December 28, 2007

Teens Creating Online Content

Last week the Pew "Internet & American Life Project" published a report on teens and social media. The summary alone is worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

Content creation by teenagers continues to grow, with 64% of online teenagers ages 12 to 17 engaging in at least one type of content creation, up from 57% of online teens in 2004.

Girls continue to dominate most elements of content creation. Some 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys, and 54% of wired girls post photos online compared with 40% of online boys. Boys, however, do dominate one area - posting of video content online. Online teen boys are nearly twice as likely as online girls (19% vs. 10%) to have posted a video online somewhere where someone else could see it.

Pew / Interet also finds that teen-created online content spark "conversations." In other words, to use Hugh MacLeod's term, an online artifact becomes a "social object" around which sociality grows. [Clarification on the origins of the phrase "social object."]

Teens uploading creative work to YouTube is a large subset of the content creation reported by Pew / Internet.

Here's an example. Last night, my daughter's boyfriend (she an education major, he a masters of accountancy student) showed us videos his high schooler brother and friends are producing. They call themselves Order 66 Productions. This one is 10 minutes long. I liked it.


Dr. P said...

Yeah, even though this is really just a silly teenage fun movie, there's more to it. They have a pretty expansive knowledge of cinema, and they have a great sense of the absurd. They handle that talking razor thing really well (and invoke HAL 9000 very nicely).

The idea of a social object is really cool. Something I've been thinking about for a while with assignments I give to my college students. I haven't had a proper name for it, but social object seems absolutely perfect for it really.