Saturday, March 08, 2008


"Dad, can I go online?"

This has been a usual question I get from my 2 older kids who are part of the Millennial Generation.

What exactly is the Millennial Generation?

Historians William Strauss and Neil Howe coined this phrase as early as 1991. They are those who were born 1982 up until the turn of the millennium.

After reading about them, there are 3 major descriptions I've gathered about this particular generation.

The first is that they are INTERACTIVE.

This is obviously not a new word but has heightened as a result of the world of internet.

Television is losing out on the Internet primarily because of the "interactivity factor." More and more young people are spending hours on the internet than on television. They get bored when they are passive. They want to take part and get involved. They don't want to just sit in the sidelines. They want to do something.

As a result, TV tries to be more interactive.

To those of you who grew up watching Sesame Street, check out their recent episodes. Elmo tries to be more interactive by speaking to his audience and waiting for a response. So is the case with Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues and many other shows.

Another classic example is American Idol. The producers of A.I. know that young people no longer want to just watch. They want to get involved in the choosing of the next American Idol. How? They text in their votes to determine who goes and who stays.

How can we reach this generation? It can no longer be just one way communication. A talking head for hours will not hack it. What will get their attention is getting interactive and engaging.

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