Global Teen Culture Trends – Wired, Worldview, Global, Branded

You can blame my high school calculus teacher for making me read MegaTrends.  Via Chief Marketer:

Abercrombie_lifestyle_marketingSix Seismic Shifts in Global Teen Culture
By Chip Walker

1) Being wired: from an elite to a mainstream phenomenon
2) Worldview: from optimism to a great uneasiness
3) Success: from entitlement to self-activism
4) The new vanguard of cool: from “USA teens“ to “creatives“
5) Global brand leaders: from American brands to world brands
6) Brands: from brand status symbols to brand apathy

The image is of course from the great Abercrombie because we all want to be skinny half naked people.  Or something like that…

Also note that the Intelligence Group just released their latest Cassandra Report on youth trends.

Pink for President – This isn’t about PR

PinkstupidgirlspresidentThis isn’t about PR unless you count word-of-mouth marketing as public relations.  My daughter recently stacked a bunch of "reject" CDs from the 90s.  Being the culturally curious person that I am I picked up the entire stack and put them in my car (OK, minivan, whatever) for "testing" (ahem).

Based on my scientific research I can tell you that the Backstreet Boys are better than N’Sync and that Pink is under rated.  Yes, that Pink.  Listen to This is My Vietnam a few times and you will see what I mean.  So previously I had Pink mentally grouped with Madonna, Brittney and Christina based on the pop-singles I heard.  Now she seems more like a pissed off white version of Tracy Chapman – and that is a good thing.

Visualization of Social Issues – Block by Block and Random Visuals

Cadoracharles_swartzVia this post on we-make-money-not-art, to the left is an awesome map indicating the cost, by block, of incarceration.  The map is a graphic by Eric Cadora and Charles Swartz helps you understand visually the expense of lack of education and incarceration.

The artists clearly thought about visual representation and included source data (Tufte emphasizes source for legitimacy regardless of authenticity).

On the flip side, the actual project web site is close to unusable with all links launching frames without an address bar.  What were they thinking?

If you force the issue with "open in new window" you can dig down into additional graphics on social issues like this one, or this one

F_kurgan_tlyang_sp05_06While the visuals are compelling, I am not sure about how intuitive the communication of issues is for a user who is not motivated to review and read the legend at length.

This design does require the user to work and renders the information secondary to the display, which is not an ideal result.

Knowledge versus Information Literacy

"Knowledge is power, not
  mere argument or ornament." – Francis Bacon (link)

which of course begs the question of "how do you get knowledge"?  Which leads to:

"Knowledge acquisition is the process of absorbing and storing new information in memory, the success of which is often gauged by how well the information can later be remembered, or retrieved from memory." – Danielle S. McNamara and Tenaha O’Reilly

which is why this is a good idea.

Exam measures students’ ‘information literacy’
Friday, February 3, 2006; Posted: 9:38 a.m. EST (14:38 GMT)

(AP) — When it comes to downloading music and instant messaging, today’s students are plenty tech-savvy. But that doesn’t mean they know how to make good use of the endless stream of information that computers put at their fingertips.

Educators and employers call those skills "technology literacy," and while everyone agrees it’s important to have, it also is difficult to measure.

Now a test that some high school students will begin taking this year could help.

The ICT Literacy Assessment touches on traditional skills, such as analytical reading and math, but with a technological twist. Test-takers, for instance, may be asked to query a database, compose an e-mail based on their research, or seek information on the Internet and decide how reliable it is. (more)

Intuitively we all know this already.  Ever watch someone who doesn’t know how to construct a query in google?  It’s almost painful to watch them typing and even more painful to watch them blame the application for the unexpected results.  Which is why we need to teach technology literacy. 

On a side note, why doesn’t CNN accept track backs?  Come on folks, join the conversation!