Snapchat is dead. Pinterest has lots of love. TikTok is confusing. These are some of the takeaways from one of my favorite discussions of the semester: my focus group. Here's what a room full of 20ish-year-old college students in New York City have to say about the state of our digital life.
Inspired by the "media diets" curated by the great Jason Kottke, I've been taking some time over this past year to notice the things that made this year what is was. This is beyond the normal gratitudes of health, family, friends, etc. Instead, these are the things I did, ate, read, watched, or listened to over the past twelve months I enjoyed, and that I would recommend.
Like Johnny Appleseed transforming communities across the country by plopping down orchards along his path, technology swept through the media industry, changed everything about the landscape, and left. In the years since, pretty much every media company threw together their own streamer. And now, the difference is no longer the technology, it’s the content.
Last night, I ran one of my favorite classes of the semester – the focus group. After a couple months of me doing most of the talking, in this lesson we turn things around and I spend an hour and change asking the students questions about how they use social media, their phones, and everything else we talk about in our course. Increasingly, the results have been putting me in my place.
If you haven’t done so recently, take a quick look at the top podcast charts. There are basically just three things that make up the first few dozen spots: Murder or other gruesome crimes, politics and news, and guys talking. After a few years of what felt like a constant stream of blockbuster podcasts, starting with "Serial," the industry is in a bit of a funk – sorta.