I have been reading Fred Wilson for sometime but his last post is his best that I’ve read. In groking the Goldman Sachs EBITA chart he went deep on a post that is very relevant to the future of media and user behavior on the net.
Why do I think that this is a great post? Because I have been watching my kids for 7 years working with technology starting with reader rabbit, runescape, world of warcraft, disney online, psp, xbox, xbox 360, myspace, facebook, and youtube. It’s amazing. As an aside my daughter told me that he saw a news report on youtube on Britney Spears. I told her “YouTube isn’t news” or is it. Also I asked my son if he heard of Yahoo? His response “yahoo?..No..isn’t it a company in California..??”
Some of Fred’s examples relate to his family lifestyle but some absolutely tie to the big user behavior trend in new young users.
I think the broad trends that he highlights are:
1. TV shows align with what I call “relationship media” – kids have a relationship with TV because of the episode format. They love movies but TV and TV on the net (including ipods..etc) tie to how they use the Internet – all the time and in chunks.
2. Internet: all the time whenever possible. Gaming, MySpace, Facebook, xbox. They live and breadth the Internet and all the benefits of being connected. My wife and I shut down the Internet whenever possible so that are kids don’t forget they have siblings.
3. Books are working because offline behavior of reading seems to be relaxing to them. Great point Fred. Thank God for this.
4. Radio and newspapers are toast except for say XM’s of the world because they can get their favorite music that they get online. My kids have never cared about a newspaper not even for sports or local news. They get it all from the net and referred from their friend on the net.
My point is my daughter thinks YouTube is TV and my son doesn’t even know what Yahoo is. I was floored. Xbox, Myspace and Facebook are the new Yahoo to them. It’s their start page. Fred is right on. The business is changing fast. The kids are all right.
Online life is here for the new young generation. All offline activities like little league, dating, fooling around, ..etc have become integrated in an online environment. As a entrepreneur I’m excited as a parent I guess I don’t know how to feel. As a parent my approach is to educate my kids about what is online and make sure to turn off the Internet so they can be offline as often as possible.