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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)

Tags: , , ,

Update: Tara points out that the Unknown Guy's name is Diamond. I've updated the post accordingly.

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Jake said on Oct 10 2005:

Thanks for the download. Interesting to see the tension between where conference participants think technology is taking people and actually hearing where people are going today...

2. kareem said on Oct 10 2005:

Definitely, it's an incredibly insular bubble that anybody can get in when they don't get out and talk to customers.

3. Tara Kirchner said on Oct 10 2005:

The first fellow's name is Diamond.

4. Justin Mason said on Oct 10 2005:

I think the answers would be very different, depending on where the teenagers are coming from.

In particular, outside the US I think people are more conscious of Skype, and spend much of the time the US teens spend online, instead using SMS text messaging on their mobiles.

5. kareem said on Oct 10 2005:

Justin, one of the stats I recall hearing at Web 2.0 was that 87% of Skype usage occurred outside the US... so it's not surprising that none of these teens had heard about it.

I get the general sense that SMS usage in the US is increasing (Diamond in the panel was all over it and AIM on his Sidekick II), but I have no data to back that up.


6. Jeff said on Oct 10 2005:

Wow, that was an incredibly disturbing read.

7. kareem said on Oct 10 2005:

Disturbing how, Jeff?

8. Jake said on Oct 10 2005:

Although, all of this does beg the question: What do they not know that they want - yet? I can think of a few things...

9. busse said on Oct 10 2005:

Dunno what Jeff thought was disturbing, but the amount that at least one person was spending on ringtones -- definitely disturbing.

Thought it was interesting that there was no mention of games (Flash or MMORPG)

10. daniel scott poynter said on Oct 10 2005:


-money spent on ringtones
-daily show being included in list of 'really bad TV' = )

11. Jjustin said on Oct 10 2005:

Wow, that's kinda scary stuff Kareem, fairly enlightening, but scary. Most of the work I do lately is help design the UI interaction fo DRM content at a large mobile phone company. The carriers are in for a rude awakening when they attempt to fully realize their OMA, Janus DRM dreams on their customer base!!

12. Nigel Mellish said on Oct 10 2005:

Maybe the kids are smarter than you think Daniel.... IMHO The Daily Show is the new Crossfire, and Jon Stewart is more like a Pig in Animal Farm than Thomas Paine (Lenny Bruce?).

On Topic,

The lack of trust in ebay is interesting, I wonder if it's too much or a lack of experience with the auction site.

The best part was the laughing at the CD player. Esp. in contrast to watching the media heavyweights try to duke it out over Blu-Ray vs HD DVD. I think it reinforces how out of touch those companies are.

Hopefully this generation will be the last one to be inconvenienced by tangible distribution in the same way their fathers and fathers fathers have been.

13. Alex said on Oct 10 2005:

As an 18 year old college freshman (at uc berkeley as well!) who went to high school in Santa Monica, CA, I feel the need to defent my fellow teenagers here. For one thing, I don't know anyone that spends that amount of money on ringtones, diamond is an exception, not the rule. I've bought and sold on ebay . . . but not many teenagers I know have sold as well. Most teenagers I know trust ebay for purchases. Most of my friends and I still buy CDs, although I know some kids that buy on itms. Not to say there isn't a lot of limewire and DC++ though (I use DC++ and poisoned for os x). myspace wasn't so popular in my high school, but facebook is definitely popular in college. Nobody has ever mentioned to me wanting a cell phone that plays television. When I picked my cellphone, I picked the smallest one. The less stuff in my pocket is what's most important to me. I've never bought ringtones. I use froogle, but I'm more techie than most of my friends. Most of my friends just go to Best Buy for electronics.

14. kareem said on Oct 11 2005:

Thanks for the insight, Alex.

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with Diamond's ringtone habit--it is what it is.

The most insightful thing I got out of this panel is that there's real value in observing customer behavior, rather than listening to what they have to say (for example, does Sean think video on a mobile phone is useful, or just an interesting idea?)

It would be hasty to draw conclusions from this session without observing other teens to get a baseline of actual behavior.

15. Mary-Ann said on Oct 11 2005:

if people are interested in what goes on in the UK this is what I observed from my 18 year old brother when I stayed with him over the summer:

He doesn't use the web much for social stuff, it's all MSN Messenger or his mobile phone. I tried to get him into Skype but it's just not worth it, mobile call plans are just too cheap. He's got 50 or more contacts on MSN, all people he knows from school. The web is just there for research apart from one forum about golf. He's not interested in RSS but might be persuaded if he found quality golf blogs.

He downloads all his music from Bearshare (or some other Gnutella client) and I haven't seen him buy a CD in years but he does ask for them for birthdays. He'd like an iPod but can't really afford it so listens to music on the computer.

He buys everything that he can't get in town from eBay. Clothes, golf stuff, electronics and is looking for a new car. Doesn't seem to have trust issues but keeps a close eye on feedback.

16. Adam said on Oct 11 2005:

Forgive me for perhaps being a bit unduly harsh, but... wtf?!

- No mention of the demographics of these kids or their families. Household income? Ethnicity? Parents' education?

- 5 kids, all about the same age, all from the Bay Area. And from this we can extrapolate...???

I just don't see what interesting conclusions can be drawn from such a limited (and probably even self-selected) sample.

17. xfreemarko said on Oct 11 2005:

Good stuff, two questions
1. How did you manage to get such a detailed transcript? You type that quick :-)
2. I see no mention of sports at all, what do you think of teens as sports?

18. kareem said on Oct 11 2005:

Thanks for sharing. I thought mobile calls in the UK (and the rest of europe) were terribly expensive, thus the high SMS and Skype usage?

I don't know about others, but the conclusion I drew was that it's good to talk to customers.

1- Grin, when takin notes I abbr. like hell, then flsh em out b4 i post.

2- You mean teens and sports consumption? Not sure about specifics, but I do know that at ESPN, sports fans were very early adopters when it came to new technology.

19. Ed said on Oct 11 2005:

every1 in my skool is on, myspace is blown out, kid.

20. Owen said on Oct 11 2005:

Second Adam's comment. Actually even more - they all (apart from ringtone guy) exhibit extreme spending avoidance habits. In addition although the marketing gurus get all excited about younger and younger and hipper and hipper demographics - these are NOT the people who spend money. I'd want to know what the 24-34 demographic thought - even the 34-44 demographic.

I honestly thought the wrong questions were being asked of the wrong people. I do completely accept their take on music however - a little bit on cell phones too, but online and buying stuff - this isn't the group you want to ask...

Were they asked if they knew what web 2.0 is?

21. Juan said on Oct 11 2005:

Agree, not much you can extrapolate from a few datapoints.

Still, if you are in the teen space you do need to know your customers and conversations like this do help.

The multiple mentions of myspace have also helped me understand Murdoch's recent acquisition of this company.

22. Justin Taylor said on Oct 11 2005:

Some more comments from the UK...

I'm a very techy 21 year old, with a very techy family. Whole family (including grandparents, and family in Canada) use MSN and email to keep in touch. My parents and grandparents use Skype, and dad uses Skype to keep calls cheap when he's working abroad.

The majority of people that I know who use Skype (or similar) are those over 45 - couple of older folks (70+) at church use Skype, MSN, email, to keep in touch with family.

MSN is a 24-hour must if you're 14/15 - less used if you're 16+.

Don't forget that mobile phone usage in the UK is much higher in the younger age groups than it is/was in the US - and calls are mostly very cheap, and can be cheaper than having a 'landline'.

Most of my friends don't actually like iPod's - they find them irritating, especially having to use iTunes. So any other digital music player (especially those which play WMA format) are the norm.

23. Gnomon said on Oct 12 2005:

Interesting and disturbing answers from the group, but it lines up with several things in my own experience.

A while back - eight months? A year? Along those lines - I had the chance to participate in a conference on how youths 15-23 (technically I was outside the age range) behave online, and specifically what their attitudes are towards copyright law.

I feared that the common thread would be "well, there's nothing *really* wrong with it", and that there would be a few more in-depth viewpoints from people who create (and value!) their own media - writers, bloggers, musicians, artists and the like.

Rude awakening: in a group of sixty-plus people, about half agreed that copyright law meant anything at all. The other half vehemently and seriously argued that everything should be free, "because we can get it that way anyhow". Every person agreed that the overwhelming majority of his or her media collection was illegitimate (for some value of that arguable term).


"What would you like to do with the web that you can't do now" - in rebuttal to the editorial comment, the answers to that question only indicate that the vast majority of web users are just that: users, not developers. The two are totally different mindsets - neither is more valid than the other, but one is more common by orders of magnitude.

Too-tempting interjection: what would I like to do with the web that I can't do now? Remix sites more easily.

Greasemonkey and Opera user scripts are extraordinarily powerful (the latter slightly more so, and now that Opera can run most Greasemonkey scripts without modification, I really must give it a closer look), but they're tough to wrangle. In almost every case, the bulk of my site-remix code is custom-tailored to wrest site-specific data from whatever obtuse format it's in and convert it into something usable - client-side, DOM-enabled screen scraping, basically.

What would change all this? Site-provided, site-specific APIs. Your format is a reverse-chronological listing of stories, each belonging to zero or more (possibly hierarchal) categories? Give me a function call to retrieve the first entry, or the set of entries between a pair of dates. Simple stuff, but so empowering!

It's more an attitudinal than a technical change, really, to site operators viewing themselves as content *and* service providers. Flickr, for example, gets it, leastwise to a point. Ditto Amazon.

Once simple client-side APIs become more commonplace, patterns will start emerging in their design. Eventually there'll be enough of a standard that large parts of the API implementation will become amenable to automation.


Dear Magic 8-Ball, will this blue-sky idea ever come to pass?

(shake, shake)

Hmm..: "not bleeding likely, you technohippie nincomtwit. You were obviously looking for a different kind of 8-ball. Now g'way."

Man, kids toys these days...

24. Michael said on Oct 12 2005:

Thought you might like to see some more opinions from a "teenager." Actually 21, but I'm sure I fit within the demographics:

Q: Tell me about yourself?
A: My name is Michael, I am 21 years old and I serve in the United States Air Force near Fairbanks, AK. Originally from Panama City, FL, from a legally-defined as poor family, although I never thought we were. I grew up around computers and can never learn enough about them, I also have a strong entrepenuerial spirit, already having started and sold 2 companies in 3 years. Currently engaged to get married in June 06.

Q: What are your online habits?
Michael: Mainly IM/Email, keeping in touch with friends and family. I use MySpace a bit, mainly for the initial contact with long-lost friends, until I get their IM usernames. I update my blog daily, with my boring daily routine, but the family enjoys reading it. Other than that it's some Counterstrike: Source and running a network of websites dedicated to PC games.

Q: Do you know anyone who doesn't use MySpace?
Michael: I know a few, very few. Most of the people I know who use it are not as dedicated to it as the buzz claims. We use it for minor contact with friends/family, meeting new people, but once the IM usernames are shared we rarely use it for anything else.

Q: Where do you go to search?
Michael: Google - I don't think I have used a different search engine in 5 or so years. Yahoo's homepage is entirely to crowded, and I don't really care about 99% of the content on their website. MSN's search is nice, and finds what I am looking for rather quickly, it's just to hard to break the habit of typing when I want to search, and the Firefox Google search box is way to convenient.

Q: Who has an iPod?
Michael: I don't have one, but I really want one. I will definitely be buying one before snowboarding season starts up.

Q: Word association: I'm going to mention some terms, so tell me what you think.

Michael: I couldn't live without it, if my numbers got deleted I wouldn't know how to contact anyone.

Michael: Useless, except for their Messenger, and even that is starting to get old. When Yahoo! Messenger first came out it was very popular, I have close to 45 people on my friends list. I now only see at most 6 people online a day, and all of those have AIM anyways. I really ought to uninstall Messenger.

Michael: I've used it before to buy and sell stuff. I find buying on eBay to be inconvenient as my confirmed address is different than my mailing address. I have to have items shipped home, then my parents mail them to me. Usually costs me more on eBay than it would to just go to the store and get it that day.

Q: Assume i give you $100, what would you spend it on, could go to a bar (!), etc.
Michael: I'd like to say I would save it for my wedding, but I would probably blow it all on alcohol this upcoming weekend.

Q: Want you to buy a new phone online, where would you go?
Michael: I would just buy it from whichever company I got my service from, less hassle that way.

Q: Let's say you want to buy a CD player, where would you go?
Michael: The only time I would buy a CD player would be for my vehicle, and I'd go to for sure. I refuse to buy any car audio equipment from anywhere else. Their customer service is awesome, and their 105% price matching policy ensures I always get the cheapest price, so I use froogle to see how much they should sell it to me for.

Q: OK, how about a digital camera
Michael: I would just go to WalMart, Fred Myers, etc. and do some comparison shopping. I want to see, touch, and use an item like that before I make the purchase, and I would definitely want it that day and not wait on shipping.

Q: What would you like to do with the web that you can't do now?
Michael: AJAX has me very excited from both a developer and user standpoint. I can't wait until larger applications are developed for the web, like Office suits, POP3 applications, etc.

Q: Who watches TV and how much?
Michael: I watch TV a little bit - I have to catch Prison Break every week, and I catch The Real World, Laguna Beach, and Viva la Bam when I remember. Usually the TV is just turned to MTV for some background noise. I tend to use Bittorrent and just download TV shows so I can watch them at my leisure.

Q: Do you guys like ads, what turns you off?
Michael: I don't mind ads, as long as they don't cover up the content. I absolutely hate these flash ads that overlap content, rather than mold the content around it - which is usually due to faulty code within the site hosting the ad. Google Ads are by far the best, as they are not only unobtrusive but often act as an extension to the content. AdBrite is starting to peak my interests as well, but from more of a developer standpoint than an end-user.

Q: What mobile devices do you guys want?
Michael: I would like to see an iPod with a built-in speaker. I could also use a new ThumbDrive, mine is only 500MB, I absolutely love that thing - so useful.

Q: Where do you guys go for news?
Michael: Google News for my general news, for my nerd news

Q: Do you use TiVo or Skype?
Michael: I would like to get Tivo, I just haven't yet - it's a bit to expensive. I've used Skype in the past, but it was just for an Internet Radio show I was scheduled to be on. With Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk having Voice Chat, Skype isn't needed on my machine - none of my friends use it.

Q: What more do you want out of instant messenger?
Michael: I would actually to see less. I absolutely hate these big full-screen animations Yahoo has added in. If you add crap like that you ought to add a peripheral that reaches out and chokes the shit out of people who send those to you. I like the games that have been added in to Yahoo/MSN, makes it quick and easy to play a game with your friends when you are bored, while still offering convenient chat (the game is played in a docked window to the chatbox).

Q: would you like to see video on IM?
Michael: Only if it was webcam to webcam video, which Yahoo and MSN already support. I would like to see AIM and Google Talk catch up in this respect.

25. jennifer said on Oct 14 2005:

Hey....(for teens) if you could go to a funky hang-out place during the week what would you like to do there???
watch movies, play video games, see a band, karreoke,eat???? I need some late would you stay??? how much would you pay to get in????

26. Tara 'Miss Rogue' Hunt said on Oct 14 2005:

I think panels like this are important. Not that we just want to target the youth, but that the youth are: a. more honest about basic needs and desires (don't have the p.c. filter built in yet) and b. are a peek into the future. We get staid, they want to see more.

Owen - what do you mean teens aren't the people who spend money? Ha. They have income and no responsibilities. They spend money, they've just been trained not to spend money on certain areas (music for example).

Personally, I'd like to see a panel in every region where they separate the boys from the girls and as even more in-depth questions. Some of us are talking about organizing this (

Thanks for your summary Kareem!

27. Netanel Jacobsson said on Oct 16 2005:

I know Safa and his reports/analys are top class. As a former ICQ guy - I especially like the IM comment: 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)

This is exactly what I have been trying to say to many people in the IM business for a long time...

28. StarFox said on Feb 16 2006:

Well, in the tradition of posts past, I think I'll take the questionaire. I'm lazy so I won't repeat the questions, bit I'll keep them in order with the military guy up there (NOTE: Thanks for your service. You defend our country so I don't have to. Thanks!)

1. I'm 19, from Auburn, Alabama. My birthday was this monday, the 13th, so I'm still 18 at heart.

2. I use the web in place of offline applications whenever possible. I use everything most people would immagine - 43Things (a sort of todo list, for goals like "stop smoking" or whatever. I don't smoke.), (Music tracker and statistics), Flickr (Picture sharing - I use it for the tagging ability.), and blogger. The problem I've discovered recently is that I had all this cool stuff, but it was scattered all over the web, and I'd have to remember like 30 URLs to see it all! Then I found SuprGlu, which sticks it all on one page for me. I still have to edit it saperately, but it's nice to have just one address to give to my friends. I've had a laptop since I was 4, so I'm quite the nerd, and anything that's Web 2.0 and/or AJAX based, I generally like. I especially like Meebo, which allows me to IM with just a browser through AJAX on any service I like.

3. MySpace is yesterday's news. In fact, it's the day before yesterday's news. I'm not good with statistics but my guess is that probably 80% of the users there are under 18. I don't hang around with people, on the net or in real life, that are below 16 or so, unless they exibit more intelligence than most their age. I'm 19 but I feel like I'm 30 stuck in a 19 year old's body. My 12 year old sister uses it, and I have one friend who updates it about once every 4 months. That's it.

4. I use google. My question is why not use google? It's simple. It's precise. If you spend 2 minutes reading the search hints, you can cut your searching time in half forever. I'm a programmer and I'm more in tune with using "AND, OR, and NOT" than most, but I can't understand why it's that complex of a concept. Also, most people don't know you can just put "quotes around a phrase" to find that exact phrase. That alone cuts my time considerably.

5. I have an iPod, but I can thank my job for that. I use mine solely as a hard drive. iPods are indeed too expensive for most people. Somebody commented that they'd like to see statistics on the 34-44 age range. I can go ahead and tell you that from basic common sense. Yes, they spend a LOT more money on actual "tangible" software, music, and videos. But I don't believe they do so because they just "like it". Older people are, as a group (true, to many this doesn't apply, but you're the minority) rich and lazy. And rightfully so. If you have the money to spend on a DVD, and you like the thought of simply inserting the disc and pressing one button, then that's your right, but that doesn't make them tech-savy. You could do the same thing with a 20-year-old VCR, but it wouldn't make you tech savy. Older people do indeed spend more money on technology, but they do it to avoid having to learn the technology in question. If one DVD player costs 50% more, but it'll play just be inserting the disc, most people in the 34-44 range would get the more expensive model. As for iPods, they're marketed wrong. An iPod is too expensive for younger people, but too complicated for older ones. I'd gladly say that people in the 24-34 range buy (and use) the most iPods. On another note, there is a loudspeaker for an iPod. It's called an iTalk. Great microphone, too.

6a. Cellphone. I have a cell phone that's a 2003 model. It plays MP3s, has unlimited storage capacity (via MMC cards) and has MIDP1.0 support (the original mobile java platform.) I have no IM capabilities on it. It cost $79 bucks on eBay, but my mom bought it (see below.) Simply put, it's like a ROKR that's cheaper, smaller, and better. It has a full QWERTY keyboard and it's unlocked, so I can use it on any network I choose. Let me just say that, sure, sidekicks are cool, but if cool costs me a "cool $100" then it's not that cool to me.

6b. Yahoo is useless. It's the opposite of google. The email is bad, too, reguardless of how easy it is. If I could choose between yahoo mail for free and google mail for 10 bucks a month, google would be on auto-pay. There's only two things google has that are any good, and both of those they bought out. Flickr is great, but it doesn't fit their model. I have to clean cookies in firefox every time I log out just to be sure they're not tracking me. Yahoo Widgets (previously Konfabulator, which is a better name IMO) is very nice, but the program itself hasn't developed at all since they renamed it. It's nice, pretty eye candy, that uses 20 processes and gobs and gobs of RAM. Who needs spyware when you've got Yahoo Widgets? That said, it is a good program, as long as you use it to a minimum.

6c. eBay? GACK! If there's such a thing as phishing, then eBay is where the whalers go. Sure, 98% of the time everything is legitimate, but the other 2% of the time is what scares me. If your identity is stolen through eBay (which happens once every hour and 13 minutes, roughly, by admission of eBay's own scam prevention team) then they wait a minimum of 72 hours before they report it to any government authority, even if you request otherwise. In 72 hours, a real identity thief could've already gotten a fake ID, drivers license, and social security card made, and even have started recieving packages in your name, all while eBay is trying to cut down on the amount of effort they pay for to fix your life. It's not ebay's fault. The bad guys go where there's easy targets. Sadly, that happens with any major site (as dateline recently exposed on myspace) but that's the reason they're called "fads".

7. With $100 I'd go ahead and pay towards a lawyer's retainer so that when they do find me (likely no sooner than a decade from now...heh), I have some decent defense. Either that, or I'd eat enough to start gaining weight, instead of losing it (and at 120lbs I could afford a LITTLE more fat)

8 & 9. I would never buy either. Online or offline. CD players are worthless if you have a decent laptop. The cell phone I have, as long as it'll recieve service, will serve me fine. neither cell phones nor CD players are cutting edge - both got popular in the early 90's. If I wanted to buy something high-tech online, I'd use xtremepcgear to get a flash drive, i.e. something less than 5 years old. That, and I've used their site before, so I can trust them. My mom has used eBay probably 500 times, and at least 20 they ripped her off. I've used xpcgear 3 times. The first time they couldn't figure out my address, but they actually called me and confirmed it, and since then, I get every order in 4 days.

10. Digital cameras aren't my thing. I have an unsteady hand, so I never take good photos. If I was going to get one, I'd get one of the cheap $15 ones at wal-mart and wire it up with a 50-foot USB cable as a security camera. I would use a camera if I could find one which had an alternate triggering mechanism. Perhaps one that just senses your finger touch it on the front and takes it? Also, it has to have some sort of built-in picture stabilization. To get features like that, I'd probably use froogle and/or the OSTG procegrabber. If you try it via OSTG it gives you a discount compared to the normal procegrabber site on tech stuff. It's 5% but why not?

11. I agree with Michael. AJAX stuff. For one thing, I'd like a site similar in design to real raphsody where I pay a small fee for unlimited listening, however I'd like an AJAX-style player similar to the XM Radio Player. One that plays using streaming, on-demand, with every song ever put on a CD. I don't want "the widest selection" I just want all of it. If it's music, it should be on the site. I think that's why people pirate music so much. There's around 250 songs on my laptop right now. 100+ of them aren't available on iTunes, so I have no reason to buy the other 150. That's just an extra piece of software for me. My other thing would be an AJAX office suite. But not just that. I want to be able to save the documents on the server. I love flash drives because I can access my stuff from anywhere. My dream is that one day, I wont need the flash drive for anything except to install a browser of my choice. I wish everything wasn't "downloadable". I wish everything "loadable". Why should I make a copy of what's already there when I could just open and use it directly from there, and when I'm done, save it back to there? That's what I want.

12. I can't afford TV. At my mom's lake house I watch MSNBC or, indeed, the Daily Show. I like CSI and Law & Order, but they're not worth setting up rabbit ears for. Usually, I don't need TV. There's a nice guy in chicago named Steve Kraft, and he has a live, streaming MSNBC audio feed. I've found that, on most news channels, the audio is what counts, and that the pictures just supplement that. If I hear a story on the streaming audio feed I'm interested in, I'll go to Google News to learn more.

13. Perhaps I'm just too nitpicky, but I hate ads where I'm not sure what they want me to buy. If there's a banner ad for "WebMD" then it makes me wonder what they want from me. Do they honestly want me to just read interesting articles and learn something about, for example, ADHD? (which I have) Often it seems that way, but then I click the ad and they want me to buy a subscription to a newsletter or something. Now, I use firefox with the AdBlock extension and the Filterset.G updater extension, plus Privoxy. I don't see ads. Not just popups - I see no in-page ads at all. Of course, that's just on my personal laptop. Needless to say that, when I use a computer here at work, I cringe. I think that at this point in my life, I just don't use ads. Tags in Web 2.0 on things like Flickr and are what I use to find similar or interesting stuff, and most stuff people want to sell me, I can't afford.

14. I don't. I've got an iPod, a PocketPC, a Nokia 3300, 6 Flash Memory Drives, a retractable USB Mouse, and like 10 other things. I finally got so much stuff that about three weeks ago I bought myself a "gadget case" and everything except my Nokia stays in there! I'd like to have some sort of device with all of it in one thing, but even I'd have to admit, it would be big. My ideal mobile device is a phone with MP3 player and loudspeaker, like my nokia. But I'd add a few things. I'd like 4GB of space to store stuff on it, and a USB plug which retracts in and out of the phone, so I don't need a seperate cable. Most importantly, I'd like a headset that's useful. I'd like one which has a mic and a earbud that fits around my ear, not in it, but more importantly, a small one inch screen, that's part of the headset, and is about 2 or 3 inches from my eye, so that I never have to take the phone out of my pocket. Voice recognition is a must, and if I'm gonna have 5 gigs of space, could we perhaps get an enhanced version of Windows Mobile on it? In other words, I want a cyborg phone running windows. (Or Linux if available. Anything but MacOS!)

On a side note, that'll never happen, because then everyone else would go out of business, and subsequently the government would slap them with a huge antitrust lawsuit. It's my dream phone, and I think it'll stay in my dreams.

15. I use MSNBC and Google News. And SteveKraft. No offense to the bloggist, but I only watch Fox on the DirecTV Mixed Channel, and I must say you gusy are the only ones that don't sound right there. At least you still get your ad revenue that way, right? ;)

16. I've used TiVo once, and until I figure out how to rip video out of a non-networked TiVo, I'm not using it again. TiVo is worthless because it has zero portability. It's stock, on that one TV (or TV box), forever. I hate it. It's like hardware DRM. As for Skype, I use it, and actually quite often. I work in a technology department, so naturally we're trying all the new stuff. Skype is one of only two things online that I pay for, with the other being my web site hosting, and right now, Skype has more of my money. Over 17 euro's worth. I definately see Skype being big in the future, but not the near future. It's the kind of technology that's before it's time. Now that eBay has bought it out, if they don't ditch it, then one day when eBay itself is being drowned by identity theft reports and goes belly up, Skype will come to fruition and save their butts. VoIP right now is the same way that Videoconferencing was in the late 90's. At that point, there were a total of three places in the entire state of alabama with an IP-based Videoconferencing system - now there's over 30 of them connected to each other and to other places around the world at any given time.

17. I'll have to answer this one quick since we're closing for the day. I prefer IM to take the place of email. Instead of somebody sending me an email, I'd like people to be able to IM me while I'm offline, and once I sign on, their messages come through to me. In the mean time they'd be held on the server awaiting me to login. This means I don't have check my email, because it just shows up, and yet it still has the same capabilities email is usedul for, mainly delayed delivery. Other than that, no I don't liker having video in an IM, or even audio for that matter.

Meebo is good for chatting, skype is good for talking, and videoconference rooms are made for people who just want to see people's faces.

That's all I can do for now. Cyas.

29. *gossipgirl* said on Jun 4 2006:

omg i had this assignment to do about teenagers and i totally freaked but when i came to this web ah-mazing! Ur the man! Lataz!

30. student systems guy said on Sep 19 2006:

This is great. As Guy Kawasaki keeps telling entrepreneurs, watch what people like, not what people say they'll like.


Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer


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