I have a huge advantage when it comes to New Media research and it’s not because I have a big budget for analysis from the likes of Forrester and Gartner. My advantage is derived from the fact that I am the father of two Net-Gens.
A Net-Gen is one of the two billion people born between 1977 and 1997. What makes them special is that they only know a world filled with networked machines which they use on a day-to-day basis. My two “little” Net-Gens were born in 1990 and 1993 respectively, and having them in the house is like having my own New Media research lab. Whenever I want to know what’s going on “out there,” all I need to do is observe my Net-Gens. And they never steer me wrong.
A couple of weeks ago, while raiding the refrigerator (an occupational hazard of the home office) I noticed my son Bryan sitting on the couch watching television — or so I thought. Closer inspection revealed that he was doing something incredibly different…
…like simultaneously playing a video game WHILE watching a sitcom!
To be more specific, he had set the television into split-screen mode. In one screen, he piped a DVR-time-shifted sitcom. In the other, he played a video game on his Wii.
Rather than bothering him, I did what any self-respecting New Media Evangelist would do; I grabbed my video camera and started shooting. As I stood there, with the video camera whirling away, I had a thought.
Soon, Bryan and his peers will be purchasing cars, houses, and patronizing various businesses. And that got me to thinking about the information that businesses create. I thought about the obsequious business marketing drivel that emanates from Marcomm, or the Sominex-laced-cookie-cutter press releases baked by PR. I wondered how such specious content could compete with snack-sized-time-shifted-simultaneous infotainment.
The Net-Gen won’t demand content that apeals to them, they’ll just ignore the stuff that doesn’t. I wonder how today’s businesses will make the adjustment?
I created this fifty-four (54) second video as a result of my thoughts. Enjoy and feel free to pass it around!