Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Strategies for Digital Natives

Helene Blowers-Digital Strategy Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Joey is our new digital patron:

The big story in the election was the kid who helped Obama reach out to the digital natives.

We used to chase information, now it has flipped, information finds us. Still, studies show that RSS is kind of flat across all demographics; people still don’t know how to get info to find us. Good role for librarians.

digital native realities:
  1. Identity: digital natives: online identity is same as real identity. Idea of having one identity is intuitive to them. It is how they influence and assert themselves online, exchanging information, bantering that goes back in forth.

Top 5 Social Networks – jan 09
1. Facebook 1.19 billion monthy visits
2. Myspace 810 mill visits
3. Twitter 54 mil visits
4. Flixster 53 mil visits (movie reviews
5. Linkedin 43 million visits

These are where digital natives are leaving their footprints. The idea of social identity has become so important that we are graphing it. Linkedin based on the premise of who do you know to further your career. Average age of digital immigrants –42.

Social graphing:
6 degrees of separation
friendwheel on facebook

Renaissance Generation: Patricia Martin: Cultural consumers thrive on information and ideas to fuel their creative self-expression. Creativity very important to them.
  • 93% of teenagers are online and intensifying
  • Nearly 2/3 of online teens are content creators~Pew Study, Teens & Social Media, 12/07
Posting pictures, sharing artistic work, blogging, etc...creates their social identity.
  1. post messages
  2. download music
  3. download videos
  4. upload music
  5. update personal website or online profiles
  6. post photots
  7. blog
We are starting to see a shift from authoritative control to collaborative control of information. How do you influence people? By sharing information.
OCLC Study --number one resource of getting information online is friends. Libraries are down in the bottom.
In January 09 Encyclopedia Britannica added a wiki layer so that people could add to it. Collective control--->they realized there are advantages to this new form of gathering information. What info source do you trust the most for your company's purchasing decisions: user generated content (blogs, discussion groups, online comm, wikis, etc.) from a study, interesting to see--first hand experience that you get from blogs and rating sites are where people are looking for trusted information.

2. Digital Safety
--only .08% of all students say they've actually met someone in person from an online encounter without their parents' permission --national school board study July 2007.
Most teens ignore or delete stranger contact and are not bothered by it. (Pew Study).

3. Digital Opportunity
The world has become more accessible for digital natives. Every day the Internet becomes more and more important to society. There are no barriers, the playing field is leveled, you can mashup and mix up online, all you need is access (if you don't have access, library provides it), access is universal, connection is ubiquitous , it's all about me. Their sandbox is huge to play in, to assert their identity and creativity.

4. Digital Piracy
Digital piracy to them is digital sharing. File sharing has become the new normal for most. Copy, remix me. Fanfiction, music parodies, mashups, movie trailers, remix contents, remix fansites (Nine Inch Nails - encouraging fans to remix their content), creative commons (has spurred this whole rethought of copyright). Total Recut: video remix challenge.

In the past you were what you owned--now you are what you share. A collaborative remix culture. How do we respond to it as librarians?

5. Digital Privacy
82% send private messages
84% post messages to a friends page or wall

Idea of lifestreaming all these social networks can be aggregated and look at it as a lifestream. Digital natives can trace their lives online.

6. Digital Advocacy
The idea of what you do online actually makes a difference. Young people as networkers, organizers, promoters to create their leadership potential, saw it in the election.

What can libraries do?
  1. Idea of engagement to enable customers to connect with library staff, services and with each other in meaningful ways. Layering over OPAC with interactivity, twitter? Engagement is important because people want to feel connected. Patrons feel connected. Make the library a facilitators of connection.
  2. Enrich - to provide customers with a rich online experience that enhances their local branch experience and daily lives. Our digital space should enhance not be separate, active engagement. All libraries get their funding from somewhere, that funding should be valuing their lives in some way.
  3. Empower: to enable customers the ability to personalize and add value to the library experience and allow the community to celebrate themselves.


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