I chaired the MTV/CSquared Conference in Prague last week, and was treated to some great speakers. First up was Andy Davidson, Research Director of MTV Europe. He gave us a peek into some great fresh research from MTV called Circuits of Cool. This piece of research aims to understand the digital generation, answering such questions as how digital impacts on youth, why new platforms have been so popular and how best to engage the digital generation.
First up he made the salient point that young people do not live in a world of digispeak (hello folksonomies!). Taking Poland as an example, only 39% talk about 'blogging', 16% refer to 'social networks', whilst only 8% mention 'multi-platforms' or 'web 2.0'. Shock horror! Andy rightly stressed that young people are interested in what the technology can do for them, NOT the language itself.
The classic chart where we find out that youth love their friends, family and music more than anything else appeared again. All fresh and up to date, yet ultimately stating that some things do not change for youth with technological advancement.
In the Top Ten things youth love doing, being with the boy/girlfriend, hanging out with friends and spending time with family came out as the top three, followed by 'Listening to Music'. Also in the top ten were 'going to music gigs' and 'chilling out/relaxing'. Music, friends and family...still critical to youth.
Furthermore, the research has found that the impact of technology on youth depends on where you live. In Japan, they have become tired of technology, whilst in India the mobile and ipod is a status symbol. Meanwhile in China, the land of one-child families, kids were found to have an emotional attachment to the net in their search for peer friendships.
Andy also drew attention to the impact of climate on youth trends, which got me thinking: if young Morrisey was born in Puglia, would his melancholic genius have been channelled into opera?
More from Andy coming up...