College Students Are Bad at Google [STUDY]

 

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Students in a two-year ethnographic study referred to Google more than any database when discussing their research habits. But ironically, say the study’s authors, they weren’t very good at using it.

The series of studies, known as the “Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries Project (ERIAL)” is a collaborative effort by five Illinois universities that aims to better understand students’ research habits. Its findings are set to be published by the American Library Association this fall.

One hundred and fifty-six students who were interviewed at the five schools about their research habits mentioned Google more than any database. The 60 students who participated in a “research process interview” — with researchers following them around the library as they searched for information — frequently used the search engine poorly. And when they used other databases, they expected them to work the same way that Google does.

“It wasn’t so much that students were inefficient in their use of Google, but rather that students are often ill-equipped to sufficiently evaluate or refine the results that are returned,” says Andrew Asher, an anthropologist at Bucknell University and one of the project leads. “…I don’t think this is a problem limited to students.”

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via mashable.com


Is YouTube the New Cable TV?

image from www.debaird.netA little over a year ago Google, with much fanfare, launched Google TV. Unfortunately, things didn't quite pan out as well as Google or its partners (Sony, Logitech and Intel) had hoped.

Even an infusion of pop culture icon Kevin Bacon couldn't rescue Google TV.

However, big changes are underway at the Googleplex that Google hopes will change the fortunes of of the struggling service.

Google TV, Take Two

According to an article in Business Insider, the first big change to the service is that "Google TV will present all content in one interface regardless of source -- when you look for comedy shows or movies, for instance, you get your cable shows, Netflix rentals, and (critically) YouTube videos all arranged next to one another." 

This move is part of Google’s plans to transform YouTube into more of a “leanback” experience, make TV more social and challenge the dominance of traditional broadcast and cable television providers.

YouTube, The New Cable TV

In addition, Google announced that YouTube would partner with dozens of content creators to bring quality original programming to the platform. 

Demonstrating the wide range of channels that will be rolling out over the next several months, the well-known names participating as creators include Madonna, Jay-Z, Amy Poehler, Rainn Wilson, Shaquille O’Neal, Sofia Vergara, Tony Hawk and Ashton Kutcher.

To aid YouTube viewers with discovery, the channels will be grouped into topic categories such as pop culture, sports, music, health and fitness, animals, and domestic design, as well as categories organized by demographics like age range and ethnic identity.

That's my two cents. So what do you think? Is this new and improved YouTube content experience a threat to cable TV?


Trend Watch: YouTube Beats out Facebook as Top Youth Social Media Brand

image from www.prdaily.comA new Harris poll says that YouTube is the top social media brand among America's youth.

The video site beat Facebook as Social Media Brand of the Year in the 13- to 24-year-old age range, according to the 2012 Harris Poll Youth EquiTrend study.

In terms of YouTube’s popularity, other studies have shown that more than 2 billion videos are played every day on the vide-sharing site and that YouTube mobile receives more than 100 million views daily.

The study sought to benchmark the brands that America’s youth prefers by evaluating familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration. More than 5,000 Americans, ages eight to 24, took part in the study. [Via PR Daily]

Related: YouTube Pictures Teachers and Students Using More Video in the Classroom


Trend Watch: China's 'Angry Youth' Movement

image from www.newyorker.com The transcript of Kai-Fu Lee's keynote on China's 'Angry Youth' at The Brookings Institution is a fascinating read full of insight and observations of Chinese youth made by someone with the experience and knowledge to do so.

Dr. Lee was the founder of China-based Microsoft Research Asia and was the founding president of Google China. Kai-Fu Lee, is a household name in China, has written three best selling books and all them aim to help people understand, educate or mentor China's young people.

According to Dr. Lee China’s "angry youth," or fenqing, present a challenging phenomenon to both China and the outside world. These young men and women often use the Internet and other channels of political discourse to publicly express their critical views.

Earlier this year Accenture released a report that found young Chinese (14-27 years old) spend an average of 34 hours each week using real-time communications and social media/networking tools. At 34 hours a week, that number is almost triple the average of the other 12 countries profiled in the report.

So who exactly are China's "angry youth?" According to Kai-Fu Lee:

"So when we talk about angry youth, I think we're talking about post-80's, people born after 1980, that they had access to the internet, and that they often use it to vent their frustrations and that frustration often comes from either their patriotism or their desire to seek that which is righteous, fair, true and transparent.

They care about social issues. They're concerned and they feel that they need to be outspoken to have their voices heard, and they often use the internet to gain knowledge and to have their voice heard.

...when we talk about angry youth, I really don't want to think about this as a very negative term because I think if we think deeply about what angry youth are about, this is people who are young people who have access to information, who have a sense of social repsonsiblity, who have their sense of right and wrong--they are not always right--but they have a sense of right and wrong.

Their hyper-nationalistic and often anti-Western sentiments, which first emerged in the late 1990s and are widely disseminated today, stand in sharp contrast to a generation of Chinese youth just 20 years ago.

What gives rise to the frustrations of China’s "angry youth?" How representative of China’s youth are fenqing? What implications does their existence have for the country’s political trajectory? How will the growing influence of China’s "angry youth" impact China’s foreign policy in years to come?

This keynote aims to both answer these questions as well as educate Westerners on the emerging trends among Chinese youth.

China's 'Angry Youth' Movement

 

Related: Barking Robot@Tumblr > China's Top Social Networks


The (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Manual

Facebook.button.round Like Facebook, but wish your information wasn't so public?

Time to lock your settings down. Facebook doesn't make this easy, however; features are constantly added and the default for each new one seems to favor transparency instead of privacy.

The result: there are hundreds of little changes you need to make to truly control where your information goes.

The (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Manual

This handy guide outlines everything you could ever want to know about locking down your privacy on Facebook, and a few things you probably didn't even know you wanted to know.

This guide outlines a variety of things regarding Facebook privacy, including:

  • Making sure a comment meant for your friends isn’t seen by co-workers
  • Understanding what it means to upload content to Facebook
  • Control whether others can check you in to certain locations
  • Keeping your Facebook page off Google’s search results
  • Blocking unwanted users from seeing your page

Google Launches Contest to Encourage Kids to Code

Google_code_logo The Google Open Source Program is announcing a new outreach effort, aimed at 13- to 18-year-old students around the world. Google Code-in will operate in a similar fashion to Google's Summer of Code, giving students the opportunity to work in open-source projects.

Google Code-in will match students to mentoring organizations and will give them a chance to do real-world development on open source projects. Tasks for participating students can include writing code, creating documentation, training others, testing code, UI research and design, and community outreach.

via www.readwriteweb.com


Trend Watch: People Are Online What They Are Offline--Divided, and Slow to Build Bridges

IN 2007 Danah Boyd heard a white American teenager describe MySpace, the social network, as “like ghetto or whatever.” At the time, Facebook was stealing members from MySpace, but most people thought it was just a fad: teenagers tired of networks, the theory went, just as they tired of shoes.

But after hearing that youngster, Ms Boyd, a social-media researcher at Microsoft Research New England, felt that something more than whimsy might be at work. “Ghetto” in American speech suggests poor, unsophisticated and black. That led to her sad conclusion: in their online life, American teenagers were recreating what they knew from the physical world—separation by class and race.

A generation of digital activists had hoped that the web would connect groups separated in the real world. The internet was supposed to transcend colour, social identity and national borders. But research suggests that the internet is not so radical. People are online what they are offline: divided, and slow to build bridges.

via www.economist.com


The Real Life Social Network: Google, Online Relationships & Influence

Googlelogo150 The future of the Web is social. What does that mean? Google is trying to figure it out.

The company's previous attempts to corner the social Web, like Google Wave and Buzz, fizzled or failed to sustain much, well, buzz.

But the company is making waves online with a new 216-page slide show that tries to explain how we interact online and how we use those interactions to make purchasing and reading decisions.

It's a long, fascinating document, notable more for its clarity of thought than for any mind-blowing insights.

via www.theatlantic.com

 

 


In Google We Trust: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content [Research]

Googlelogo150ReadWriteWeb has an interesting piece about a research study, Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content, out of Northwestern University which found that the much lauded "digital natives" aren't so savvy and that they may trust Google a little too much.

Sure those digital kids can surf the web and text, but when it comes to web credibility and media literacy, they are lacking the skills necessary to properly vet digital resources.

As readers of this Barking Robot are aware, this is a topic that I've been talking about for some time.

Here's the RWW with a breakdown of the study:

"In Google we trust." That may very well be the motto of today's young online users, a demographic group often dubbed the "digital natives" due their apparent tech-savvy.

Having been born into a world where personal computers were not a revolution, but merely existed alongside air conditioning, microwaves and other appliances, there has been (a perhaps misguided) perception that the young are more digitally in-tune with the ways of the Web than others.

That may not be true, as it turns out. A new study coming out of Northwestern University, discovered that college students have a decided lack of Web savvy, especially when it comes to search engines and the ability to determine the credibility of search results.

Apparently, the students favor search engine rankings above all other factors. The only thing that matters is that something is the top search result, not that it's legit.

During the study, one of the researchers asked a study participant, "What is this website?" Oh, I don't know. The first thing that came up."

That exchange sums up the overall results from this study: many students trusted in rankings above all else. In fact, a quarter of the students, when assign information-seeking tasks, said they chose a website because - and only because - it was the first search result.

Trust Online: Young Adults' Evaluation of Web Content


Facebook privacy settings: Who cares? [Research]

Facebook.security.safety In their paper, "Facebook Privacy Settings: Who Cares" (2010, Boyd & Hargittai) examine the attitudes and practices of a cohort of 18– and 19–year–olds surveyed in 2009 and again in 2010 about Facebook’s privacy settings.

The results challenge widespread assumptions that youth do not care about and are not engaged with navigating privacy.

Boyd and Hargittai find that, while not universal, modifications to privacy settings have increased during a year in which Facebook’s approach to privacy was hotly contested.

Facebook privacy settings: Who cares?


Related: Google, Everywhere, Or How Privacy Is The Net's Biggest Quagmire


Weekly Wrap: NBC's Social TV, Blocking Bieber, Will.I.Am on the Music Industry, Google TV Roundup, Facebook's Influence on Girls, Age of Curation, Aussie Gen Z's & More!

Barking.robot.iconNBC Turns Television into a Social Media Game: The endeavor is a network-wide initiative designed to leverage the presence of show fans on social networks and incentivize them with points for engaging with content — i.e. watching videos on NBC.com, Liking shows, chatting and recruiting friends.

Points can be redeemed for goodies like NBC merchandise, show previews, virtual goods, badges and sweepstakes entries. [Mashable] 

Creating a Content Driven Community: When you create a content-driven community, don't forget to set measurable goals, establish meaningful benchmarks, evaluate results, and document what moves the needle for the business. Every business already has an organic community: its employees, partners, and, depending on its degree of involvement, its customers. [Conversation Agent]

Will.I.Am: "The Music Industry is Gone": “The band of the future is not going to be a singer, a guitarist and a bass player. It will be a singer, a guitarist, a bass player and a code writer – the guy who does apps, computer animation. That is a group. It is going to be about self-contained content-providers.” [Harlem Loves]

Google TV Round Up

Guide to Google TV's Ecosystem [TechCrunch] | What We Know So Far About Google TV [Search Engine Land]| Google TV Has Arrived [Mashable] | Here's What Google TV Looks Like [BI] | Google TV Explained [Logitech]

Overwhelmed? Welcome the Age of Curation: Still don’t believe we live in the Age of Curation, of which the iPad is just a recent manifestation? Go save everything you run across to read later using Instapaper, even from your Twitter and newsreader feeds (themselves forms of curation), which you can then read on the functionality-curating iPad and Kindle devices. Related: Trend Watch | Content Computing [Video] [Wired] [Barking Robot]

Study: Facebook Is a Major Influence on Girls: A study of eight to 15-year-olds for National Family Week found 40% of girls identified Facebook as one of the most important things in their lives - compared with 6% of boys.

Parents were found to underestimate the significance of technology. Asked to name the three most important things in their lives, the most popular choices for girls were friends, family and then Facebook and MSN. [BBC]

Connecting with Generation Z: Meet Generation Z, otherwise known as The Naturals. Give them any label you like, but you better make sure your business understands this powerful new generation of consumers that has never known life without the internet. Related: Those Digital Natives? Not So Savvy. [nineMSN] [BarkingRobot]

Why Twitter Radically Reworked Its Trending Topics Algorithm: How to keep Twitter from seeming like "an inane playground for hormonally cracked-out tweens." Related: Blocking Justin Bieber > New Tweetdeck version allows you to block all Justin Bieber related Tweets. [AdAge] [Mashable]