A presentation on options for engaging people in family related issues online. This was prepared as part of a small research project for the New Zealand Families Commission komihana a whānau.
A presentation on options for engaging people in family related issues online. This was prepared as part of a small research project for the New Zealand Families Commission komihana a whānau. September 2007.
1. engaging young people
- whaddya reckon?
presentation by Stephen Blyth
15 September 2007
2. statistics, damn statistics
Computer Internet Mobile phone(2)
Household Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Survey (2006)
Statistics New Zealand
Big picture - who in New Zealand is online.
In the last year 65% households with Internet access. Numbers high and rising but still a signiﬁcant group missing
3. statistics, damn statistics
Individual internet use
in last 12 months
15–24 502,000 85.5%
Household Use of Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) Survey (2006)
Statistics New Zealand
A larger proportion of young people online than any other age group. Statistics NZ ﬁgures show 85.5% used
Internet in last twelve months. Some
Remaining 14.5% not users for a number of reasons: dislike using computers, do not have Internet access at
home, school, workplace, and do not use public terminals.
4. statistics, damn statistics
Daily use is the norm for half of kids
% of New Zealand children with internet access at home
78% of children had used
the internet in the past week
10 5 3
In last day In last week in last month More than 1 mth ago Don't know
all 6 - 17 Broadband Homes Dial-up Homes
Nielsen/ NetRatings “New Zealand eGeneration Study 2005: Kids and Teens Online”
When was the last time you used the Internet? Base: New Zealand Children Aged 6-17 who use the Internet & have access at home
Of people survey, over three quarters online at least every week.
Note dierences in use between dial-up and broadband users.... if have broadband at home over 25% more likely
to be online daily.
Figures likely to have increased since 2005.
5. Children’s online activities 80%
Playing games against the computer(eg single player)
Other things for school
Instant messaging (messenger)
Multiplayer gaming (playing against other people on the Internet)
TV / movie websites
Magazine websites eg Total Girl, Dolly
Information - Various subjects
A more ‘active’ engagement with the
Movies / video
internet, as compared with the
File sharing (music / video)
functional use of adults – banking,
Computer game cheats
‘Immersive’ advertising opportunities
Blogging - own or reading others
Leisure / fun and browsing
Sports info / results
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
Do you use the Internet for any of the following reasons? % of New Zealand children aged 6 - 17 who use internet
Base: New Zealand Children Aged 6-17 who use the Internet (n=501)
So what are people actually doing online...
Statistics on NZ internet use by young people dificult to obtain at the moment. Waiting for Statistics NZ to release
more data from their household ICT survey last year.
In ﬁgures here from Nielsen Netratings 2005 focus interaction revolves around chat or instant messaging, but
social networking doe snot ﬁgure. Blogging and creating content do not ﬁgure highly.
6. More statistics
Despite prevalence of internet it is not ranked
near the top of the list in terms of favourite
pastimes for 8-18 year olds (tv tops)
NZs in 8-14 age group, 39% visited user generated
website, 16% uploaded clips
NZ kids ranked higher than their British or
Australian counterparts creating content on social
network sites (eg MySpace, Bebo)
Circuits of Cool/ Digital Playground technology and
lifestyle survey (2007)
Quantitative and qualitative survey methodology used to talk with 18,000 “tech embracing” 14-24 year olds in 16 countries
“New Zealand youth were actually found to be amongst the most sociable of those countries surveyed, preferring to hang out with their friends over spending time online.”
7. CREATING CONNECTING//Research and Guidelines on Online Social — and Educational — Networking
NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
Research conducted in USA, comprising:
- online survey with 1,277 nine to 17 year olds
- online survey with 1,039 parents
- telephone interviews with 250 school district leaders.
Useful to look at trends in USA, where Internet use higher, though cannot necessarily directly link back to NZ
8. Popular Social Networking Activities
language, posting inappropriate
pictures, sharing personal infor- Percentage of online tweens and teens who say they do these activities at least weekly
mation with strangers or pretend-
ing to be someone they are not.
41% Posting messages
Nonconformists are signiﬁ-
cantly heavier users of social net-
32% Downloading music
working sites than other students,
participating in every single type
30% Downloading videos
of social networking activity sur-
veyed (28 in all) signiﬁcantly
29% Uploading music
more frequently than other stu-
dents both at home and at school
25% Updating personal Web sites or online proﬁles
— which likely means that they
break school rules to do so. For
24% Posting photos
example, 50 percent of noncon-
formists are producers and 38
percent are editors of online con-
tent, compared to just 21 percent
16% Creating and sharing virtual objects
and 16 percent, respectively, of
14% Creating new characters
These students are signiﬁcantly
more likely to be heavy users of
10% Participating in collaborative projects
both new media (online, video
games, handhelds) and old media
10% Sending suggestions or ideas to Web sites
(TV, videos/DVDs, radio). But
they are signiﬁcantly more likely
9% Submitting articles to Web sites
to prefer new media to old. They
also are disproportionately likely
9% Creating polls, quizzes or surveys
to learn about new sites and fea-
tures online, through the “chat
vine” or other online mechanisms,
while other students are more
Source: Grunwald Associates LLC
Creating Connecting page 3
Of student respondents, 96% with online access have used social networking technologies, including chat, text
messaging, blogging, and visiting online communities.
Some very active users: 21% say they post comments daily; 41% say they post messages at least one a week. 30%
of students have their own blogs, with 17% adding material at least once a week.
9. visited two or more kinds of sites.
human rights or other participatory issues, over
!quot; If these levels of participation are to be
half (54%) of 12-19 year olds who go online at
increased, further efforts – in design, in visibility,
least once a week have visited at least one such
in communicating relevance, and in educational/
website. Charities appear marginally more
social support – will be needed.
popular, but the main finding is that each
civic/political area appears to generate a similar,
and modest, level of interest from teenagers.
Figure 5: Have you ever visited websites about…?
22 21 18
Charity Environment Government Human rights Improving Any of these
Base: 12-19 year olds who use the internet at least once a week (N=975.) Multiple responses allowed.
A research report from the UK Children Go Online project (October 2004)
Active participation or just more information? Young people’s take up of opportunities to act and interact on the internet
A research report from the UK Children Go Online project (www.children-go-online.net) October 2004
54% of 12-19 year olds who go online at least once at week sought out information about political, environmental, human rights or other participatory issues
On average, however, only one of these kinds of sites (out of a possible six) is visited by each individual, suggesting that overall, visiting civic websites is low on young people’s priorities. Further, only 31% of
girls and 23% of boys have visited two or more kinds of sites.
When they visit civic/political websites, what do young people do?
• The majority of 12-19 year olds who had visited such a site said that they just ‘checked it out’ (64%). Some had sent an email (18%), voted for something or signed a petition (12%) or joined a chat room
(5%) on the site. It seems that for all but a minority, political and civic sites are more a source of information than an opportunity to become engaged.17
• This low level of engagement was confirmed when we asked email, IM and chat users aged 12-19 (N=828) if they discuss such political or civic issues peer-to-peer on the internet. More than half (56%) say
they never talk about these issues with anyone by email, IM or chat. However, 14% have done so once or twice, 24% sometimes and 4% often.
Reference Group set by Children’s Commissioner echoed findings:
Happy to talk about politics, or answer a questionnaire
But wouldn’t purposely look for a site out of interest, even if it was likely to make better rules, or laws
10. Telling it like it is, pt 1
From the Children’s Commissioners Reference Group:
Don’t just try and invite people to the existing
Couch, you need a dedicated youth corner
Avoid having parents being asked for permission –
it’s a turn-off
Rewards or incentives to particpate are good
A competition could work, but this needs careful
Bebo is currently most popular place to hang out
In early August 2007 I attended a Children’s Commissioners Reference Group meeting to ask for feedback on the
idea of a website or section to talk with young people. This the feedback I received.
11. Telling it like it is, pt 1
From the Children’s Commissioners Reference Group:
A clear purpose for collecting info, and seeing
Place relevant adverts on other popular websites
Involve young people in design
12. Telling it like it is, pt 2
From the Tech Exec:
Not voting yet, so interaction with government seen
in very narrow terms
Want opportunities to tell government stuff, but
don’t ﬁt boxes of government departments
Prefer elegant, fast, simple websites: everything
needs to be instant
Needs to be interactive, visual
Feeling that young people are ignored
At a meeting the SSC online participation community of practice, the Wellington based Tech Exec made a
presentation. The tech exec are senior high school students from several dierent schools, who support younger
students to use IT, run occasional IT related events, and challenge teachers to get with it.
13. Telling it like it is, pt 2
From the Tech Exec:
Apathy not is necessarily the case, but feeling
that dominant voices or the few actually get heard
Involve young people in design
14. Prof Coleman’s view
“A key message for government is that engaging young
people in online debates and consultation is counter-
productive unless there is a serious and authentic
commitment to listen and learn – in short, to engage
“The key to making online civic and political content
meaningful is for it to be open to the widest possible
interpretation, re-interpretation and re-mixing.”
Remixing Citizenship: democracy and young peoples use of the Internet
In the “Remixing Citizenship: democracy and young peoples use of the Internet (May 2005)” report Professor Stephen Coleman reports on research he’d conducted into young peoples use of internet from
citizenship point of view. This entailed 100 13-18 year olds visiting selected websites and giving feedback, plus 8 face to face semi-structured discussions with same age group in schools.
Amongst other things, he grapples with defining what is ‘cool’.
15. Some issues to consider
Safety: privacy, digital footprints, sensitive
content (help and support)
Anonymity: is information collected reliable?
Building a critical mass
Design – ‘cool’ remixing, mashups ... involve young
people (ala Tim McCreanor, Whariki)
Whose voices? Because not everyone is online
At the forefront of any eort to set up an online forum for expression of young people’s views on families, need
to consider these issues.
16. Some issues to consider
Age groups – up to 12 or so, not conﬁdent creators
of content ..
Liz Butterﬁeld says from 12-13 years old young
people conﬁdent creators, capable of making
Social networking websites membership only open
to those 13 years and older, but extends into
20s and beyond
Relevance and impact: what does the Commission want
to learn from young people?
Coming up... I suggest two options to consider:
1. join an existing social networking space
2. interactive school based projects
17. option 1: join an existing
social networking space
Go to where young people already congregate
Piggy back on existing uses, rather than focusing
on policy, politics , civic-mindedness
Create an engagement/ participation space on
Myspace, Bebo or another popular social networking
Invite creative contributions from young people,
generate discussion, occasional poll, competitions
Age group: 13 years plus ..
Myspace is only for people aged 16 years and over
Bebo 13 years plus
Faketown 13 years plus
Coming are examples of reputable organisations using different online social networking sites.
18. option 1: pros
Large existing audience,
eg Bebo 800,000 NZ members aged between 13 and
30; Aug 2007 stats: 5th most visited website in
eg Myspace Feb 2007 300,000 members; Aug 2007
stats: 18th most visited website in NZ
Safety measures available
Creative, contributory, co-production
Few NZ organisations going online
19. option 1: cons
Mistrusted, banned by schools
Lack of control over content, who links, etc
Boundary pushing content by advertisers (as well as
potential for links to objectionable)
Difﬁculty for users ﬁnding speciﬁc channels
Reputation for unsafe behaviour (eg privacy,
Limited control over age of participants
Fast changing: site popularity rises and falls very
20. option 2: interactive
school based projects
Facilitate creative digital activity with children
at selected school around discussing, recording,
researching and sharing about their family life
Use blogs, podcasts, websites, presentations,
videos or other digital content. Pictures,
drawings, song, creative content.
Directly or indirectly learn about children’s and/
or young people’s experience of family life
Share results publicly and promote this
Some examples of these types of things happening:
eg Living Heritage
eg The Outlook for Someday video competition
21. Living heritage projects feature school classes reaching out into local communities to learn about and document
histories, stories and personalities.
22. Young people up to the age of 20 were invited to submit a short ﬁlm on some aspect of sustainability.
23. option 2: pros
Highly controlled process
Scalable: start small and build up
Low risk initial launch
High level of participation by children/ young
Beneﬁt of participation regardless of downstream
Could work with a wide range of age groups
24. option 2: cons
Dependent on ﬁnding schools willing to participate
Limited awareness around the country beyond people
Signiﬁcant planning upfront, including link to
Quality determined by motivation of facilitator,
25. Who I talked with...
Tim McCreanor, Whariki/ SHORE, Massey
Liz Butterﬁeld, Hectors World
John Fenaughty, Netsafe
Ahsley Blair, StudyIT
Marianne Doczi, DoL
Raewyn Baldwin, WCC
Lyn Campbell (as former youth advocate)
I draw no conclusions.
26. What I read....
“NZ youth take part in MTV’s Circuits of Cool”, C4 Music Television media release 24 July 2007
(download: 12 September 2007)
“e-Me Stories Scenarios: the ideal electronic galaxy of the student”, Lars Albinsson , Olove
Forsgren and Mikael Lind (2006)
“Children’s Media Use and Responses: a reivew of the literature”, NZ Broadcasting Standards
Authority (July 2007)
“Creating Connecting: research and guidelines on online social - and educational - networking”,
National School Boards Association (USA) (July 2007)
“New Zealand eGeneration Study 2005: Kids and Teens Online”, Jennifer Reddington (2005)
“Teens, Privacy Online Social Networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal
information in the age of MySpace”, Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden, Pew/ Internet (April
“Remixing Citizenship: democracy and young people’s use of the Internet”, Professor Stephen
Coleman (with Chris Rowe) (May 2005)
“Active participation or just more information? Young people’s take up of opportunities to act and
interact on the internet”, Sonia Livingstone, Magdalena Bober and Ellen Helsper, UK Children Go
Online project (October 2004)
“Get it together”, Russell Brown, NZ Listener (no. 3455, August 2006)
“Why youth (heart) social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life”,
danah boyd, in press MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning, Identity Volume