Web 2.0: Conversation with Five Teenagers
Safa Rashtchy, managing director at Piper Jaffray, moderated a panel with five Bay-Area teenagers. all are 17 and in highschool, except for Sasha, who is 18 and is a freshman at Berkeley.
This was one of the more interesting panels, because the perspectives that these teens provided were candid, novel, and insightful. At the same time, these teens were found on Craigslist, which means they're probably more internet-literate than your average teen. In any case, the audience ate up this panel--my guess is because these folks rarely talk to customers.
Teenagers spend 30% more time on web. We want to explore these things: what are the age groups ideals, media consumption patterns, what do they want to get for free, what do they like?
Q: What are your online habits?
Diamond: stays on phone, spends couple hundred dollars a month on ringtones and games
Sean: gets home, goes on computer right away, on myspace, talks to people on IM.
Steph: spends most of time on myspace or livejournal to get updated on friend's lives.
Sasha: 1-4 hours a day online, facebook, myspace, uses it for research.
Jake: research with google, time on myspace, tries to limit it, plays PS2.
Q: Do you know anyone who doesn't use MySpace?
Sean: I know a couple of people. Sadly I spend a ton of time on it when I get home from crew all I do is talk online and wait for friends to leave me friend requests, it's the highlight of my night.
Steph: 99.9% of time on myspace, I know one person who does't use it.
Sasha: "When you get to college, MySpace isn't a big deal anymore." There are other ways to search for people.
Q: Where do you go to search?
Sean: Google and Google images, which is great for Powerpoint presentations.
Q: You use Powerpoint in high school?
Sean: Yup. I also go to iTunes and then BitTorrent. iTunes is a great catalog.
Sasha: I use DC++ on the Berkeley network, so I don't have to worry about bandwidth because transfers are internal. "I don't pay for music anymore."
Jake: Google, torrents, use IRC to get music. "I get an amazing amount of media off the internet for free which is pretty sweet."
Q: Who has an iPod?
3 of 5 have ipods.
Sean: I thought it would be nice to pay the artists initially, but then my computer crashed, so I used Podutil to bypass Apple's DRM and get music from a friend.
Sasha: I have 10 paid songs out of 1500 on my iPod.
Steph: I never pay for downloading a song, I go to a friend's house to get their music.
Q: Word association: I'm going to mention some terms, so tell me what you think.
Diamond: I have a Sidekick 2, I use the browser and AIM on his phone it's more convenient because I don't have to go home to send a message.
Diamond: I use Yahoo to search.
Sean: didn't really exist until recently when I met a couple guys who use Yahoo Messenger.
Steph: Don't really use it, but it's easy to get email up and running.
Sasha: have email account for art internship she was part of but doesn't use it, uses it as second search option.
Jake: email's pretty cool, directory is useful for getting regional news and news from Cuba.
Jake: used it maybe 5 times but the risk of getting ripped off is why he doesn't use it that much.
Sasha: afraid of being ripped off, Mom is addicted. I buy stuff from Amazon or eBay (if taking a risk).
Sean: Used to buy books from amazon, nobody uses eBay.
Q: Assume i give you $100, what would you spend it on, could go to a bar (!), etc.
Sean: save it for a surfboard, buy it from a used surf shop, better to buy offline to see it in front of you.
Diamond: spend it on ringtones, spend $50-60 on ringtones in a month.
Steph: Concert tickets, music, shoes from tru in SF on 8th ("yeah it's pretty tight, agrees Sasha"), she doesn't feel like paying for shipping and handling.
Sasha: food, clothes.
Jake: burritos and gasoline (laugher, applause).
Q: Want you to buy a new phone online, where would you go?
Sean: Verizon, I want the one with Vcast, "I don't watch much TV but watching it on your phone is pretty cool."
Steph: Sprint because of her friends and family use it.
Q: Let's say you want to buy a CD player, where would you go?
Sean: ummm, a CD player...? (laugher)
Q: OK, how about a digital camera
Sean: Froogle is awesome.
Steph: no idea, because I have one, maybe go to Best Buy.
Sasha: search, go to ebay or amazon to do comparative shopping.
Jake: Amazon, Best Buy, CompUSA, I'd search using Froogle ("Froogle rocks!")
[Ed: setting context for making a purchase is key here. I'd bet that what these teens say they'd do isn't what they'd actually do, so drawing conclusions from their answers probably isn't the wisest.]
Q: What would you like to do with the web that you can't do now?
Jake: "Get rid of all that spyware, Ad-Aware doesn't do it for me, so get on it please!" (laugher)
Sasha "The more free stuff you can come up with."
[Ed: this illustrates that quantum leaps in innovation are hard for an end-user to imagine.]
Q: Who watches TV and how much?
Diamond: I'm layin aorund, watchin TV, but I spend the same amount of time online too. During commercials I'm on my phone, when I'm watching a TV show I'll IM a friend and let him know it's on.
Sean: go straight to computer to do homework and go online, doesn't watch much TV.
Steph: on computer a lot, when i do watch tv it's like 1 show (law & order svu or 24.)
Sasha: might stay up until 12-2 a.m. and watch cooking channel, maybe an hour or so.
Jake: addicted to really bad TV, OC, Laguna Beach, The Office, Daily Show, "I watch cable news sometimes cuz with Fox News you gotta know your enemy." (laughter)
Q: Do you guys like ads, what turns you off?
Sean: Ads on MySpace will put ad in front of your homepage, those annoying popups, doesn't mind Google ads.
Sasha: "I like Google the best, they're the cleanest. Others are trying to take your attention away from what you're trying to focus on so it's counter productive to go to those sites."
Q: What mobile devices do you guys want?
A lot of people will pay for ringtones because they can't avoid paying for it.
"A video iPod is a realy good idea! You guys should get on that!"
Q: Where do you guys go for news?
Sean: reuters, NPR podcast, "I'll go to multiple news sites because i don't trust any one site."
Some read newspapers online.
Q: Do you use TiVo or Skype?
TiVo: "it's too much money."
Skype: Silence. [Ed: there goes eBay's investment.]
Q: What more do you want out of instant messenger?
Sean: "Just that: instant messenger."
Q: would you like to see video on IM?
Sean: Ummm, no, i'm trying to talk to my friends...! (applause)
Update: Tara points out that the Unknown Guy's name is Diamond. I've updated the post accordingly.