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Author Topic: "Twitter is for old people"  (Read 9275 times)

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"Twitter is for old people"
« on: 14 Jul 2009, 00:04 »

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Just over a fortnight ago, Matthew Robson had never worked in banking. This was mainly because he was 15 years and 7 months old and attending a comprehensive school in South London.

Today he is the talk of Tokyo, Wall Street and the City. Fund managers, CEOs and analysts are poring over his report, How Teenagers Consume Media, which he wrote last week while on work experience at Morgan Stanley.

In it he laid out the world according to the teenager: a confusing place where the PC is a radio, the games console is a telephone, the mobile telephone is a stereo and text-message machine, the DVDs are pirate copies and no one uses Twitter.

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6703399.ece

SO, what do people think about this article?

I think that a lot of it is fairly straightforward, but I also think that some of it seems rather specific to his own circle of friends.  I see a lot of teens in Sydney using phones, and not everyone plays consoles enough to use it as a main source of communication with their friends.  However, a lot more people are using internet-connected computers these days, and if you substitute talking over consoles with chats, IMs etc and then using your mobile when you are out or to talk to someone you don't normally talk to a lot then it seems pretty accurate.

And quite frankly, I thought that a lot of this shit (especially the summations at the end) was approaching general knowledge by now.  So I am fairly surprised that business & marketing people didn't already know most of it.
« Last Edit: 14 Jul 2009, 00:06 by est »
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Ozymandias

Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #1 on: 14 Jul 2009, 00:13 »

Anecdote : data :: goose : horses
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #2 on: 14 Jul 2009, 00:21 »

I saw little of interest there that is not plainly visible to anyone who looks.  Just an unjustified implication that these teenagers are defining the world of the future.  Remember, teenagers metamorphose into adults, which are a different species.  The adult world is changing too, but will remain a different place.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #3 on: 14 Jul 2009, 00:47 »

I must be a different kind of teenager.

I actually read the newspaper.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #4 on: 14 Jul 2009, 01:39 »

I listen to the radio. Though to be fair, not for music, which I stream off last.fm or play on my computer.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #5 on: 14 Jul 2009, 01:44 »

i listen to the radio almost constantly.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #6 on: 14 Jul 2009, 04:33 »

While watching the show True Blood (incidentally, if you haven't seen this show, many people will tell you it is awesome but really it is shit) my fiancee figured maybe it was written to appeal to teens, which made me reflect on the fact that I really have no idea what appeals to teens.  My kids will totally be embarrassed by me.

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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jul 2009, 04:42 »

I like True Blood.  :-(

Maybe you just don't get the erotic vampire genre, Mr. Hocking.

Edit: Also I'd never really understood the fuss about twitter. Seems pretty bloody pointless to me. I'm also sick of people telling me it is The Future Of Journalism. Because it really, really isn't.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jul 2009, 07:53 »

Anecdote : data :: goose : horses

This isn't true. Anecdotal data can be very important to a number of kinds of research (anthropology, psychology, and history all use first hand accounts quite a bit). However, just as with quantitative data, you need more then one point of information and you need to make sure that you are accounting for variables. Hearing from one 15 year old in one country and acting like the information is applicable to all teenagers in the developed world is rather ridiculous. I think it's fairly common, though, that adults tend to think that asking one teenager about what it's like to be a teenager is enough to get the whole picture. If they really wanted this information they would be careful to interview kids from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, genders, economic situations and interests.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #9 on: 14 Jul 2009, 09:14 »

My kids will totally be embarrassed by me.

This is the function of parents of teenagers:  to embarrass their children.
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Liz

Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #10 on: 14 Jul 2009, 09:39 »

Oddly enough it's the other way around in my family. I have embarrassed my mother far more often than she has embarrassed me. i.e. the time we went shopping and I spoke to her in a fake hoity-toity English accent the whole time we were in the store. (I am a great kid.)
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #11 on: 14 Jul 2009, 10:47 »

Well, there is that, too.

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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #12 on: 14 Jul 2009, 10:55 »

The one that confuses me the most there is that teenagers don't go to the cinema. That is the main social function of my group of friends, and most people I know. I mean, I go to the movies a little more than most do (About 10 times a month), but that doesn't change the fact that the average teenager goes as well.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #13 on: 14 Jul 2009, 11:42 »

The second you claim to "Understand teenagers," you should be marked as someone without a clue.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #14 on: 14 Jul 2009, 12:27 »

Hey now, high school teachers get by somehow. I imagine after a few years you get the gist of some general trends, though, not necessarily true "understanding".


It is like how some people want to be middle school teachers. They are incomprehensible as well.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #15 on: 14 Jul 2009, 14:01 »

I don't get it. Any teenager could have written that in 10 minutes. They're acting like this kid is some kind of middleman, someone that can help explain the intricacies of teenage life to the dreaded adults. But ask ANY teenager (at least where I live in California, and probably most other places) and they'll tell you exactly the same stuff. This is all totally common knowledge; the only difference is that this kid decided to write it down.

Also I agree with those who are saying the cinema point was wrong; I go there at least 3 times a month.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #16 on: 14 Jul 2009, 16:31 »

I agree with him for the most part. Hardly any kids have music on their phone and instead have an iPod. Most kids go to the cinema. All of them buy DVDs because they couldn't figure out how to pirate a movie. But not many of us buy music anymore, it's too easily available.

But I don't see why this made the news. Anyone can tell you this.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #17 on: 14 Jul 2009, 17:51 »

Old people and Persians.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #18 on: 14 Jul 2009, 18:23 »

But strangely, not so much old Persians.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #19 on: 14 Jul 2009, 18:33 »

When I write an essay, I need to footnote every single assertion I make with a legal authority backing it up. Every single one. Which works to about 40 footnotes in a 2,000 word document. Otherwise I get marked down for either plagiarism or just plain making shit up.

I would very much like to count the number of footnotes here.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #20 on: 15 Jul 2009, 03:16 »

Footnotes are the past man
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #21 on: 15 Jul 2009, 03:29 »

One, he is frequently wrong, and two, who the hell didn't know this stuff anyway.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #22 on: 15 Jul 2009, 13:02 »

But strangely, not so much old Persians.

The feline variety?
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #23 on: 15 Jul 2009, 13:23 »

Speaking of Twitter, some guy hacked into their admin accounts and pulled a bunch of internal company stuff. Turns out Twitter estimates it will have 25 million users at the end of this year, 100 million at the end of 2010 and 350 million at the end of 2011. Does that seem likely to anybody? Also the staff (largely poached from the notorious Google) has been pretty ridic with its demands - "Plans for new offices including a wish list from the employees who would like a nap room, a games room, plants, a chief cuisto, a meditation hall, garages to cycling, Adjustable offices, a gym, a meditation room, a washer / dryer, wifi, lockers, wine cellar, an aquarium and so on"

Remember when Myspace was going to be around forever?
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #24 on: 15 Jul 2009, 13:28 »

Why would they need a meditation hall and a meditation room?

I like having Twitter, but I don't think it's going to be A Big Thing for very long.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #25 on: 15 Jul 2009, 13:38 »

Today, I received a phone call from a friend to find out where I was. We met up and went to the cinema, where at a rough estimate 60,000,000 other teenagers were (it was the day Harry Potter VI got released, you see). After the film we went into three different games shops (three girls, one boy). Then I came home and listened to the folk music programme on the radio and read the local newspaper to find out what that darn ice cream selling teenager has been up to lately (getting banned from the local park, apparently). Last week I looked in the local telephone directory to find the number for a taxi firm, so that I could go to work to earn money. Sometimes I spend this money on CDs (not often, true) which I listen to on a CD player, not my phone. My phone, incidentally, is the second phone I've ever owned. My first lasted eleven years.

Here's a thing: just because all the above is true for me, it isn't true for everyone else my age. Here is a far more insightful and well-written article on the same thing.

But he's right, Twitter is for old people. I don't know anyone who uses Twitter.
« Last Edit: 15 Jul 2009, 13:41 by Barmymoo »
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #26 on: 15 Jul 2009, 13:44 »

I use twitter. :(
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #27 on: 15 Jul 2009, 13:47 »

You and I can be old together, Gemm!
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #28 on: 15 Jul 2009, 14:11 »

Yay! Let's go drink beer!
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #29 on: 15 Jul 2009, 17:10 »

This sad old person doesn't use Twitter;  but he did go today to a talk on its security (lack of) implications - along with the same in FaceBook, MySpace and LinkedIn.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #30 on: 15 Jul 2009, 18:12 »

Twitter is entire worth paying attention to if for nothing else but the random musings and internet discoveries of William Gibson.

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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #31 on: 15 Jul 2009, 21:25 »

I have a Twitter and although I am young in years I am totally an old guy. I'm not entirely sure if there is any conclusion to be drawn from this but they fuck that kid's study anyway.

Oh hey guys @ddovey follow me much love.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #32 on: 15 Jul 2009, 22:00 »

I use twitter sometimes, too, when I remember to.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #33 on: 15 Jul 2009, 22:04 »

Someone explain Twitter to me once and for all. I still don't know what it actually is and the descriptions people give me make it sound retarded to the point where I don't even really believe them. Explain also why it's a good or useful thing in a manner I might be able to empathise with.

This thread, let's go.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #34 on: 15 Jul 2009, 22:07 »

Explain it to him in 140 characters or less.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #35 on: 15 Jul 2009, 22:08 »

It's a realtime newsletter and you choose the news sources.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #36 on: 15 Jul 2009, 22:31 »

The only thing I gleamed from this article is that teenagers are idiots and I don't understand how this makes him a whiz kid
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #38 on: 16 Jul 2009, 03:16 »

That article is really awful.

Tommy, all you need to know is that it is like livejournal or any other mass blog system, only restricted to 140 characters per entry due to starting out as a service you could blog to using sms.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #39 on: 16 Jul 2009, 03:19 »

One more thing: from a technical perspective there was no reason to restrict it to 140 chars, because most phones can send/receive multi-page smses and have been able to since before Twitter's inception.  It was/is a gimmick used to make it seem like it was something special other than just another mass blog service.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #40 on: 16 Jul 2009, 06:23 »

I actually use Twitter quite a bit. But then lots of my friends have one as well so there is a point to using it.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #41 on: 16 Jul 2009, 07:57 »

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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #42 on: 16 Jul 2009, 11:48 »

One more thing: from a technical perspective there was no reason to restrict it to 140 chars, because most phones can send/receive multi-page smses and have been able to since before Twitter's inception.  It was/is a gimmick used to make it seem like it was something special other than just another mass blog service.
I think 20 characters were lopped off for the purposes of naming users.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #43 on: 16 Jul 2009, 11:54 »

All the above is true, but it's evolved into what calenlass has described it as.

It's a realtime newsletter and you choose the news sources.

It's actually really nice, because of the choosing part.

It can also turn into a massive time sink if you choose to much.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #44 on: 16 Jul 2009, 16:50 »

I think 20 characters were lopped off for the purposes of naming users.

My point was that I regularly send and receive 200+ char smses to people.  Sometimes they are about 5 pages long depending on what we have to say.  I know that a lot of people try to restrict it to one page, but what I am saying is that it has been technically possible for a very long time.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #45 on: 16 Jul 2009, 17:26 »

Well sure. I know my phone is capable of such as well, but Verizon will only let you send 160+ character messages to other Verizon users - otherwise it just cuts you off at 160. So it might be something Twitter put in because of industry obstinacy.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #46 on: 16 Jul 2009, 18:32 »

I guess I'm a hypocrite for texting more than actually calling.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #47 on: 16 Jul 2009, 21:02 »

I just use Twitter to follow people: Jeph, other webcomics, etc. I never actually input stuff. I find it useful.

Also, wait what? You can use phones to call people now?
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #48 on: 16 Jul 2009, 21:20 »

Okay I finally read up about it.

It's exactly as retarded as I initially thought.
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Re: "Twitter is for old people"
« Reply #49 on: 16 Jul 2009, 22:03 »

I think Aditi Nangia over at Foreign Policy's Passport blog puts it best with this:

Quote
Conclusions? Teenagers don't have any money and they like free things. Also, eight out of ten of Robson's friends are downloading music illegally.
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