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SXSW: Web2.0 for the MySpace Generation

Almost live notes from the Under 18 panel. How youths use the internet, how they should use the internet.

Most young people are online and are active.
Problem: adults don’t get the internet
Results in one of two extreme ideas

  • Young people are in constant danger online.
  • Young people are fulfilling their inner potential online.

Trying to find the middle ground.

Danah Boyd:
History lesson leading up to Age Segregation. Teenagers grow up with only other teenagers. Not feeling part of “adultâ€? society. Now goes on until early 20s.

The internet allows young people to have a public life.

“if you’re not on MySpace you don’t existâ€?  you need to be there even if you don’t participate.

The architecture of public life through the internet has changed because of the properties of the internet.

Erin Reilly
Zoey’s room, extreme challenge – safe space for girls/kids online. Now coming out with a mobile version.
Elyzabeth sylvan
Lifelong kindergarten – group to build inspiring tools for learning.
Online community as a place to explore different identities.
Kate Raynes-Goldie
Taking it Global – International youth activism tools.
How to engage kids online in a way that speaks to them but does not alienate teachers or parents.
Need to overcome the fear adults now have because of sites like MySpace or FaceBook. Tools also need to be usable by adults, sometimes alienates children.
Anastasia Goodstein
Avatars help kids explore themselves.
Can’t really solve online problems with technology. Need to initiate dialog. Parents are afraid.
Andrea Forte
Wiki in school (high school) scare teachers. The community/collaboration aspect is at odds with individual assessment.
Young people now have an opportunity to contribute to what’s going on in the world. They can become part of something important.

Trying to discuss 3 questions:

  • What are young people getting from the online life?
  • What are the dangers to young people online?
  • What do we do about it? Are there design solution that can help? Technological solutions? Social ones?

Danah on DOPA: We’re moving from a digital divide problem to a participatory divide problem.
Bas things happen in public space. Online public space is no different. We should treat them in a similar manner. A proactive approach to educate parents and kids.

Breaking up with a person online – gives you a clear record and prevents the he-said she-said game.

Online life is good for shy kids, they can express themselves better.

At this point the panel moved on to discuss more and more about online predators and how to deal with misconceptions and with the actual problem. I zoned out 🙂

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