Skip to main content

The Digital Ecosphere I

Digital Ecosphere I

The digital natives, survive on the “digital oxygen” of portable music, ubiquitous connection through cell phone, and would avoid going to places where these connections – that connects them to their friends, multimedia, information, etc – might cease. (this would have implications for travel, tourism n transport industry) This ecosphere is composed of digital devices such as cell phones, portable music players, computer/Laptop, TiVo (and such digital tools that transfer control of content of mass media to the user), digital camera, gaming consoles etc.

These devices essentially cater to the following characteristics of Digital Native:

  1. Control: Digital Natives don’t want to be ‘subjected’ to content, but would rather choose what they want to experience. This desire for control affects the preference and use of digital devices around them. Hence DNs would rather watch their favorite TV program on Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and Web TV. They prefer ‘experience’ to a simple message being casted (broad or otherwise.) on them.
  1. Impatience: Digital Natives own multiple devices that provide access to a very wide range of communication and content services. They are increasingly consuming several types of content at once, rapidly switching attention from one source to another, a manifestation of the time poverty that afflicts them. In the US, 25% of teenagers’ media time in a typical day consists, of overlapping media experiences. (Source: NPD Group’s “Kid’s Leisure Time II”, 2007) This incessant hopping from one media/content to another in search for something better, results in ‘attention thinning’. Also, the explosion of choices had necessitated them to ‘snack’ on the “micro-chunks” of content. Micro chunks are essentially stripped down, fragmented format content. DNs access these through Search engines and RSS feeds that allows for search 'bits of content' that is relevant to them. DNs increasingly snack on content such as TV episode recaps, Sport Highlights, User created short films, or single music tracks.

Digital Natives are efficient ad avoiders as well, if the ad is perceived as non entertaining or non informative.

  1. Community Interaction: In this age of nucleated relations and liberated individuals, digital natives fulfill the need of community interaction through the use of new technologies to communicate, interact and stay connected on their own terms. Digital devices allow them to remain connected to their friends 24/7 and at the same time afford them certain degree of control and privacy.

The community interactions are being shaped by the need of DN to belong and the need of an identity. Like in real life, these needs are met in the digital world with community formation based on conversation. Internet has turned the world into a global village and one can indulge in conversation with anyone and anytime from anywhere. This is assisted with such digital tools such as social networking websites, chat, IMs, blogs etc. Digital natives are quick to see the benefits that could accrue of this “crowd sourced” intelligence. They trust ‘peer-generated’ or ‘crowd sourced’ content for opinions, help, or even purchase decisions. and are making good use of this trait by recommending the buyer on their website, things that fellow buyers have bought with similar interest. About 60% of Netflix’s movie based customers decided upon their purchase decision on user recommendations tailored to their individual tastes. (Marketwatch, “User Generated Content: Recap of 2006 and what to expect in 2007,” 4 January, 2007)

Also, the conversations (comments) contribute 30% of the volume of the blogosphere.

  1. Originality: Digital Natives, being vanguards of digital everything and aware of it - are hungry for 'new', 'innovative', 'different' like never before. This might have a clue as to why DNs switch from one service to another so frequently, and with much passion.And in the vein of the spirit of digital nativity, they are actively creating a lot of original content. This content maybe in the form of video on youtube, create music with the help of soundsnap, share it on myspace or numerous such sites, presentation slides on slideshare , data on data360 or swivel, original artwork on deviantart and artuproar, stories and experiences on blogs... If there ever was an intellectual revolution, it is now with everyone empowered to think and express freely without fear.
21st century has ushered the youth into a confident world, confident to express their identities, confident to be independent minded. Coupled with the growing competition that they face, there is a need to demonstrate one's abilities and originality like never before. DNs do so by publishing creative online identities through personal profiles on social networking sites. A significant industry is growing to enable users to customize their profiles. DNs are using professional quality technology (in some cases, widely available thanks to piracy) to create better quality content. Some companies actively provide these tools to promote innovation and harness talent.

In the next post, we will discuss the components of this ecosphere.


Popular posts from this blog

I am a salmon

I am a salmon. It's been a decade away from my hometown, and yet my dreams refuse to relocate along with me. When sleep hasn't claimed me yet, but neither am I awake, you may find me in Nasik.
My senses fall back into their default states of Nasik when in-between. The space is of my home in Nasik, the sight is of the things around it. I might be hungry and thinking of eating a laddoo and my hands reach out for the steel dabba stacked on an elevated wooden cupboard stuck on the left wall of kitchen. In my mind's eye, I grope for the dabba momentarily as the search yields nothing - poof. the image disintegrates. I am snapped back to reality with a mild jolt. My mind reminds me of the layout in my own kitchen. There is no airborne shelf, there is no steel container, there is no laddoo. It says, go back to sleep. and I do.


I shifted 3.5k km for a less polluted and less dangerous city a year ago.
And all was good. I get to walk and how I love to walk. I am truly happi…

Exercises for a smarter nation

We, the people, are gullible idiots. C'mon, admit it. We have all been bullied into bad deals by powerful charlatans at some point or another. Governments are no different. The current one is getting away with our personal data and going about distributing our public resources and monies to its favourite cronies.This is no exceptional government. This happens all the time, in all the countries - to varying degrees. The varying part is important. I would much rather be in Norway where the leeway for such giveaways against the interest of public is small, compared to Angola and Nigeria where the oil bonanza instead has become oil curse.

One of the important ways for moving towards Norway and away from Nigeria is for the public to become aware and educated about power. Education is a bad word now - what India creates in not educated people, it creates literate minions. By educated, i mean people who can reason, who can think critically, who can see the world from different perspecti…

Withdrawal symptoms

Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
Ok now.. about to pick up the pen again, but eyes dart towards the screen. Tempted to check email.

Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

Ahh. That was good. I am feeling good about myself. The sentence makes sense. …