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: 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]

Weekly Wrap: Oprah's Mobile Apps, Facebook Open Graph 101, Mobile Gaming Soars, Foursquare Marketing, Teen Texting Stats, Youth Media iPad Apps & More!

Barking.robot.iconOprah Launches Oprah Mobile Apps: The application, available for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Google Android platforms, offers video clips and previews from Winfrey's talk show, ticket alerts, weekly polls, and articles and photos from Oprah.com, The Oprah Magazine and Oprah Radio.

I have no doubt that Oprah's legion of smartphone carrying fans will make this app a hit! [Venture Beat]

Publishers Guide to Facebook Open Graph: Whether we like it (pun intended) or not, we have to understand what this move means. It impacts users, publishers, competitors and, of course, Facebook itself. In this post, we summarize what Facebook announced and ponder the impact this will have on everyone. Related: Facebook Social Plugins [RWW] [Facebook Developers]

Youth Media iPad Apps to Know: With more and more magazine, publishing and TV execs exploring the potential of creating interactive, social apps for the iPad, we thought we'd point to a few of those getting an early start for our latest Ypulse Toolbox. Related: 5 amazing iPad e-books for kids  [Ypulse] [CNET]

Mobile Gaming Soars on Smartphones: Mobile gaming is more than ever a tale of two devices: feature phones and smartphones. The U.S. population playing games on regular mobile phones fell by 35% last year to 29.5 million, while the number of smartphone gamers shot up 60% to 21.4 million, according to a new comScore report. [MediaPost]

7 Quick Steps to Foursquare Marketing: Marketing using Foursquare is beneficial because although a small user base, they are loyal.  It also takes up almost no time, so the ROI can be high. Foursquare marketing is most appropriate for brick and mortar businesses (people physically walk into your store to make purchases), but anyone can be taking advantage of Foursquare. [Real Time Marketer]

Millennials Want Social Sites to Delete User Data: Debunking the oft-repeated assertion that young people don't care about privacy, new research shows that Web users between the ages of 18 and 24 are highly protective of certain information about themselves. [Online Media Daily]

Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes: What do these changes mean? And what should you do if you don’t like the prospect of automatically sharing your activity with everyone you know on Facebook? Related: Facebook Safety Resources for Parents, Teachers & Teens [GigOm] [Barking Robot]

Teen Texting Stats: Anne Collier, author of the must read NetFamilyNews blog and co-founder of ConnectSafely, has a great analysis of the Pew Internet report on teen texting. [NetFamilyNews]

Weekly Wrap: Ning Goes Bust, Seacrest Speaks, Breakfast Club Turns 25, The 'Digital Natives' Myth, Growing Up Gaga, Poking is Not A Media Plan & More!

Barking.robot.iconAxe Falls on Ning: It has just announced that it is killing off its free product, forcing existing free networks to either make the change to premium accounts or migrate their networks elsewhere. Related: Posterous commits to building a Ning blog importer. [TechCrunch] [Posterous]

Seacrest Speaks: So what’s going on with TV’s leading multitasker? Is he overwhelmed? More like overjoyed. After nine years of hosting America’s most popular singing competition, he still love his job -- correction: jobs – though he is contemplating letting one of them go. [LA TIMES]

Sesame Street Video Helps Military Kids Cope with Loss: Elmo and a slew of other Sesame Street characters arrived at the Pentagon Tuesday to help debut a military-themed episode of its series called "When Families Grieve." [CNN]

The Breakfast Club Turns 25: This week in Critics’ Picks, A. O. Scott looks at the 1985 film “The Breakfast Club,” an exploration of suburban teen angst — and detention — directed by John Hughes, who died last year. Related: NPR Podcast > The 'Brat Pack' Grows Up [NYT Video] [Barking Robot via NPR]

The Myth of the Digital Native: One of the monsters is the "digital native" – the term, not the child. Coined by author Marc Prensky in 2001, the phrase has its usefulness in helping us adults grasp the major media shift we're experiencing and embrace young people's openness to it.

But two leading new-media thinkers – Sonia Livingstone of the London School of Economics and Henry Jenkins at the University of Southern California – both have concerns about the phrase becoming too definitive. [NetFamilyNews]

Is Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Making Kids Smarter?: According to a recent story in The Guardian, Oliver's Feed Me Better campaign, which he launched in 2004, has helped cut the number of absences typically attributed to illness by 15 percent in an area of southeast London. It also improved the number of students who reached proficiency on English standardized tests by 4.5 percent. [Good]

Poking and Tweeting Are Not A Media Plan: Social networking is more than setting up an online presence, and social media is more than just blasting out press releases. Until brands understand how to authentically join, rather than crash, the conversation, they will continue to throw their money away. [AdAge]

Producers Guild of America Adds Transmedia Producer Credit: This is a modest but important step toward officially recognizing where the entertainment business has been heading for some time. The major blockbusters across all media — film, television, gaming, music, and the rest — have been transmedia affairs, though the term transmedia has not necessarily been used. [Chris Rettstatt]

Gen Y Celebrates Diversity: Embrace our acceptance of diversity by showing Gen Y that your brand is diverse.  Brands and products that once only fit into a certain group or niche have now spread into many groups and niches. We will take your brand and make it our own. Take advantage of this and engage a larger group of the 20 somethings and teens. [Premise]

Why You Have to Understand Video Games to Understand Gen Y: Gen Yers love to keep score. They’ve been keeping score their whole lives. They keep score in their personal relationships, in the workplace, and even with the companies that advertise to them. It all started with video games. If there were no scores, nobody would have ever kept playing them. [GY Joe]

Growing Up Gaga: The self-invented, manufactured, accidental, totally on-purpose New York creation of the world’s biggest pop star. [New York Magazine]

Weekly Wrap: Foursquare Nabs MTV & VH1, Linguist Urges Kids to Embrace Twitter, Saving the Google Students, COPPA & Youth Marketing, Free iPad eBooks & More!

Barking.robot.iconSix Reasons to be Skeptical of the 'Digital Natives' Discourse: Almost all of the claims of the net gen discourse are in popular media and if they are based on research, it is proprietary and full methodological details are not provided. All of the sound research that refutes the claims is published in scholarly journals and has been subject to peer review. [Net Gen Skeptic]

Saving the Google Students: For the Google generation, closing school libraries could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to sift through sources is like sending them into the world without knowing how to read. [LA Times]

Weekly Wrap, Foursquare Edition: Meet Gatsby, Fresh off the heels of hooking up with Bravo TV and Harvard Foursquare signs a similar deal with MTV & VH1, Microsoft adds Foursquare data to Bing Maps & a really cool visualization of Foursquare check-ins at SXSW. [Iconoculture] [Mobile Entertainment News] [Mashable] [TechCrunch] [SimpleGeo]

10 Reasons Students Are Tuning Teachers Out: You’re teaching to a generation of students that can access more information more quickly than any other generation. Don’t tell students that you don’t want to figure out how to use the internet or that you don’t answer email. You’re putting yourself into a category you don’t want to be in. [GYJoe]

US Census Bureau Adds Mapping App to Facebook: In an effort to reach out to young people, the U.S. Census Bureau is launching a huge nationwide campaign incorporating social media, broadcast media and print to encourage people to fill out their census forms this year. [Inside Facebook]

Ypulse Interview| Jamie Tworkowski: Jamie is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide. Related: MTV Poll: Generation Stress [Ypulse]

Preparing Your Content for iPad: Platform-specific considerations and UX Guidelines for web content in Safari on iPhone OS devices, with specific information for iPad. Also, iPad to Offer 30,000 free eBooks at launch. [Safari Technical Notes] [Apple Blog] [UX Magazine]

Marketing to Kids | A Time for Playing by the Rules:Whether it’s Quiksilver, Monster Energy Drinks or ESPN X Games, the look and feel of the typical action sports-related website is young, edgy, authentic. Action sports marketers need to be aware, however, of the panoply of laws that regulate marketing to kids, including the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). [GroupY]

Quote O' The Week: “I hate being thought of as a product. I am not a doll, and people want to treat me that way. I’m older now. I have an opinion. I have my own taste.” - Miley Cyrus on why being a Disney pop princess is so difficult. [Gossip Girl] [Barking Robot]

Blogging, academia, and the new public intellectual: John Holbo admits he and his fellow pioneers have lost the “revolutionary fervor” of blogging’s early days. “I’m fortunate to be at the top of the food chain, to have these bully pulpits where I can stand up and know thousands of people will hear me,” he says. “But we all thought blogging was going to transform academic life, and that didn’t really happen. [Cal Alumni Association]

Linguist Urges Kids to Embrace Twitter: Language is forever changing -- and forms such as tweets and text messages are no less valid than any textbook version, says the linguist David Crystal, whose latest book encourages children to engage with the possibilities of their lingua franca. [The Independent]

More People Are Watching TV While Surfing the Web: This is some decent news for the TV industry, since the fear is that Internet time is eating into boob tube viewing. Overall, TV viewing is up 1%, year over year, according to the report.  [Business Insider]

Why Apple’s iPad Can’t Succeed in Schools (Yet): You see, tablets-as-books is a great idea until the battery dies, and then the student has no textbook and no computer. She will have to plug-in to a power outlet if she wants either of those things back. Related: A Kindle in Every Backpack [The Apple Blog] [Barking Robot]

Weekly Wrap: Fisher-Price Facebook Apps, I Want My Android TV, Justin Bieber for Old People, UK Entertainment Convergence, SXSW Roundup & More!

Barking.robot.iconFisher-Price App Aims for Moms on Facebook: Targeting the many moms online, Mattel’s Fisher-Price is launching a Facebook app Thursday that allows mothers to be more selective in choosing which of their friends can see photos of their children. Mothers who go online, particularly the influential group of “mommy bloggers,” present an important market for toy makers. [WSJ]

Android TV! | Google, Intel & Sony Join Forces: This trend is potentially much more disruptive than the introduction of 3D displays. Now a secret joint effort by Google, Intel and Sony to enter this field in partnership has been revealed. It will bring Google’s Android operating system and Chrome browser to TVs and set top boxes.

The technology has the potential to be disruptive to traditional TV by making the full range of Internet content available on television. [Collaborative Creativity]

What's TV's Next Business Model: It's hard to find TV content today that does not contain Web site addresses, Twitter mentions, and text-based messages throughout. It's accepted that even with these "light" reference points, as it stands now TV's long-term prospects pale in comparison to those of the Internet, mostly because TV content still has no direct-response mechanism.

Blending Internet elements into TV content makes for a seamless experience - and, in my opinion, is tomorrow's preferred business model. Related: Business Exchange > "Social Television" [MediaPost] [Business Weekly]

US Children get Playboy, not Bugs Bunny in Cable Mix-up: Young viewers of children's television programs in North Carolina got a glimpse of something far more risque than their favorite cartoons, when a cable glitch broadcast two hours of the Playboy channel. (Oooops!) [Yahoo! News]

Entertainment Convergence in the UK Digital Home: The UK is still at a relatively early stage of convergence when it comes to digital entertainment such as TV shows, films, short-form video, games, music and social networking. But momentum is building. [eMarketer]

Vodafone gives $1 million grant to Web Foundation for Web-enabling entrepreneurs in Africa: While only 25 percent of the world population uses the Web today, more than 70 percent of the world’s population has access to mobile or fixed communication devices capable of displaying Web content.

In Africa, where the Internet penetration rate is approximately 6.8 percent, furthering Web access can create learning opportunities for local entrepreneurs and support the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals to end poverty by 2015. [WWW Foundation]

SXSW Video Interview Roundup: SXSW 2010 was a gathering of innovative companies, forward thinking people, and interactive influencers. While I didn’t have a chance to talk to all 15,000 attendees, I was able to speak to a few choice companies that have progressive products in the social media and technology realm. [Edelman]

India's Rural Cell Movement: Just last month, nearly 20 million new mobile accounts were opened. That’s more than double the people than have high speed Internet in the entire country. Even in slums where people live on less than $2 a day, everyone has a phone. If “Slumdog Millionaire” was more accurate, Jamal wouldn’t have had to go on TV to find Latika. He could have just called her, or worst case, called a few friends until he found her number. [TechCrunch] [Yahoo! Movies]

Content Strategy is Much More than Web Copywriting: Where there should be content strategy and SEO strategy, we're often on projects where we're focused much more on target audience personas, design standards and project management charts, instead of content. The web writer is then brought in, given the creative brief, the wireframe and two weeks to "crank out the content." [Ignite Social Media]

The Justin Bieber Guide for Old People: Bad news, Old Person: No matter how much you try to avoid it, you will have to eventually interact with someone to whom Justin Bieber (BEE-BURR) is the sun around which their little life revolves. So we present this Justin Bieber Guide for Old People to help you avoid embarrassing yourself in front of your offspring, students, or patrons of your candy shop. [Gawker]

Flemish Digital Youthwork Practices: On the 8th and 9th of February 2010, Steunpunt Jeugd, Flemish knowledge and expertise center on youth, youthwork and youth policy, organized a big congress (JET) centered around youth, youth work and youth policy. One of these sessions is labeled "the 'e' in youthwork" that collected e-practices in Flemish youthwork. [Youth Work Online]

Weekly Wrap: Miley's 'The Last Song" Webcast, AOL's BeboFAIL, Oscars Score Nielsen Win, TEDxTeen, Books in the Age of the iPad, Wizard of OZ Remake, Twitter Backchannels, 11 Step Content Strategy & More!

Derek.baird.barking.robot Miley's "Last Song" Webcast: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear and Liam Hemsworth, stars of the upcoming film "The Last Song", will host a live chat on UStream Saturday, March 13 @4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific.  [Ustream]

3/13/10 Update: Here's the recording of the webcast with Miley Cyrus and the cast of "The Last Song." [Facebook]

AOL Could Make More Abandoning Bebo Than Selling It: As AOL continues to explore the sale of some of its non-core assets, TechCrunch speculated that the company may fair better financially if it were simply to abandon social network Bebo, rather than sell it. Related: AOL Launches AOL Lifestream [DML Wire]

Oscars Pull Biggest Audience in Five Years: The Oscars were watched by 41.3 million viewers, improving 13 percent over last year's audience and posting significant gains for the second year in a row, according to Nielsen estimates. Looks like that Oscars youth strategy paid off after all! Related: Social Media Played Big Role in Driving Oscar Interest [LA TIMES] [Radixhound] [Clickz]

Why iPad is the Children's Toy of the Year: While nobody was looking, the iPhone became a universally understood part of children's culture. And hundreds of companies have responded by creating child-specific apps, which makes the device even more compelling to kids. Sorta Related: Hard Bound Books will be Finished by 2016 [Computer World] [Wired] [Collaborative Creativity]

A "Wizard of Oz" remake? Say it ain't so!: Fresh off Disney's massive success with Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," Warner Bros. wants to remake another childhood classic. Like, really classic. The studio is examining two existing "Wizard of Oz" projects, with an eye toward giving one of them a modern gloss and moving it toward the screen. [LA TIMES]

Rapid Rise of Children with Cellphones: Though girls still have more cellphones than boys — 21.8 percent of girls have them, compared with 18.3 percent of boys — that gap is about half as large as it was in 2005. Most of the children surveyed who had cellphones were 10 or 11 years old; Mediamark reported that 36.1 percent of children in that age range had phones. [NYT]

TEDxTeen has curated a lineup of international youth (sprinkled with some compelling adults who made big waves as teens) who are tackling the big questions and big problems with passion and action. What are teens across the globe doing to make a difference? You might be surprised! [TEDxTeen]

Peeved Facebook Might Sue Brit Tabloid Over '14-Year-Old Girl' Headline Chaser: The story focuses on the dangers of pedophiles and teens co-mingling on social networking sites, and its original title specifically read "I Posed as a Girl of 14 on Facebook." The problem? The statement was a blatant lie. [YourVersion]

Who Wants an iPad? The Young, the Social & the Pop-Culture Addicts: The prospective iPad buyers on Facebook are young - much younger than the overall Facebook population, in fact. They're also fairly social, with nearly a third of the fans having over 300 friends. And finally, iPad fans are also very interested in other pop culture activities and themes including various celebs, brands and internet memes. Related: Books in the Age of the iPad. [RRW]

11 Steps Toward A Content Strategy: IBM recently published research showing that about 80 percent of those who begin a corporate blog never post more than five entries. And that's just blogging. The Internet is littered with near-tweetless Twitter accounts, expressionless Facebook pages, no-one-home YouTube channels. In the rush to adopt social media as a tactic, too many marketers leave strategy in the dust. [eConsultancy]

Five Ways to Use Twitter to Avoid a Backchannel Disaster: What do you do when you’re giving a presentation, and notice that your audience is looking down, busily typing on their laptops and smartphones? And what about when you get the sense that they are turning against you? To short-circuit a possible disaster, keep in mind these five things you can do to prepare and engage the backchannel. [Mashable]

Weekly Wrap: Microsoft Courier, Conan vs. Leno (again), Simon Fuller's Social TV Experiment, Content Strategy, Teen Brain, Cybertots, 39% in USA Don't Use Internet & More!

Barking.robot.icon Microsoft's Courier 'digital journal': We're told Courier will function as a "digital journal," and it's designed to be seriously portable: it's under an inch thick, weighs a little over a pound, and isn't much bigger than a 5x7 photo when closed. [Engadget]

Conan Vs. Jay, Round Two: Hulu users tag Jay Leno’s return as “Vomit Inducing” (and worse) and Conan rallies his 'Facebook Army' for his next battle with Jay. Can't we all just get along? [Mashable] [Business Insider] [Barking Robot]

Simon Fuller Aims for Social Networking TV Reality Hit: The man behind Pop Idol, So You Think You Can Dance? and the Spice Girls is rarely wrong about trends and if this latest idea takes off it will change the way in which we watch television, paving the way for other producers to cut TV networks out of the loop altogether. [Guardian]

Twitter Safety | Keeping young people safe on Twitter: Twitter is popular with everyone but due to the very open nature of Twitter younger users should take extra caution. Remember everything you post to Twitter with an open profile can be seen by anyone in the world and is very easy to search for.  [BullyingUK]

The 10-Step Content Strategy: Embed social media into your content — even if your content is PDFs of case studies, e-books or white papers. Give readers the opportunity to engage in your content and share it with their networks. Lightweight ways to encourage reader engagement include adding a “like” button to your content, plugging in Facebook Connect and including discussion threads for blog comments. [Smart Blog on Social Media]

Study Finds 39% of Americans Don't Use the Internet: But even more to the point, in this day and age, not having internet access is almost like being illiterate. There is just so much of the world that is off limit without the ability to get online. So the fact that the majority of people who aren’t online in the US see their lack of an internet connection as not important is somewhat scary. [The Next Web]

The Teen Brain | It's Just Not Grown Up Yet: Nature made the brains of children and adolescents excitable. Their brain chemistry is tuned to be responsive to everything in their environment. After all, that's what makes kids learn so easily. But this can work in ways that are not so good. Take alcohol, for example. Or nicotine, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy... [NPR]

Content Marketing Lessons From the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: If you want to stand out online, you need to create a plan and invest in it properly. [IdeaLab]

The Secret To A Better Social Media Strategy: By tailoring marketing strategies to account for statistics such as these, small businesses can maximize the effectiveness of their social media efforts and focus on reaching their desired audiences. [American Express OPEN]

Cybertots: Fisher-Price Targets the Preschool Set: Set aside the Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys. Fisher-Price is cyberfying your kids. [BrandChannel]

Teachers Not Adequately Prepared for Education Reform: A report released in December by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (CFTL) indicated that in California, where schools are pursuing ambitious education reform, while many teachers are well qualified to take on the demands of such an effort, many more simply are not up to the task. [THEJournal]

Weekly Wrap: Democrats & Millennials, Disney's "Alice" Goth Party, Vancouver 2010 Social Media Experiment, John Lennon Education Bus, Google Buzz Lawsuit & More!

Barking.robot.iconDemocrats Edge Among Millennials Slipping: While the Republican Party picked up support from Millennials during 2009, this age group continues to favor the Democratic Party more than do other generations. And the underlying political values of this new generation continue to be significantly more liberal than those of other generations on many measures. [Pew Research]

Harvard Law Student Files Class Action Suit Against Google Over Buzz: One of her attorneys, Gary E. Mason of Washington, D.C.-based Mason Law Firm LLP, said, "It's not so much that we're expecting to get millions of people hundreds of dollars. What we'd like to see as result is a commitment from Google that they're not going to do this again the next time they launch a product." [ABC News]

Why Gen Y Isn't Buying Your Products: To put it bluntly, if you’re uncomfortable with marketing to Generation Y, or refuse to understand our unique demographic, your store will not see 2020. To understand Generation Y is to overcome many obstacles in the retail industry. [Retail Customer]

Twitter Users Do It In the Car: Twitter is checked more often while driving than other sites, such as Facebook, according to a recent survey by research firm Crowd Science. Sounds like it's time to take Oprah's No Phone Zone pledge! [NBC San Francisco] [Oprah.com]

John Lennon Educational Bus: Throughout TEDActive, TEDsters had a chance to participate in something truly magical: the making of a music video. The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a nonprofit mobile recording studio, travels all around the country 10 months out of the year, providing free hands-on workshops to students of all ages, working with both audio and video projects. [TED Blog]

Tweet O' the Week: RT @henryjenkins: Whatever people are doing in World of Warcraft, it isn't "bowling alone." http://bit.ly/dhrSeI

High School Kid Uses YouTube to Land Prom Date with Maxim Model: In a move sure to inspire hundreds of copycats, 17-year-old Dakota Ridge High School senior Conner Cordova used a series of YouTube videos to get UFC Octagon Girl and Maxim model Arianny Celeste to go to the prom with him. [Asylum]

A Conversation About New Media & Education: It is about a world where students learn with a book in one hand and a mouse in the other, rather than one where they are taught that book culture is so fragile it needs to be protected from the computer. [Danielsaurus.com]

Disney Invites 'Goths' to the Party: Disney, the company that created "the happiest place on earth" and cornered the market on pink, is embracing a darker aesthetic as it reaches out to an unlikely audience for new merchandise: female "goths." [WSJ, Registration Required]

Welcome to Vancouver, the World's Largest Social Media Experiment: Social media was around for the Summer Games in Beijing, but this is the first time it will be deployed in a free and democratic regime.

There's good reason to expect that the Olympic experience will be transformed by the social media presence: it's already changed the Olympic planning process for both the Games organizers and the media that's now descending on the city. Related: Olympics Must Embrace Digital & Social Media Or Risk Losing Youth Audience [Harvard Business Review] [Barking Robot]

Yahoo's #Olympics Website Beats NBC's in Traffic: According to comScore, Yahoo's Olympics site and Yahoo Sports are the top websites for coverage of the first weekend of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. [The Wrap]

Weekly Wrap: Gen Y & the 'Obama Effect', Social Web Strategy Matrix, NBC Olympic Strategy, Facebook Privacy for Teens, Rebranding Mickey Mouse, Gen Y Slang, Young Hollywood = $$$ & More!

Barking.robot.iconWhy Brands Are Becoming Media: One of the greatest challenges I encounter today is not the willingness of a brand to engage, but its ability to create.

When blueprinting a social media strategy, enthusiasm and support typically derails when examining the resources and commitment required to produce regular content.

Indeed, we are programing the social web around our brand hub, which requires a consistent flow of engaging and relevant social objects. [Mashable]

Web Strategy Matrix: There’s an incredible amount of media and blogger noise about social networks, yet most focus on “killer app” hype without an objective point of view. My career mission?  To cut out the hype and help companies make sense of what to do. For those fraught with information overload, this definitive matrix distills what matters. [Jeremiah Owyang]

Facebook Privacy Settings for Teens: I would love to have the network's response to these recommendations, so please chime in as an educator, researcher, counselor, doctor, parent...or friend. I am hoping we can get the best recommendation out there for our young teens...and their parents. [Architecture of Ideas]

Hollywood Still Doesn't Understand How to Market to Women: This past weekend, something momentous happened in Hollywood. “Dear John," a chick flick based on a schmaltzy Nicholas Sparks novel and starring two only moderately famous actors, unseated “Avatar,” the most successful movie of all time. Nobody saw it coming. Why not? One simple reason: Hollywood still doesn’t understand how to market to women. [The Wrap]

Probing the 'Obama Effect on Gen Y: According to a study to be released this month by Images USA, 81 percent of the so-called Generation Y feel the gravity of world events is causing them to get involved. But according to Ricki Fairley-Brown, CMO of Images, African-American and Hispanic Gen Yers are more motivated than Caucasians of the same age. [AdWeek] [BrandWeek]

Yet Again, NBC's Olympics Strategy is a Loser: If the reason you are not showing events live online is that you say no one is interested in watching them that way, why are you bothering to police the Web? Prove that no one cares about live events online. [C|NET]

Disney to Rebrand Mickey Mouse: Mickey's popularity in the United States has begun to wane. He's been crowded out of children's hearts by growing competition from Nickelodeon, Pixar and Dreamworks characters and personalities. Executives consider the rebrand of Mickey's personality necessary to remain relevant in the marketplace. [BrandWeek]

Gen Y Makes Vanity Fair's Top 40 Moneymakers List: Los Angeles is the home of American cinema and these days, Gen Y is making the big bucks in this town. Vanity Fair recently compiled a list of Hollywood’s top earners in 2009, including the likes of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Ron Howard. Fifteen percent of Vanity Fair’s list, though, belongs to Generation Y. [Examiner]

Shamelust? GTL? The latest slang from Gen Y: Here's a taste of some new Gen Y vocab that may have otherwise made you go "huh?" upon hearing it. [@ Trend Central]

More Content Shared on Facebook, but User Activity Falling: Facebook's continual system tweaks plus services such as Facebook Connect are really helping transform the company into a content-sharing network rather than a meeting place for college friends. [Fast Company]

Do You Need a Social Media Policy?: Even when a company has a clear social media policy in place that provides more specifications as to what employees aren't allowed to post, there is no guarantee that everyone will represent the company exactly as you want. [INC.]

The Revolution Will Be Mapped: GIS mapping technology is helping underprivileged communities get better services — from education and transportation to health care and law enforcement — by showing exactly what discrimination looks like. [Miller-McCune]

Weekly Wrap: Chegg Battle of the Bands, Oprah's Leno-CoCo PollGate, Social Data Revolution, Mattel Looks to AR, Gen X Stereotypes, Real Time UX, Rowling on Imagination & Failure, Mowtown Content Strategy & More!

Barking.robot.iconChegg Joins College Battle of the Bands: College Battle of the Bands is proud to announce its partnership with textbook rental service Chegg.com! Student bands and musicians can sign up for FREE and promote their music for a chance to play great venues and win amazing gear and cash prizes as part of the national series of events. [Chegg.com]

Conan-Leno Mudslinging Continues With Oprah.com Poll Allegations: So how exactly does the source close to NBC figure that Team Coco flooded Oprah’s ballot box? By good old-fashioned ballot box stuffing, thanks to software designed by die hard Coco fans and advertised on one of the many Team Coco Facebook pages. (Really Team Jay? Why would Ms. Winfrey, or Conan for that matter, want to do that?) Related: Conan, Leno & The Tonight Show Debacle [MovieLine] [Barking Robot}

Augmented Reality Gives Lift to Kids Digital Space: Mattel was at the head of the line as the first major consumer products player to incorporate AR into a retail toy product. As the master toy licensee for James Cameron's film Avatar, the California-based toyco teamed up with an AR software solutions house Total Immersion to create a line of action figures. [Kidscreen]

The Social Data Revolution(s): In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever. [Harvard Business Review]

Free Reality TV Show Debuts on Your PlayStation 3: Sony Computer Entertainment America is making good on its promise to expand original content offerings on its PlayStation Network distribution service. It will be bringing an original reality television series, The Tester, to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles via the PSN as a free downloadable series starting February 18. [Mashable]

Study Finds Podcasts Reach Unreachable Consumers: Although podcasting has shown to be quite popular in niche markets, many marketers have not jumped into the fray. The results of a recent Edison Research and Association for Downloadable Media (ADM) study could change some marketers minds, however, because apparently consumers being reached by podcasting are unreachable in other formats. [Junta 42]

Tweet O' the Week: "At Chateau Marmont on a gorgeous day. Everyone here looks like they're on the verge of famous." via @TVBlogster

Get Real About Gen X Stereotypes: Much laudatory ink has been spilled on the Baby Boomers...usually by Boomers themselves. As for the Millennials, those born between 1982 and 1998, the quantity of reportage lauding their public-spiritedness has quickly become tiresome. But a new report casts doubt on the widely accepted stereotype of Gen X-ers as inferior to these other groups. [New Geography]

The Case for Content Strategy, Mowtown Style: how do you start humming the content strategy tune to your own team and to your prospective clients? Listen up and heed Aretha Franklin. No, really. [A List Apart]

UX of the Real Time Web: A major thing done by users on the real time web is the posting and recommending of external links. These links will often go to a story, website, picture, or video that could be of interest to people right now. One problem is that there is so much sharing being done on the real time web that it can become difficult to differentiate the legitimate links from the noise. [instantShift]

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination: J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. [Harvard Magazine]

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: Yahoo's Social Strategy, TweSMS for South Africa, Little Passports, 3D TV Hype, 25 UX Videos, Brands As Media, Power of the Social Experience, Mobile Apps & More!

Derek.baird.barking.robotNielsen Preps TV, Online Video Report: Nielsen has set its schedule for reporting integrated TV and online audience viewing data. The initiative is called TVandPC, and the first "extended screen" estimates of the combined audiences will be available for the month of September as evaluation data, delivered to clients sometime in fourth quarter. The evaluation period will end in Feb. 2011.[Brand Week]

The 'Connect Wars': Not content to control only their own domains, social web sites are trying to conquer those of everyone else — by becoming the dominant log-in system for the web. Facebook, of course, is off to a quick and convincing start. [GigaOM] 

Yahoo's Social Strategy Takes Root in Asia: A series of deals with major social networks shows Yahoo moving away from its origins as a traditional portal, as it sets its sights on becoming a content-rich destination where people can interact with and navigate to all their favorite sites. [Asia Media Journal]

Twitter SMS Notifications for South Africa: TweSMS is a third party application that allows you to receive your twitter notifications and updates delivered straight to you phone via SMS message. [TweSMS]

Create Your Own Android or iPhone App in Minutes: Creating a self-branded iPhone or Android app just got a lot more accessible. iSites, a new service launching today, allows you to take your website’s RSS feed and data and quickly transform it into a full-fledged iPhone app. [Mashable]

Global Youth: Turn Kids Into Globetrotters: In an era dominated by electronic communication, people are embracing concepts from a slower age, like the company that transforms emails into paper letters and one that resurrected the classic telegram. Little Passports combines that nostalgia for 'real' mail and combines it with the convenience of a subscription service. [Little Passports] 

3D TV Is 'Mostly Hype': 3D has been getting boatloads of attention, especially during this week at CES where major electronics firms are unveiling their new 3D TVs, but while Sony and others would like you to believe that we'll all be playing video games and watching movies in glorious 3D this year, Forrester Research would tell you otherwise. Related: CES and Vegas 2010: Supersized Vulgarity [Industry Gamers] [Collaborative Creativity]

The Power of the Social Experience: This is why both employers and marketers interested in Generation Y need to realise that, while social technology is the new thing, just being on Facebook and Twitter won’t be as effective in attracting and retaining this cohort, as inviting Generation Y to experience the potential of what you have to offer with a friend or two. [Naked Generations] 

Social Marketing in Twenty Ten: As I believe, Social Media is not owned by any one department. The entire company will eventually socialize represented by each division that warrants an outward and participatory voice. Conversations always map to the activity that exists across multiple networks, spanning a multitude of subjects and potential outcomes. [Brian Solis]

All Brands Are Media: Why are brands choosing to become media companies? Because they can. Blogs, Web publishing, smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, netbooks and other tools providing access to the Internet allow firms to create media sites as easily as old-line publishers can. [IP Carrier]

Oprah's No Texing & Driving Campaign: It's the show that started Oprah's No Phone Zone movement. Watch a 15 minute clip or the entire episode about the dangers of distracted driving, then sign the No Phone Zone Pledge. Related: Buck Hollywood > No More Texting and Driving [Oprah Winfrey] [Buck Hollywood]

25 User Experience Videos That Are Worth Your Time: Rare are the opportunities to attend conferences or watch live shows on subjects that we’re interested in. That’s why we are presenting here phenomenal videos and related resources on the topic of user experience (UX) by different presenters at different events. [Smashing Magazine]

Barking Robot Mini: Be sure to also check out my Tumblr, Barking Robot Mini, for links, pictures and other stuff I've stumbled across during my digital walkabout!

Weekly Wrap: Mobile Donations, Neglecting Gen X, Facebook Marketing, Gen Y Goes GaGa, More Kids Go Mobile, Social TV, Google's China "Problem" & More!


Mobile Donations Make Giving Easier: Text message donations to Haiti are in the millions. Katya Andresen, chief operating officer at Network for Good, talks with American Public Media's Kai Ryssdal about why this type of giving is growing in popularity and how big of a role it will have in helping Haiti. [American Public Media]

10 Musts for Marketing to Women on Facebook: There are over 56 million women using Facebook in the United States, and for marketers this means one very important thing –- if you have a brand, product or company that targets women, Facebook is the place to be. [Mashable]

Why Millennials Are Going Gaga for Lady GaGa: She’s funky. She’s weird. She’s different. She’s who we all are on the inside. Unless you were a cheerleader (a thin one) or a mildly attractive quarterback, chances are you felt out of place in high school.

Whether you were called a freak, a basket case, a fag, or a fat ass to your face or behind your back, secondary education, and everything leading up to it, is a playground for ostracizing as many of your peers as possible. [Next Great Generation] Related: 10 Things Brands Can Learn From Lady GaGa

Spot411: A social TV platform that tells you what and when your friends and family are watching. Hmm. Looks interesting. Anyone tried this? [Spot411]

Google's Social Media Plans for 2010: Google plans to expose and elicit more of the social network built into the tools that many of us already use — Gmail, Google Talk, etc. If you use Google products, the company already knows who your most important contacts are, what your core interests are, and where your default locations are. [GigaOm]

I'll Tumblr for Ya: Do you use Tumblr? Be sure to check out the new Tumblr backup mac desktop app! Speaking of Tumblr, be sure to check out MiniRobot! [Tumblr] 

Couch Potatoes May Have Shorter Life Spans: The researchers suggest this link between TV-time and early death could be partly due to the fact that sitting in front of the tube may take away from time a person might otherwise spend moving about, engaging in light activity, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain biological indicators of cardiovascular disease. [Yahoo! News]

Why No One Cares About Gen X: Financial institutions are falling all over each other trying to attract Gen-Y consumers. But what about Gen X? It doesn’t seem like financial institutions care all that much about Gen X. Why is that? Here’s the explanation. [The Financial Brand]

Are American Kids Crazy or What?: American teenagers are rebellious thrill-seekers who revel in immediate gratification and relinquish autonomy to peer pressure. But is it just the devil of biology that makes them do it? Or is American culture an accessory to the fact? [Miller McCune]

Why Google Wasn't Winning China Anyway: Google's decision to pull out of China unless the authorities will allow uncensored search results -- an unlikely outcome -- probably does stem from moral outrage over the government's heavy-handed tactics. But it could be a face-saving way to exit a market where Google has made surprisingly little progress. [AdAge]

Hallmark Launches Augmented Reality Cards: Hallmark Cards has announced the release of webcam greetings, new cards that use augmented reality technology to bring the card to life on a computer screen. [Shopping Blog]

Child Mobile Ownership Up: More than one-third of 10-to-11-year-olds in the US owned a mobile phone in 2009, compared with 20% in 2005. Ownership among kids ages 6 to 11 rose from 11.9% to 20% over the same time period. Thanks Graham! [eMarketer]

Meet the NEXT: Get the low-down on this new section that embraces a down-and-dirty style of filmmaking. If a filmmaker wants to create his or her own idiosyncratic vision, it’s often not worth looking around for a big budget, waiting for others to say it’s ok to make it. [Sundance Film Festival 2010]

Weekly Wrap: Twitter Revolution, How TV Can Save the World, Ford's Twitter Cars, Future of Content, Understanding Social Networks, Twitter Spam & More!


The Twitter Revolution: While the use of social media in the Iranian protests quickly garnered the label “Twitter Revolution,” the real revolution was the use of mobile phones, which allowed the original protesters to broadcast their actions to other citizens and to the wider world with remarkable speed and immediacy. This characteristic, of a rapidly assembling and self-documenting public, is more than just a new slogan. Related: Iranian Gen Y on Revolution 2.0 [Prospect Magazine] [Collaborative Creativity]  [Barking Robot]

Understanding Users of Social Networks: People just love to look at pictures. That's the killer app of all online social networks. Seventy percent of all actions are related to viewing pictures or viewing other people's profiles. [Harvard Business School]

Revolution in a Box: It's not Twitter or Facebook that's reinventing the planet. Eighty years after the first commercial broadcast crackled to life, television still rules our world. And let's hear it for the growing legions of couch potatoes: All those soap operas might be the ticket to a better future after all. [Foreign Policy]

Ford Adding Tweets: Ford Motor Co. is adding Twitter messages and Internet radio to its in-car entertainment and communication service, known as Sync, and suggests that the voice-activated system is safer for drivers than trying to manipulate applications on their cell phones. [Yahoo!]

Irish Software Helps Prevent Cyberbullying: The Bully Stop technology allows parents to monitor callers and access abusive text messages before their offspring read them. The Irish-designed product is the first off-the-shelf application to specifically tackle mobile phone bullying and can be downloaded by computer before being transferred to a child's handset. [Breaking News Ireland]

The Rise of the Post Digital World: The world is going increasingly digital but the majority of media and marketing is analog and the majority of people are analog. [India Times]

U.S. Virtual Economy is Booming: When a lot of people think of gamers, they automatically think of mostly male teens who sit around a game console or computer screen all day playing alone. The reality is that the average gamers today are in their 30’s and have a significant disposable income to support the expensive hobby. [InsideTech]

Detecting Spam in a Twitter Network: Spam becomes a problem as soon as an online communication medium becomes popular. Twitter’s behavioral and structural properties make it a fertile breeding ground for spammers to proliferate. [FirstMonday]

The Future of Content Without Walls: From their in-home television and entertainment networks, consumers have grown accustomed to an on-demand culture. The combination of always-on devices and networks is helping extend that culture outside the home.

For the transition to be successful, devices must provide a good user experience, and content delivery needs to be immediate and seamless. [eMarketer] 

Ooh la la! Lady GaGa is Polaroid’s New Brand Ambassador: Yesterday in Vegas, the Lady herself appeared at the Consumer Electronic Show to discuss her new role as creative director for a line of new Polaroid products. Related: 10 Things Brands Can Learn From Lady GaGa [Mediaite] [Barking Robot]

Music Downloads Up as Album Sales Drop: Album sales in the UK fell by 3.5% in 2009 to 128.9 million despite a growth in digital downloads. [BBC]