CIL 2011 Keynote Tuesday, March 22nd

Michelle Manafy, form Free Pint, spoke about the three keys to engaging digital natives (those who grew up in a digital world).   Her new book is  Dancing with Digital Natives:  Staying in Step with the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business is Done.

Her first point is that Digital Natives put more emphasis on public opinion than they do on private lives.  Privacy is no longer a concern.  This is a communal generation.  They sign on to a social site as their real identities to see what their friends are doing.  People online become their advocates.  She gave examples of the State Library of Victoria’s YouTube channel and, where kids share their study drama.

Point two is that knowledge is in sharing, not in hording.  One example is haul videos – videos about a shopping spree.  She also mentioned, founded by a 23 year old, as an example of social product development.  On Quirky, users bring an invention to the site, it’s voted on, and the winner gets his or her idea put into production.  Open source is definitely becoming a force in the business world.  Proctor & Gamble has a Developer’s web page and claim that 50% innovation is coming from outside people.  Knowledge is power becoming knowledge shared is power.

Thirdly, the digital native is interested in interactions not transactions.  They have a different idea of currency than past generations.  Reputation is important.  They need a constructive forum to discuss their opinions.  Non digital natives should listen, respond and react.  Genuine communications and real relationships  is what the generation wants.  She gives Birmingham UK library,, as a good example of a library building from the ground up to be designed around digital natives.

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