Anthropological use of Mobile Tech by Mimi Ito #TMRE #MRX

Live blogs by @LoveStats of @Conversition. This is a session summary from The Market Research Event by IIR in Orlando, Florida, November 2011. It was posted mere minutes after completion of the talk. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side remarks are also my own. Feel free to leave comments and critiques.

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An Anthropological Presentation of the Use of Mobile Tech & Digital

mobile phone text message

Image via Wikipedia

Media in Everyday Life
Mimi Ito, Professor in Residence, Department of Anthropology and Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine

  • When and how does diversity matter? Which young people are the influencers?
  • Friendship driven participation – most common practices, myspace, instant messaging switched to facebook and text messaging. managing status among friends, flirting, being popular.
  • Interest driven participation – kids who are marginal, seen as different, smarter, digital generation, creating youtube videos, mixing movies, not most common, it’s diversity, niche trends.
  • facebook is people you went to school with. tumblr is people you wish you went to school with.
  • online culture breaks down clearly between geeks and social centered world. [i’m on the geek side. and proud of it. 🙂 ]
  • Japan was first country to really have mobile internet. People went online because it was a way of sending text messages across platforms.
  • For youth, a mobile phone is a piece of private space.
  • Why were teen messages content free? R U Up? You rawk. Gnight. These messages are only about keeping a warm connection with someone. It’s a shared social space. Teens know you need to return a text within 20 minutes or apologize for being late.
  • Early adoption was led by guys but then it was taken over by girls, but not very different. But the forms of engagement were very different.
  • Networks moved away from the youth demographic. Moms and teachers are here now. We just saw a dip down in adoption by younger people. SM space is becoming old fogey for teenagers now.
  • Females text 30% more than males. Texting by teens if massively off the chart compared to all other age groups.
  • PC access to social networks is a bit flat but mobile access is massive
  • Pokemon arrived in the 90s. New adults now grew up with media. Second most successful franchise every (after mario). Trading cards followed. This media had more than good guy, bad guy, girl. it had hundreds of characters, ridiculously differentiated set of media. Invites collections, trading, social currency. There is flocking behavior, a common language. harder to participate, belong if you don’t have it.
  • It’s about creating content as well. strong connection with a franchise, sharing tips and cheats, sharing videos of games,
  • In the US, average player is 37, 42% are female, 45% of parents play with their kids weekly.
  • GREE is japan’s largest social network. Optimized for mobile. Centered around gameplay, avatars. Mobage is popular, Misi is losing popularity, Ameba is popular. newer sites are more mobile. Mobile is more popular because frequency of access is higher. Revenue model is based on virtual goods, subscriptions not ads.
  • In 2010, a portable console became the leading console, Nintendo DS.
  • Blacks and latinos are leading white and asian counterparts in growth/use of social media.
  • Price point of SmartSocialMobile is dropping to where majority of teens can afford it.
  • The typical teens don’t set the trends. It’s the geeks who do that. There are shared values around participating, engaging, but it is highly segmented because personalization is huge.
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