Here's the second installment. You should only read this if you have already read the previous installment about the boomer generation. Again I m looking fr feedback on these. if you find these to be tedious or boneheaded, let me kn. If you find them to be inspirational educational or Pulitzer quality writing, I would not mind hear that either. More to come.
2.The Online Generation
Rather than living next door, your child’s best friend may live in another country. Instead of hanging out with other friends in a mall or on a street corner, these pals are increasingly likely to be meeting up on a social media site such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, YouTube, Flickr or SecondLife where hundreds of millions of young people are going every minute of every day. They share words, pictures, sound or maybe video.
These new communities exist only on the Internet. They may be called “virtual,” but the relationships forming there are real. The information exchanged there is frequent, current, valuable and abundant. When it is particularly interesting or valuable, it can spread at lightening speed.
People who contribute the most on any given topic often become extremely influential to others who share their interests. There are mechanisms set up to allow you to even vote on what commentary or pictures are your favorites.
No category of technology has ever been so rapidly embraced by so many people in so short a period of time. There are hundreds of millions of people participating in the social media including, not just these online communities, but blogs, wikis, audio and video podcasts.
Some business strategists dismiss the social media, particularly the communities “kid’s stuff.” They have a point. The demographic shows most users are under 25 and many of them are still pre-adolescent. But for a business o dismiss them could be a lethal mistake. The fact that they are kid’s stuff is the reason they are so important.
Social media is a defining characteristic of the emerging generation, the one that is about to take the jobs and occupy the homes and the physical communities of the outgoing Boomers. They are the Online Generation, “Onliners” for short.
If you want to hire the best and the brightest of them, sell them your products and services you are going to need to adjust course. Your current marketing strategies just may not work with Onliners.
They don’t read newspapers, or watch much television. They prefer MP3 to broadcast radio. Onliners have a Teflon ® resistance to traditional advertising and marketing. They don’t much trust authority and celebrity endorsements rarely move them.
Instead, they influence each other. The social media is influencing what Onliners buy, wear, watch, listen to or visit. The greatest influencers in the social media are people who are the most generous in sharing valuable or interesting information through online conversations.
These influencers are developing their own personal brands and they will shape corporate brands to a huge degree in the coming years.
Onliners are moving the power from the company into the community.
The bigger your company the sooner you need to start. Global enterprises are very much like supertankers moving at full throttle. It takes a long time to turn them around and not maneuvering fast enough may land you on the rocks.