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The Crowd Training Academy brings together the best of our training expertise into a range of courses and workshops that equip clients with the skills and awareness they need in the new business landscape.


24.10.2013

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Digital Immersion: Meet Generation Y

By Ollie Smith | Crowd Training Consultant

When you look at how younger generations interact, how does it make you feel? Were you once tuned-in to technology, perhaps considering yourself at the heart of tech culture, only to now find yourself a little baffled by the way things have turned out in our ‘always on’ networked society?

Generation Y

Privacy is dead

I’m just old enough to vaguely remember how privacy once looked; a sense of security that was valued and protected at all costs. Then as I reached my teens our ‘generation y’ was thrust into the beginnings of a digital transformation. Privacy as we knew it was thrown out the window, in much part degraded by networked communications and convergent technologies; most recently manifested as that opinion and generation divider ‘social media’. Some adjusted quickly while others wondered on with little thought for the effect this digital transformation would have on all aspects of life.

At the time I was studying and working within the music industry, it, like many other industries, was not immune to effects of the ‘network society’. I saw its model come crashing to the floor as peer-2-peer sharing rocketed through its foundations, whilst in the meantime Apple unleashed iTunes and echoed – ‘I told you so’.

The transformation of the music industry occurred shortly before Facebook emerged with its networked, consistent and community driven model, a model that booted Myspace into oblivion. All before Twitter opened the conversation and before Instagram became the fly on our walls. Everyone should consider these examples of change and take note; technology and communications are evolving at an unprecedented rate and somewhere along the line, even if you bury your head in the sand, we’re all affected.

Fundamental Change

I often reflect on how lucky I am to be part of an era that took fundamental changes of communication in our stride, born into a world of second-selves and real-time interaction. We could, and can, find out whatever we want, whenever we want it; information and content of all kinds were no longer the commodities they once were.

It’s hard to keep up with how quickly technologies evolve; I’m 26 (not exactly over the hill), but already I regularly see teenagers who feel lost without technologies I couldn’t have even imagined at their age. The rate of change not only affected me, it requires all areas of society to evolve and adapt…quickly; take education for example; when knowledge itself is no longer the inaccessible commodity it once was, what is the role of the teacher or the classroom? To impart knowledge? Or should we call them mentors because we can now access knowledge using other more flexible methods?

I remember fighting for a computer in the ICT rooms at school to access forums, whilst trying to crack the system to allow Myspace access; these days kids have mobiles in their pockets and are notified of whatever they need (or more often want) to know in real-time; they thrive on accessibility and baulk at restrictions.

Whoever ‘you’ are

So what happens when generation Y ‘grows up’, will you show up on their radars? Consider emerging young leaders who view digital media as a daily part of their lives; as ‘online’ and ‘offline’ continually converge will you remain relevant to them? Will your organisation appeal to them? Will your brand be in a position to communicate value to them?

Now let’s be clear; I’m in no way encouraging you to blindly dive into digital immersion, to sign up to every social platform out there and boldly go where you have never gone before! I am issuing a gentle reminder that it’s time to consider change, whoever you are, because change is not slowing down and it has little sympathy for those who fail to adapt.

Need help changing?

You are your own brand, you have your own needs and you have your own audience; keep it that way. Crowd Training Academy helps you find out what works for you and sets about a process of considered and sympathetic change based around strategic goals appropriate to your organisation.

The Crowd Training Academy is an education initiative that provides Guernsey organisations and individuals with access to high quality training in the areas of online marketing and communications. We offer a broad range of modules and workshops that include:

  • Network Society
  • Digital Planning and Strategy
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Privacy, Risk & Security
  • Analytics & Measurement 
  • Platform Specifics: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn