04 December 2008

Online - "Community Is King"

New research reveals that young web users are not lone surfers but like to feel part of an online community.

Writing on Poynter Online, Maryn McKenna says a Californian study of teenagers and their use of digital media shows that “community is king” among the younger generation.

And it’s a point that she says should be noted by news providers and reporters with regards to their future consumers.

In addition, McKenna states that the three-year project funded by the MacArthur Foundation contains other conclusions that the news media would do well to consider.

They are the “remix culture” and the adage that “multimedia rules” when it comes to online content and destinations proving popular with young surfers.

Regarding this remix culture, she writes: “Teens respond to information and culture by appropriating, sampling and remixing it. They then look to their communities for reaction.”

The report - entitled “Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures” - was produced by staff at the University of Southern California and the University of California in Berkeley after interviewing some 800 young people and parents.

Researchers also observed teenagers using sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

The full report and an executive summary are available on the Digital Youth Research website.

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