limited to) website content management, video content development, blog writing, celebrity guest research, social networking maintenance, red carpet coverage.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

Weekly Wrap: Girl Scouts Launch LMK, Texting & Teen Brains, Kia 'Soul Collective', Coca-Cola's Sounds of Buzz, Twitter & Mourning for Michael Jackson, 2010 Twilight Convention, Yodeling Mamas & More

Girl Scouts & Microsoft Launch Online Safety Site: LMK (text speak for 'Let Me Know') was created with help from teens and from industry experts, to provide teens with the know-how to safely navigate their digital life and help parents to understand what their teens are doing online. Which is a good thing, since a research conducted by Common Sense Media  found that most parents are pretty clueless what their kids are doing on social sites. [Girl Scouts of America] [Common Sense Media]

University of California 11th Campus Online? : The University of California's 10 campuses, facing severe budget cuts, may no longer be able to educate as many students as before. One surprising solution in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece: Open an 11th campus, online. Which, according to a new study reports that online education actually beats face-to-face classroom learning, might not be such a bad idea. [Chronicle of Higher Education] [Ypulse]

Kia "Soul Collective': In an effort to deepen their ties with youth, Kia has also launched a nationwide, youth-oriented program, titled "Kia Presents The Soul Collective." As part of the campaign, Kia is partnering with young and modern thought leaders, brought together to form The Soul Collective, from different disciplines including music, film, design, and gaming to show exactly "how they roll" through their respective mediums. [Barking Robot] [Kia Motors America]

Coca-Cola & BuzzNet 'Sounds of Buzz': Coke, BuzzNet & Stereogum are partnering together on a site that provides live concert & music festival updates, music videos, news & ticketing information. So, are you ready for American Idiot the musical? Also, PacSun, the premier surf clothing wear company, has a newly updated music site. Check it out, it's pretty sweet! [BuzzNet] [PacSun] 

Tweet O' The Week: "I swear one day I'll be able to convince some members of my family that new technology isn't just a fad." (via @plasticbagUK) [Twitter]

Texting may rewire young brains: Texting is not only a nuisance for teachers struggling to keep their students' attention - it's a brain-altering habit, according to a new study. Researchers say text messaging trains young people to be speedy yet sloppy. [The Globe & Mail, via @sydneyeve]

Troubled Teens Learn Culinary Lessons: Founded in 1982, the Teen Home serves girls who are pregnant or new moms. The facility can house up to 12 girls and their babies, many of whom have been ordered into state custody or are homeless. A juvenile-court judge has recruited a world renowned chef to teach them the culinary basics. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Yodeling Mamas: Yahoo! has launched 'Yodeling Mamas' a new parenting blog written by Yahoos who are moms, including--Jeanne Moeschler--one of my favorite Yahoos! She was a great advocate of the Yahoo! For Teachers & Ypulse Totally Wired Teacher Award. [Yahoo!]

Speed Round: UK Music research highlights the complexity of music consumption in 14-24 year-olds, the folks at @WebEcology analyzed expressions of sadness on Twitter when mourning Michael Jackson, Pew Internet reports that teens' use of mobiles has increased recently (but may not be as pervasive as you think), Twilighters are the new Trekkies, Time Warner and YouTube team up to carry Cartoon Network clips & ad sales, Gossip Girl is also making its way to YouTube, some are claiming that mobile phones have achieved more than other types of aid in Africa, Nissan hopes kids will Live Wired, Die Young and finally......Beloit College professors hope their annual 'Mindset List' is an antidote to ‘Boomer arrogance'. [UK Music] [Web Ecology] [Pew Internet] [Creation Entertainment] [Bloomberg] [YouTube Blog] [All Africa] [MediaPost] [USA Today]

How People Use Twitter at Conferences

A group of scholars, Wolfgang Reinhardt, Martin Ebner, Guner Beham & Cristina Costa, have written a very interesting case study titled How People are using Twitter During Conferences.

Overall, the paper is deeply rooted in social psychology and learning theory. I'm sure that many of the findings could be transferred into an educational, corporate, or any other type of community of practice.

The paper contains an overview of web 2.0, micro-blogging and focuses on "how Twitter can enhance the knowledge of a given group or community by micro-connecting a diverse online audience."

Here are some of the key points and survey results:

  • At Conferences Twitter Serves Three Primary Functions: Organizational Enhancement, Effective Sharing of Information, and Easier to build a conference community.
  • Microblogging tools like Twitter provide a flexible, inclusive platform for knowledge sharing & discourse
  • Twitter should be seen as a new form of communication where "ideas, simple notifications, news, pictures (via TwitPic), links and other information are shared in real time."




  • Information Seeker: Observes the Twitter stream but doesn't contribute to the conversation, no active participation. (Note: In educational psychology this concept of "lurking" is widely referred to as Legitimate Peripheral Participation.)
  • Information Source: Comprised of those people who contribute knowledge to the Twitter stream.
  • Primary goal of micro-blogging is "enhance one's cyberspace presence."
  • Twitter as "Mobile 2.0." The mobile nature of Twitter and third party apps are a key factor in why Twitter is a valuable tool for knowledge exchange.
  • Hashtags allow users to create a "theme" thereby making it easier to follow the conference and "generate a resource based on that theme."
  • Survey Results: 67% reported to have tweeted during the conference, 52% had conversations based on presentations via DM (direct messages).
  • Survey Participant Feedback: "In the Twitter back channel we discussed things more deeply than the guy on the stage", "You get to know unexpected things and people", "Twitter gives people a greater sense of community" and "encourages participation."

Related Links

Nielsen: Americans Watching More TV Than Ever; Web and Mobile Video Up too

Image via Silicon Alley Insider "Chart of the Day." Click to view in a new window.

The Three Screen Report, conducted by Nielsen, reports that "the average American watches approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home, a 1.2% increase from last year.

In addition, the 131 million Americans who watch video on the Internet watch on average about 3 hours of video online each month at home and work. The 13.4 million Americans who watch video on mobile phones watch on average about 3 ½ hours of mobile video each month." Click here to read the entire report (pdf).

In an encouraging note for the television and cable networks, a recent survey found that only 8% of respondents (18% teens) watch TV online. So, at least for now, it seems network and cable TV will continue to be the primary screen--at least for a little while longer.

Related Links

Weekly Wrap: Education Embracing Twitter, Student Wikipedia Hoax, Advice for Tweens, Social Media Squatters, Social Music & Youth Marketing Tips

Economic Slump Slows Down Summer School: "The economic downturn has prompted many school districts to reduce funds for summer school. That's bad news for students who need remedial work and for those who are taking summer classes to advance a grade." [NPR]

Embracing the Twitter Classroom: Huffington Post blogger Jessica Gross takes a look at the battle over the use of social media going on in our schools between kids, parents and teachers. Jessica has a brilliant observation: "This argument is akin to that for abstinence-only education. Kids with access to the Internet are going to use it whether or not their parents decide they're "ready."" Amen. Also, check out my previous posts on using Twitter in education. [Huffington Post]

Student Uses Wikipedia to Punk World Media: Looks like the mainstream media (MSM) need to take a course on digital literacy and basic research techniques. I think this also points out that youth have a better understanding of web credibility that adults give them credit.  [Irish Times]

Stars Dish out Advice for Tweens: A new tween survival guide, 113 Things to Do By 13 written by 14-year-old blogger Brittany MacLeod features advice and tips from young Hollywood stars. Wonder if Brittany will be at the 2009 National Tween Summit in DC?  [Yahoo! OMG]

Noika to Launch 3G Phone for Emerging Markets: Nokia has announced the Nokia 2730 classic, a phone that includes 3G data connectivity and tools for emerging phone markets. This should be a boon to educators to deliver content and instruction via mobile learning platforms. [MobileBurn]

How to Handle Social Networking Name Squatting: Julia Angwin lays out some steps that may, or may not work when someone is social squatting on your name. [WSJ]

5 Messaging Tips When Talking to Youth: Great youth marketing tips from the folks over at Campus Media Group. [Campus Media Group]

The Rise of Social Music: Mashable has a great post tracing the history of audio on the web and the rise of social music services like, and MySpace. It also takes a peek into the future and looks at the rise of mobile music. [Mashable]

The Latino Initiative: Between 2005 and 2006 the teen birth rate increased 3% - the first increase in 15 years. This increase occurred among most ethnic groups - among Hispanic teens, the increase was 2%. The National Campaign’s Latino Initiative focus on helping the Latino community in its efforts to reduce continued high rates of adolescent pregnancy and childbearing. Plus, Bristol Palin talks to People Magazine about teen sex and life as a teen mother. [People Magazine]

NCSS Position Statement: Media Literacy is an Imperative

In February the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) released a position statement on media literacy, social technology and learning in the digital age. Their conclusion?

"These changes in society and the experiences the students bring into the classroom challenge social studies teachers to change both how and what we teach. One reaction is to fear these changes and try to protect our students from things we don’t understand or appreciate. Such an approach is neither helpful nor pedagogically sound.

Another response is to take advantage instructionally of the wealth of experiences that young people have making media choices by respecting those choices when consistent with democratic principles. Whether we like it or not, this media culture is our students’ culture.

Today's Students Are Experiencing a Different Childhood

  • The digital age requires new skills for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating, and distributing messages within a digital, global, and democratic society.
  • The ubiquitous and mobile nature of information and communication technologies has resulted in a world far different from that of those of us whose childhood was once surrounded by large box televisions, rotary dial telephones, and transistor radios.

Media Literacy

  • These changes in society and the experiences the students bring into the classroom challenge social studies teachers to change both how and what we teach.
  • Teaching students to think critically about the content and the form of mediated messages is an essential requirement for social studies education in this millennium.
  • Media literacy integrates the process of critical inquiry with the creation of media as students examine, create, and disseminate their own alternative images, sounds, and thoughts.
  • Media literacy includes the skills of accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating, and distributing messages as well as the cultural competencies and social skills associated with a growing participatory culture.
  • In the 21st century, media literacy is an imperative for participatory democracy because new information/communication technologies and a market-based media culture have significantly reshaped the world.

Media Literacy & the Social Studies Classroom

  • Teachers need to expand their notion of “legitimate texts” and realize that it includes popular culture, advertising, photographs, maps, text (SMS) messages, Twitter, movies, video games, Internet, all sorts of hand-held devices and information communication technologies (ICTs) as well as print.
  • The ability to differentiate between primary and secondary sources or distinguish fact from fiction is now intimately connected to the ability to analyze and create media.
  • Social studies educators should provide young people with the awareness and abilities to critically question and create new media and technology, and the digital, democratic experiences, necessary to become active participants in the shaping of democracy.

Related Resources

Teacher Encourages Students to Twitter in Class "Cole W. Camplese, director of education-technology services at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, prefers to teach in classrooms with two screens — one to project his slides, and another to project a Twitter stream of notes from students.

He knows he is inviting distraction — after all, he’s essentially asking students to pass notes during class. But he argues that the additional layer of communication will make for richer class discussions.

UK Students May Be Required to Master Twitter, Wikipedia & Podcasting

According to a story in today's Guardian, a UK school curriculum reform commission has proposed that primary students should be required to become proficient in web-based and digital tools like Twitter, Wikipedia, blogging and podcasting.

Here's more on the proposed curriculum changes:

"Children will no longer have to study the Victorians or the second world war under proposals to overhaul the primary school curriculum, the Guardian has learned.

However, the draft plans will require children to master Twitter and Wikipedia and give teachers far more freedom to decide what youngsters should be concentrating on in classes.

The proposed curriculum, which would mark the biggest change to primary schooling in a decade, strips away hundreds of specifications about the scientific, geographical and historical knowledge pupils must accumulate before they are 11 to allow schools greater flexibility in what they teach.

The proposal would require children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain "fluency" in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell."

Related Resources

Barking Robot Goes BigTime

You may notice something new around here on the Barking Robot. Yep, I've got a new (totally awesome) header designed by BT Livermore over at BT Illustration. Pretty slick, eh?

I stumbled on BT's artwork a few years ago on Etsy. He had a fantastic linocut of Jack Kerouac, one of my favorite authors, for sale. I quickly bid on the piece and now it hangs over my desk.

I instantly became a fan of BT and have several more of his prints--ranging from robots, Abraham Lincoln, to Russian cosmonauts---hanging on my walls. Not to mention some robot buttons and a couple tee shirts to boot. BT also did the buttons featuring Earl the Owl for the Yahoo! For Teachers project.

If you're looking for some art for your home or need some illustration work done for your web projects, why not support indie artists and give BT a call?

Thanks Matt.

Related Resources

Note: I recieved no compensation (goods or services) for this wildly enthusiastic endorsement of BT. Vote for BT. He's a good egg. That's all. Now carry on...

Memo to Gen Y: Facebook Never Forgets

There's a brilliant editorial in today's LA Times by the editors of IvyGate, a blog that covers news, gossip and other tidbits from the Ivy League, all about lifecasting and Facebook.

Here's a snippet from their OP-ED piece, Facebook Never Forgets:

"Imagine if the current crop of public figures had grown up during the Facebook era. We might have photos of John McCain in Florida slurping body shots off his stripper girlfriend.

Barack Obama rolling a joint on a beach in Hawaii. George W. Bush passed out at a Yale frat party, 40-ounce beer bottles duct-taped to his hands. Hillary Rodham Clinton at a Wellesley peace rally, locking lips with her husband's future secretary of Labor, Robert Reich.

It's one thing to hear that your elected representative had a wild time in college. It's entirely different to have pictorial proof. Would you still vote for someone after viewing a photograph of him passed out in his own vomit?"

Two takeaways: First, eventually there will be enough dirt on all of us that we won't really care what we learn about others. Secondly, perhaps it's time that everyone (not just students) should think more about what and why we post information on the web.

And remember, just because you delete that photo of yourself doesn't mean that it isn't archived somewhere. Forever. After all, your privacy is an illusion.

Related Resources