SXSWi 2008: "What teens want online and on their phones" panel notes

The notes from this panel are pretty thorough – it was one of the first panels I attended and I was pretty enthusiastic with the typing. Interesting findings, but the main takeaway for me is that these kids are clever and pretty discerning, we need to give them a whole lot more credit than we (or I) currently do!

“What teens like online and on their phones”
Panel of teens from age 11-17, based in the Austin area and of different levels of interest in technology, music, etc…

sites teens like book reviews, allows them to check reviews and know they’ll like it before they buy it (since they can only buy so many…) unsigned cool bands to check out
MySpace, Facebook: Own mark on the site, cmn w friends & family (but not mom) after school
Using FB to stay in touch w friends, only uses it bc there’s critical mass of friends on there to stay up to date w things like games news (Halo 3, Sports games)
12 year old says she’s 16 on MySpace, boy says he’s 99
Mixmatters, music site w latest stuff before it goes out but not totally happy w that site music playlists ppl who aren’t quite famous
Runescape, game, chat to people and meet them on myspace

What turns you off about websites?
Too much advertisement about “free xbox 360” but all i want to do is watch my video
Advertising also slows down my computer has ads for Miller between every video
MySpace profile “invaded” with a virus, sent innappropriate videos
Clear issue with ads that stop the flow of activity
Heavy pages with too much content and too many ads, page takes too long to load

Social networking fatigue? Do you think so?
Used to check every minute, looking for more friends on FB, but once all friends got added, the bulk of it is done, not much else going on.
MySpace, all have accounts. FB about half of them

Use email more?
Email address was created FOR myspace, but already aware of the need for different email addresses for different things.
Contacting teachers to ask for homework help
Already have a concept of “professional” email address, importance of proper writing and correctly written emails

What kind of phone do you have? Is that the phone you want/would like to have?
– Doesn’t have a phone
– LG Music phone, unlimited SMS and uses it a lot, plays Tetris a lot, can’t get to the internet on her phone, its too expensive, but friends sometimes share ringtones by bluetooth
– TMob blackberry pearl, loves email, sends him MySpace msgs, uses SMS lots, gets ringtones from friends and creates his own, no internet on his phone (too expensive)
– Mom gave her basic phone but its never charged, only meant for emergencies, isn’t allowed to use for anything else
– Old phone, broken in his pocket, makes calls/receives, SMS, really basic. Emergency games in case he’s too bored but would like better phone, but as long as it works…
– Sony slidephone. Likes the slide. Listens to music on her phone, chats on the phone, but doesn’t like SMS or use it much. Likes a few games
– (Girl in pink) LG cameraphone Uses SMS but has a limited number (150ish), has ringtones at $3 a piece, Tetris $5, doesn’t download ringtones or wallpapers, cant afford it anymore. Uses camera a lot, sends the pics to other ppl.

Few watch video
Think they could mostly cope without except for 2

Virtual worlds, creating avatar-based social network sites. Do you go to virtual worlds?
Xbox live, no avatar but can play against ppl
Runescape, Gaia but Pay-to-play is really dying, it’s not popular anymore
Zwinki requires acquiring points and stuff and i just wanted to customise my avatar

Creating videos, do you do it?
– In the backyard, used Windows Video Maker, think it’s pretty cool, would prob do it again
– If I had a camera, I probably would
– Have a camera but never made it by the deadline to send in videos, it’s pretty cool, likes the idea of her video possibly being used

Do you like the brand more if they do this kind of thing?
Pink one htinks she’d respect the company more for doing video competitions for thinking that you’re able to do it too (knowing marketing is hard, creative)

Digg for news on war in Iraq, youtube, etc (yikes!)
The Onion catches their attention

Needs to be funny, different angle
The news are too dead and dull

None of them go to CNN or NewYorkTimes

Do you (and how) do you take part in causes?

Answering questions in exchange for grains of rice to 3rd world
Donation services from the school, selling cards for charity

Would like to do things physically in-person for some
Others prefer the game aspect of the grain of rice quiz
Things that are easy to do make it easier for kids to help from home in their pyjamas. People want an easy out to feeling they help

TV shows…
Family guy
Hannah Montana
History channel (Future weapons)
Veoh for new eps of stuff they missed
Disney channel, watch Cody on the Disney website
Wrestling (tend to watch live)
CSI (watch live)
Kyle XY and Wildfire must be watched live
Love watching anime, but use and others to try to find the ep asap online if missed
Spanish dramas and telenovelas

Projects designed to try to break advertising campaigns: Would they push back on advertisers to get them off websites?

They understand that advertising funds the websites and allows them to get stuff for free. Don’t mind ads if they’re contextual and relevant (shoes, not beer) Keep the advertising on sites where you’re actually trying to purchase something
Please don’t make it like teh Futurama ep where they broadcast ads to Fry’s sleep

Brand microsites, flash games, miniclip?
Home computers tend to be too slow to play them properly, would probably play them if they didn’t have such PoS machines
Like to play games when they’re at school and done their work, uses it all the time
Each one of them played games on their phone before panel started, ebaumsworld, albinoblacksheep
They love flash games, they know how to unblock websites at work

More notes here:

2 thoughts on “SXSWi 2008: "What teens want online and on their phones" panel notes

  1. Pingback: Three SXSW reports from ThatCanadianGirl including Kathy Sierra’s talk

  2. Pingback: that canadian girl » Thmbnls: The Government is Screwing with Your Money (Again)

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