Digital Nation

February 23rd, 2010 No Comments

Frontline is a popular PBS documentary that deals with issues of current events, the economy, and foreign affairs. In early February, their show was about Digital Nation — children and young adults growing up connected online, whether with their laptop, mobile phone, or iPod.

These digital natives (usually defined as those born after the late 1970s) are those who grew up with digital technologies. On a personal level, I am on the older end of the digital native spectrum – having gotten my first computer at 6 and first online (via the defunct Prodigy service and BBSes) at 10. I started my first non-profit at 15, as a website hosted on GeoCities, and built around the web and e-mail listservs. While the older spectrum of Digital Natives are approaching 30, they still represent a small – but growing – portion of the workforce. Depending on your products or services, they probably represent a significant portion of your target demographics. They are usually contrasted with digital immigrants – those who were not raised connected to computers and electronics, but were able to adapt and use these technologies with ease.

Understanding your target market is an essential component of marketing. If you’re not a Digital Native and want to understand how the world has changed in the last 20 years, this Frontline special is a must watch.

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