Weekly Wrap: China, Social Media & Chinese Youth Trends

image from a4.att.hudong.com I've been doing some research on Chinese youth culture and their use of technology, mobile phones & social networking for a book chapter I'm working on and thought I'd share some of my research.

The following sites and articles have provided me with a pretty good insight into what it means to be a Chinese Millennial.

China's Top 4 Social Networks: There is no single dominant network, no Facebook for all of China. The actual Facebook.com is blocked by government censors (Chinese sites all obediently and quickly remove “objectionable” content). No single social network will conquer the China market in the immediate future, least of all a foreign one. [China Social Games]

Digital Confucius Introduces Chinese Students to Liberal Arts at Yale and Beyond: Hundreds of thousands of young Chinese are joining a new craze: auditing American university courses available online. Of most interest: topics like happiness and justice. [CS Monitor]

China's New Culture of Cool: China’s 1.3 billion citizens—particularly the 640 million who are under age 30—are becoming a world force. However, China is not a monolithic culture.

Though deeply rooted in native traditions, its contemporary marketplace is eclectic, combining regional styles with elements borrowed from foreign cultures.

And, it is evolving at a remarkable pace. To succeed in this dynamic emerging market, smart businesses need to understand its driving influences—especially its urban youth. [Cheskin Added Value]

Mobile Youth Trends | China 2010: The Mobile Youth Trends China 2010 Report provides marketing and product managers an overview of both the quantitative and qualitative state of play with young mobile customers (aged 5-29). [MobileYouth]

China Internet Status Report 2010: The latest report on China Internet is ready, which is based on CNNIC data. [China Internet Watch]

China Internet Network Information Center: China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state network information center of China, was founded as a non-profit organization on Jun. 3rd 1997.

Enovate: In short, we’re a Shanghai-based insights and design agency. We combine on-the-ground research and an experienced strategy team, to arrive at innovative solutions to China’s youth market. We work with a wide range of client to build meaningful relationships with Chinese youth.

A Look at China's 240 million mobile youth: China’s legion of 240 million mobile owners under 30 yrs old has a significant bearing on the shape of the mobile phone industry and we’re fortunate to have Jesse Hu in the region to do our on-the-street research for us down in Shenzhen city. [Mobile Youth]

Infographic: Social Media Equivalents in China

Image Credit: Enovate

Weekly Wrap: Slacktivism, Open Source Social Innovation, Boomers & Social Media, Helping Google Get Social, Sundance 2010 Round-Up, Texting Party in the USA, Steve Jobs' Wardrobe & More!

Barking.robot.iconA Time and Place for 'Slacktivism': Slacktivism; (v.) action 4 social change w/o much effort beyond a click/text. Known causes: social media, cellphones. [Ypulse]

Baby Boomers Get Connected with Social Media: Boomers are turning to social media, where they keep up their offline social connections and make new ones. Online marketing messages that help them build on their connections—and foster other online relationships—will get their interest. [eMarketer]

Lady GaGa's Lessons for the Music Business: Underneath Gaga's haystack wigs is a case study of what it takes to succeed in the music business today. Gaga, 23 years old, has made shrewd use of new digital platforms, while still leveraging the clout of a major label, an institution deemed obsolete by many proponents of DIY culture (Thanks Ypulse!). [WSJ]

Conan O'Brien's Fate a Sign of the Times: While the "Tonight Show" ratings fell under O'Brien's tenure as a whole, ratings amongst the younger demographics were better than those of Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." According to the New York Times, the median age of "Tonight Show" viewers fell by 10 years, from 55 to 45, in O'Brien's first month alone. [Colorado Daily]

Social Media Marketing, How Pepsi Got it Right: Social media marketing campaigns are proving to be goldmines rich with customer engagement and insight that companies wouldn’t likely have otherwise. Companies like PepsiCo are going to extensive lengths to foster this type of collaboration with fans, and the payoff has been big. [Mashable]

Will Creating a SWAT Team Help Google Get Social?: As successful as Google has been with plenty of other things — including a little thing called search-related advertising — it has struck out big-time in virtually every attempt at the social side of the web. [GigaOM]

Reflections from the Sundance Film Festival: Lois Vossen, ITVS vice president and Independent Lens series producer, shares her reflections on this year’s festival, which wraps up this weekend. [Beyond the Box]

College Students Hate Email: In fact, the student joked that she only uses her email to “communicate with her boss and adults.” She uses Facebook as her preferred method of peer-to-peer communication – she has had a Facebook thread running between the three of them for three years now. [Off Campus Media]

Tweet O' the Week: Can someone please buy Steve Jobs a new outfit! The man has more money than God and Oprah! A simple button down will do!" (via Scott Nevins) [Twitter]

Americans Sending 4 Times as Many Texts as Brits:There was a turning point a couple of years ago when it was suddenly undeniable: It was either text message or be left behind. If you were paying for it by the message, you suddenly had to find a plan, because you started having more and more friends that wouldn't talk any other way. Well, we're wondering if it has finally reached that point in the U.K. - or if it's yet to come. [ReadWriteWeb]

Teen Drinking May Cause Irreversible Brain Damage: For teenagers, the effects of a drunken night out may linger long after the hangover wears off. A recent study led by neuroscientist Susan Tapert of the University of California, San Diego compared the brain scans of teens who drink heavily with the scans of teens who don't. [NPR]

Open Source Social Innovation: Last week Bill Gates entered the digital publishing world by establishing the Gates Notes - an online evolution of his now annual January letter sharing his thoughts on the progress of the issues central to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It’s interesting and symbolic that the next chapter of his life story would include an “open source” platform for sharing IP on social innovation. [Cheskin]

Weekly Wrap: BBC Digital Revolution, Creating Word of Mouth Buzz, 2010 Online Community Predictions, Perpetual Beta, Robots Attack & More!

Barking.robot.icon5 Triggers for Creating Online Word of Mouth: Word of Mouth is clearly one of the fastest growing sectors in marketing. PQ Media’s recent study has it growing 14.2% in 2008 to $1.54B and expects it to reach $3B by 2013.

Powering that growth are social technologies that have made it increasingly easier for individuals to grow their sphere of influence and quickly spread content to their expanded social networks online. [WOMMA]

BBC Digital Revolution: Digital Revolution (working title) is an open source documentary, due for transmission on BBC Two in 2010, that will take stock of 20 years of change brought about by the World Wide Web. Sorta Related: Oprah's Film Club. [BBC] [Barking Robot]

13 Year Old Runs Up 22K Cell Phone Bill: A father is hoping his cell-phone service provider will cut him a break after receiving a bill for nearly $22,000 in charges made by his teenage son. [KTLA]

Streaming Will Never Stop Downloading: Far from being a cure for the industry's woes, substituting streams for downloads wastes bandwidth, reduces privacy and slows innovation. [Guardian UK]

Listen Without Prejudice: Dan Coates from Ypluse.com shares how to use the power of music to connect youth with the emotions that they feel as they discover themselves and the world around them. Also Related: For Gen Y, Music is Oxygen. [MediaPost: Engage Gen Y] [Barking Robot]

2010 Community Management PredictionsWhat will online communities look like in 2010? What will community managers be talking about? What legal changes are bubbling away? We asked some fantastic community managers for their 2010 predictions, and if their thinking comes true, 2010 is going to be a very exciting year. [Fresh Networks]

Beware the Youth--They May Think Your Marketing is 'Evil': The youth today is savvy; intelligent; and importantly, powerful. Powerful? Yes. Looking at demographics; purchasing power; and the extent of influence to set trends, this is a group to be admired; respected (yes, they ain’t no fools); and targeted intelligently. [MediaUpdate]

Facebook is Here to Stay: Facebook is not only the overwhelming favorite social networking site (SNS) among college students; it may rapidly become the only SNS that matters, according to research by Anderson Analytics. [Yahoo! News]

Perpetual Beta | The Communications Pro of the Future: The Communications pro of the future must be a master of three important disciplines: Radical Listening, Social Influence, and Perpetual Beta. Within each are new practical skills that will define the true PR master – the next generation trusted advisor. [Digital Influence Project]

Unknown Filmmaker Gets $30m for Robot Movie: Fede Alvarez, an unknown filmmaker from Uruguay, has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses - to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie. [NewsLite]

Augmented Reality Makes Money: Augmented reality start-up AcrossAir, which makes apps that help you find nearby subway stops and restaurants, turned profitable last month and is launching a bar finder this week. Also Related: Augmented reality glasses have been developed, projecting real-time language translation directly into people's eyes, Terminator style. [Venture Beat] [Brand Republic]

Introduction to Using Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

The Commons provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

This printable guide provides an overview of how to use Creative Commons along with additional information regarding technical implementation on the Web. Introduction to Using Creative Commons

Additional Resources

Weekly Wrap: Social Telly, UK Mashup Legalization, Moms on Facebook, Content Curation, Zombies + Gen Y, eBooks on OLPC & More!

RobotIconHow Moms Use Their iPhones: According to a new survey by mobile advertising network Greystripe, mothers with iPhones regularly let their children use their phones, download games specifically for their children and often use their phones at grocery stores to compare prices and check their grocery lists. [ReadWriteWeb]

UK Will Urge Legalization of Mashups: Lord Mandelson’s three-strikes proposal may have gobbled all the headlines. But a parallel package published Wednesday, aimed at liberalising copyright, may prove just as important for some creators. [paidContentUK]

What Do Teens Want? Their Moms Off Facebook: The problem with Facebook? Moms. "My mom uses it to plan dinner" was the sound bite complaint. One #w2s hashtag user remarked that he would pay his mom money to get OFF Facebook. [SF Chronicle]

Social Telly--A Round Up of Social Viewing: Television has always been a social thing. Whether it’s because you’re watching it with family and friends at home, watching football in the pub, chatting at school or work with friends about that programme that you all love the night before, television is about much more than a broadcast. [Roo Reynolds | What's Next?]

Industry panel warns media companies Must Embrace Social Media: As social networking becomes more prevalent among consumers of all ages, media companies will have to learn how to navigate the various social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to reach out and market to their customers, according to a panel of media executives speaking at a CTAM Summit ’09 panel session Monday. [MultiChannelNews]

Internet Archive Opens 1.6 Million E-Books on OLPC Laptops: The Internet Archive operates 20 scanning centers in five countries, where hundreds of workers are manually scanning books from public and university libraries, mostly public-domain works for which the copyright term has expired. It collects these books at its Open Access Text Archive. [Xconomy]

Curation| The End of Content Aggregation: In an age where anyone can be a publisher, it is now up to the editor to curate the best of the massive amounts of content now available in a way that is easily digestible. The role of the journalist is much like a museum curator whittling down, say, 19th century Neo-Classicism, into a single, walkable hallway. [eMedia]

OMG, Senators Target Texting: The senate, the Department of Transportation and the FCC want you to stop texting while driving, and on Wednesday, they all but declared a war on texting, promising education campaigns and laws to convince you to put your phone down — at least while you are piloting a two-ton SUV going 70 mph. [Wired]

Tweet O' The Week: "Customers are people first and they do not care about your ROI." via @kyleplacy / Kyle Lacy

Mobile Augmented Reality: There’s some momentum building in the mobile-based augmented reality space in Oz. Related: Second Use for Google Wave Discovered: Role Playing Games. [TechNation Australia] [Gizmodo]

Zombie Walk & Gen Y: The political classes are also acutely aware of some realities of demographics, and this has lead them to target Gen Y more heavily. Generation Y are going to inherit the working world, and remain in charge of it for many years to come. [Crazy Epic]

A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools


A concept paper published in July by former members of the Obama-Biden transition team, titled A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools, suggests we consider an innovative plan to spread eTextbooks around the country, rapidly scaling up employment of the technology so that we can learn, adapt, and perfect its use quickly. It describes the case for an eTextbook system in three parts.

In Part One, the report discusses the multiple reasons why eTextbooks like Amazon's Kindle are a much better approach for our nation’s students. The reasons they are superior include the ability to update eBooks relatively cheaply and easily, environmental and health benefits (such as reducing loads on young backs and shoulders), and the enormous opportunity to make texts more exciting and interactive—like the other tools children use today and that compete for their attention.

In Part Two, this paper discusses the economics of this approach. Cost estimates in the education world are notoriously sketchy and often self-serving, but it seems clear that over time an investment in these tools would produce big savings.

Finally, in Part Three, this paper outlines how we could implement such a plan, and why there could be broad-based support for it.

Also of interest is an article in the September/October 2009 issue of Scholastic Administrator Magazine titled, "Will the Kindle Change Education?" The article does a really good job of weighing in on both the pros and cons of using the Kindle in the classroom.

A lot of education folks have focused on using the mobile phone as the primary device to usher in the age of mlearning (mobile learning).

But perhaps we should be paying more attention to e-book devices like the Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook or the (rumoured) Apple tablet as the more viable mlearning option to delivering media rich and digital content to kids at school.

A lot the current research shows that when kids go to school they are disconnected from how they live outside the classroom. Either way, what's important is that we take a look at and try using any resource or tool--including e-books--that gets kids' more engaged and invested in their education.

Related: Amazon's Jeff Bezos Gives Away Kindles To His Alma Mater, Asks For Feedback

Ypulse 2009 Totally Wired Teacher Award

The Ypulse 2009 Totally Wired Teacher Award (sponsored by Dell) will honor a trailblazing teacher who has successfully pioneered the innovative and educational use of technology, mobile technology, social media (blogs, wikis, social networking, photo/video sharing) in the classroom.

The award is inspired by Ypulse founder Anastasia Goodstein’s book, Totally Wired: What Teens & Tweens Are Really Doing Online, and the challenges she observed around integrating technology into public school classrooms. We will recognize a teacher who has overcome these challenges and is inspiring both students and other educators.

The award-winner likely had to overcome challenges from parents and administrators in order to use the technology, but because they understand how students use social media outside of school, they persevered with their initiative and worked collaboratively with students, ultimately sharing their insight and knowledge with the larger teaching community.

Representatives from Ypulse and Dell will choose three finalists to interview by phone. The selected teacher will be honored in person at the Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup June 1-2 in San Francisco.

All three finalists will receive a IT solution from Dell to use in their respective schools. Teachers can nominate themselves. You can get all of the details about how to nominate a teacher (or if you're a teacher, how to nominate yourself!) over on Ypulse.

Related Links

Mozilla, Peer 2 Peer University & Creative Commons Launch OER Program for Educators

The Mozilla Foundation, in collaboration with ccLearn/Creative Commons and the Peer 2 Peer University, launches a practical online seminar on open education.

This six week course is targeted at educators who will gain basic skills in open licensing, open technology, and open pedagogy; work on prototypes of innovative open education projects; and get input from some of the world leading innovators along the way.

The course will kick-off with a web-seminar on Thursday 2 April 2009 and run for 6 weeks.

Weekly web seminars introduce new topics ranging from content licensing to the latest open technologies and peer assessment practices.

The course is targeted at educators who want to help shape the open education future. Participants should have some knowledge of web technologies, or open content licensing, or open pedagogy (or all three), but don't need to be experts.

You can learn more about the course by clicking here.

Additional Resources

MobileStudy.com: Mobile Testing for Moodle & Facebook

Mobile Study is a platform that allows teachers to easily create a multiple choice quiz and other content via a mobile device. The finished multiple choice quizzes can be downloaded to a mobile phone from a computer, by visiting a URL with a mobile phone browser, via an SMS message or by using a QR Code.

If you prefer web applications to mobile ones, it’s also worth noting that quizzes can be made for Facebook or imported into Moodle. The Mobile Quiz module allows you to create versions of your Moodle quizzes that can be installed on mobile phones. The quiz can then be used anywhere, anytime.

The Mobile Study website and phone quizzes also provide a unique way of getting students in remote location or studying by correspondence involved with their teachers and fellow class mates.

You can take a look at some sample mobile study quizzes by clicking here.

According to mobileYouth, by 2010 American mobile owning youth under 30 will number 100 million, so it makes sense that more and more formal education opportunities will be migrating to the mobile phone space.

Related Resources

Joan Ganz Cooney Center Study on Mobile Learning

Last week the Joan Ganz Cooney Center released a new report on how mobile technologies can be used in education titled, Pockets of Potential. You can access the full-length version on their site.

The Cooney Mobile Learning Study outlines some of the key opportunities for mobile learning:
  • Encourage "anywhere, anytime" learning
  • Reach Underserved children
  • Improve 21st Century Social Interactions
  • Fit with Learning Environments
  • Enable a personalize Learning Experience
The Cooney study cites the need to create a Digital Teachers Corps to provide educators with the training and skills to integrate mlearning activities into the classroom. While I agree, I would also say that school administrators, both at the school and district level, need to provide the leadership, support and physical infrastructure required to make mlearning (mobile learning) a reality.

When I was working at Yahoo! on the Yahoo! Teachers project, I had the opportunity to spend the summer teaching educators around the country how to use web technologies in their classroom.

Time and time again I heard from teachers that their efforts to integrate technology into their classroom are stifled by district policy, draconian filtering policies and a lack of technological resources. Many times teachers get labeled, especially when it comes to technology, as unwilling to learn how to use new technologies.

While that may have been true a decade ago, almost every educator I met expressed concern that schools were working on an outdated model and that they recognized that the way kids learn has drastically changed.

They also expressed that there is a severe lack of professional development opportunities and support from district, state and federal administrators to provide leadership and change in their schools.

Since they work on the frontline, we also need to include teachers in this discussion. There is often a disconnect between theory cooked up by policy wonks and the reality of the classroom.

One of the other areas of concern, not just for mobile learning, is the lack of good, quality educational content. It's great if we outfit kids with an Apple iPhone or Palm Pre, but then what? When we talk about mobile learning we often focus just on the hardware and technology.

Quality educational content is often left out of the equation. The OpenCourseWare movement is helping fill this void in the higher education space, but the K-12 space suffers from a real lack of appropriate, relevant and quality content. In addition to the technology, we need to develop a repository of open content materials for our K-12 students, teachers and parents.

Finally, in addition to educating teachers, administrators and other members of the education ecosystem, it's vital that we also educate parents on the benefits of mobile learning. Many teachers are still trying to convince parents that the Internet is a relevant learning tool, that blogging has educational merits and that Wikipedia is a credible source of information.

Mobile Phones, Learning & Gen Y

For the most part, colleges and K-12 are just beginning realize the potential of mobile technology to improve the quality of student learning. In order to meet their students changing expectations and digital learning styles, instructors need to be provided with professional development opportunities to experiment with current and emerging web-based technologies.

Clearly, the spread of mobile technology into both the cognitive and social spheres requires educators to reexamine and redefine our teaching and learning methods. The future of learning has already arrived in the European Union, Africa and Southeast Asia, and if the United States doesn't act now we will be even further behind the rest of the world.

At the 2006 International Consumer Electronic Show, Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel outlined the explosive growth of mobile technology. According to Semel, there are 900 million personal computers in the world. But this number pales in comparison to the 2 billion mobile phones currently being used in the world.

Even more astounding is how mobile devices are increasingly being used as the primary way in which people connect to the Internet. In fact, Semel notes that 50% of the Internet users outside the US will most likely never use a personal computer to connect to the Internet. Rather, they will access information, community, and create content on the Internet via a mobile device.

The use of mobile technologies is growing and represents the next great frontier for learning. Increasingly we will continue to see academic and corporate research invest, design and launch new mobile applications, many of which can be used in a learning context.

Learning 3.0 will be about harnessing the ubiquity of the mobile phone/handheld device and using it as an educational tool. A few quick facts on mobile technology, Gen Y and education:
  • A 2005 study conducted by the USA-based Kaiser Family Foundation found that, although 90% of teen online access occurs in the home, most students also have web access via mobile devices such as a mobile phone (39%), portable game (55%), or other web-enabled handheld device (13%). [link]
  • Palm estimates that mobile and handheld devices for public schools will be a 300 million dollar market. A few progressive school districts in the USA have already started using mobile devices in the classroom. [link]
  • Australia is emerging as a leader in mobile learning (mlearning). [link] [link]
  • The National College of Ireland, University of Scotland and other European universities have already started experimenting and integrating mobile technologies into their classes. [link] [link]
  • A study by the Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO) found that students are using their mobile phones for just about everything--except making phone calls.
  • Some developing countries, like Kenya, are bypassing the use of desktop computers all together and using handheld WI-FI devices and open source software to reduce the cost of education in rural areas. [link] [link]
  • Mobile School is a Belgian non-profit organization who is using mobile technology to provide educational opportunities for homeless children. [link]
  • Mobile phones are in the early phases of being used for student testing and assessment. [link]
  • YouTube, the popular online video community, has an educational channel that allows educational institutions to upload video clips via their mobile phones, PDAs, or other wireless handheld devices.
  • SparkNotes are now available for download on both the iPod (text and audio format) or via SparkMobile, a SMS version for mobile phones.
  • iTunesU & iPhone Apps have allowed an unprecedented amount of educational content, learning games, video & applications in the hands of students & educators.

Closing Thoughts

The Cooney research is a landmark study that I hope will move both the education technology and mobile learning discussion forward. Perhaps the release of this study, an education technology friendly president and education secretary is creating a "perfect storm" for real change to take place in our education system.

As a nation, we can no longer afford to sit back and watch schools in the U.K., Australia and Africa move forward while we continue to model our schools on an outdated agrarian, 18th Century education model.

Benefits of this learning space for the students are threefold: potential for maximum participation (all can be posting simultaneously), increased interest (authentic use of technology, so little technical advice or support is needed), and student motivation was noticeable and achieved possibly because of the increased peer feedback and collaboration.

The convergence of mobile and social technologies, on-demand content delivery, and early adoption of portable media devices by students provides academia with an opportunity to leverage these tools into learning environments that seem authentic to the digital natives filling the 21st Century classroom.

The future is here. It's time we act.

Related Resources

Educator Guidelines: Fair Use in Media Literacy

The Center for Social Media at American University is proud to announce the upcoming release of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. This code is a step-by-step guide to fair use in an academic setting that enables teachers and students who use popular culture to know when their uses are legal.

The Code of Best Practices was created in collaboration with the Washington College of Law’s Program on Information, Justice and Intellectual Property and with our new partner Media Education Lab at Temple University. The Code will be released in hard copy in Philadelphia at the Kirby Auditorium on November 11, 2009, and is available online here.

To get a sense of what the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy is all about, watch our Media Literacy video. [via]

Related Resources

Mind the Gap: American Teens Falling into the Digital Divide

The Center for the Digital Future has released the results their international survey of 25,000 people in Asia, Australia, North and South America and Europe on Internet usage.

Among 18-24 year olds, the top countries with Internet usage:

  • 100% of British youth
  • 98% of Israeli
  • Czech Republic and Macao at 96%
  • Canada at 95%

By contrast, only 88% of American teens of the same age had access, trailed by Hungary and Singapore, where more than seven in 10 young people use the Internet.

The big takeaway? According to the study:

"Fewer young Americans have Internet access than their peers in the Czech Republic, Canada, Macao and Britain, a survey of 13 countries around the world showed."

While we talk a lot about youth being wired and connected to technology, the reality is that there are also a lot of teens who can't afford computers, mobile phones/devices or Internet access.

For the last five years I've volunteered with a youth organization in San Diego. We've maintained a website, blog, Flickr and Facebook page for the last four years. At a recent awards dinner for the teens, one of the leaders mentioned that they would post the photos from the dinner on Flickr and our website. One of the kids raised his hand and asked, "What if we don't have a computer?"

During a quick survey of the 100 youth attending the banquet, we were shocked to find that only a couple had mobile phones, even less had access to a computer and/or Internet access at home. And while they had access at school, most reported that school computers blocked and filtered so much content, it made it an exercise in frustration.

We had been working on the assumption that because they are teens, they are "wired." The reality is, while they wanted to be totally wired, their economic status prevented them from fully participating in the information and social web revolution.

While I was at Yahoo! working on the youth and education project, I had the opportunity to collaborate with school districts both large and small. Time and time again, I heard from school administrators that their students (and many teachers for that matter) didn't have access to a computer and/or web access from home.

So while we talk about all the really great ways that technology can support learning, get youth involved in the political process or how Gen Y is totally wired, it's important to remember that there are still big chunks of this generation who are unable to participate in the shared experiences taking place in Facebook, MySpace and other virtual environments.

In terms of the digital divide, we've made leaps and bounds, but there's still a long way to go.

Related Resources

Microsoft to Embrace OpenID

TechCrunch is reporting that Microsoft (finally!) has seen the light and will begin rolling out the integration of OpenID into their network of cloud services. Sayeth the DasCrunch:

"Login standard OpenID has gotten a huge boost today from Microsoft, as the company has announced that users will soon be able to login to any OpenID site using their Windows Live IDs.

With over 400 million Windows Live accounts (many of which see frequent use on the Live’s Mail and Messenger services), the announcement is a massive win for OpenID. And Microsoft isn’t just supporting OpenID - the announcement goes as far as to call it the
de facto login standard."

In other news, Yahoo! has announced that next week it will launch their open platform application. According to VentureBeat, the Yahoo! Application Platform (Y!AP) will "make Yahoo! more useful by giving third-party applications a way to plug into and link Yahoo services and user data."

Related Resources