Teen-tools’ in business and government

By Paul Grant

User research informs education website

There are so many emerging social networking tools for the integrated citizen of the future that it is easy to succumb to the natural response of ‘future shock’ and simply disregard them as fads that will pass away.

Surprisingly some of these tools are also establishing themselves as relevant for communication in political or brand communication circles.

‘Tweeting’ on Twitter

A strange phenomenon in social networking is a tool known as Twitter, with which users ‘tweet’ their location or current activity using the web or a mobile phone. The premise is based on the ‘What are you doing?” conversations that take place with the teen generation.

In the corridors of power in the United States of America, photographers, commentators and press media now also ‘tweet’ out sentences in less than 140 characters that become news feeds for those that subscribe or ‘follow’. This ‘teen-tool’ has become a mechanism for real-time analysis, a virtual newswire which gives unedited insider information. For those who need to stay on the cutting edge of information or topical conversation, the Twitter platform has evolved into a useful way to pass on intelligence quickly.

Birds of a feather, flock together

As social media tools are by nature attracting ‘birds of the same feather’, it also makes sense that the insights, readings, or other information that is interesting to one member of the ‘flock’ will also be interesting and relevant to those others who are following along or subscribing.

It is not unusual for a technology platform to come onto the scene intended for one purpose, only to be utilised in a totally different way.

The interesting aspect will be to see how the United Kingdom and other countries adopt this technology, and whether it becomes a useful part of interaction and communication strategies or remains the tool of teens.

Regardless, these present-day ‘teens’ are tomorrow’s citizens of the future that will vote with their allegiance or wallet. Progressive companies and governments are recognising this and embracing their chosen platforms.

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Meet the Author

Paul Grant