CIL: On Millennials and the Bowiechick

It seems appropriate that this morning's speaker for the opening session today was Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Lee spoke on the millennial generation and the eight realities that define them as group.

List: Millennials…

1) are a distinct age group, according to many measures of generational behavior and attitude.
2) are immersed in a world of technology and gadgets. Nearly half of them have broadband access at home.
3) are technology is mobile. They share information in ways that allow them to act quickly.
4) are Internet immersed. The Internet plays a special role in their world. 33% of online teens share their own creations (artwork, photos, stories, videos) online.
5) are multi-taskers and approach research as a self-directed process.
6) are often unaware of and indifferent to the consequences of their use of technology as in copyright & privacy.
7) will face an even faster rapidly changing environment as a result of this technology world.
8) prefer to approach learning and research tasks differently and place great value self-directed discovery, peer feedback and group knowledge that is shaped by their techno world.

In fact just this morning before the session I was glancing through a RSS feed from Wired and found this article about a 17 year-old girl whose Breakup video on YouTube has created a lot of buzz. The buzz is from the marketing industry because a) it’s been the most viewed video over the past few days and b) it’s a great example of how unexpected peer-to-peer promotion and "viral marketing" works.

Watch the video for yourself…

Can you see why it’s generated so much buzz? Here’s a teen using the special effects of her Logitech web cam to talk about her recent break-up with her boyfriend. What stuck me most about the video wasn’t so much the special effects (BTW: I do think their fun and cool), but rather these observations ...

--> Did you notice how comfortable she was talking about her breakup and sharing it on the camera? In my youth, this type of thing would be saved for a locked diary.
--> Did you notice how her boyfriend alienated her? By blocking her out of his MySpace.
--> Did you notice who her new “big brother” is? An online friend who she wasn’t even sure how to pronounce his name yet.

Anyway, you might wonder what does this video have to do with Libraries? The answer is EVERYTHING !!! As Alane Wilson (another great presenter BTW) talked about yesterday in her review of the OCLC Environmental scan , Libraries need to be constantly scanning their environment (and that doesn’t mean reading Library-related journals) and adjusting their services to fit the needs of their users. If millennials (those born between 1982-2000) currently make-up 36% of our population, then we need to take notice of the communication tools and spaces they choose to use. Checking out and seeing what millennials are doing in their own spaces is a great way to start, but making spaces for them within our libraries (both physically & virtually) to express themselves is even better!

BTW: If you’re interested in what other special effects that the Logitech webcam offers, then check out Bowiechick’s (as she’s known on YouTube) follow-up video.

PS: With marketing like this, I think it maybe time for me to look at investing in Logitech.

PPS: After showing my hubby these videos he now wants to replace his 4 year-old quickcam. Perhaps I should insist we buy some stock first :)

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