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Analyst, 15, Creates Storm After Trashing Twitter 381

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the twitter-is-for-old-people dept.
Barence writes "A 15-year-old schoolboy has become an overnight sensation after writing a report on teenagers' media habits for analysts Morgan Stanley. Intern Matthew Robson was asked to write a report about his friends' use of technology during his work experience stint with the firm's media analysts. The report was so good the firm decided to publish it, and it generated 'five or six' times more interest than Morgan Stanley's regular reports. The schoolboy poured scorn on Twitter, claiming that teenagers 'realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless.' He also claimed games consoles are replacing mobile phones as the way to chat with friends."
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Analyst, 15, Creates Storm After Trashing Twitter

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:20AM (#28675139) Journal

    The schoolboy poured scorn on Twitter, claiming that teenagers "realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless".

    Sounds familiar [tonightsbedtimestory.com]:

    So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, "Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!" in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor's various suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones.

    "But the Emperor has nothing at all on!" said a little child.

    "Listen to the voice of innocence!" exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

    "But he has nothing at all on!" at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.

    • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:26AM (#28675193) Homepage Journal
      I'm trying to figure out why Morgan Stanley is the place for this kind of article. And I hate it when the media has such a hay-day over something, that Google becomes useless because all you can find are media reports about something, and it's close to impossible to find out the "something" they're reporting on.

      Honestly, it's just a 15 year old kid with some views of his life. I highly doubt he's actually got anything revolutionary to say. I think it's just a case of people caught on the twitter media train suddenly realizing that twitter isn't god to everybody, despite what reports say.
      • by thedonger (1317951) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:34AM (#28675285)

        I highly doubt he's actually got anything revolutionary to say.

        Just wait. Any day now we will see the armies of teenagers emerge carrying around their PS3's and Xboxes instant messaging each other while their cell phones rest idly in their pockets, ringing on deaf ears like so many unread tweets...

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by maxume (22995)

        Why does it surprise you that Morgan Stanley published something like this? One of their big activities is selling investment analysis, and the people they are selling to aren't exactly going to be wired into what Twitter is about.

        They all want in on the next Google, so when something gets as much attention as Twitter has been getting (never mind that the attention is a self fulfilling prophecy; people in the media at least have a tendency to be narcissistic), the herd gets a bit jumpy.

        A great example of sp

      • by IP_Troll (1097511)
        Morgan Stanley is the place for this kind of article because Morgan Stanley does stock analysis. Money managers pay alot of money to get these analyzes and rely on stock analysis information from financial analysts. The Money managers then use that analysis as a basis for investment strategies. This 15 year old boy's article is an analysis of stocks that fit into the category of media. This will very likely cause money managers to change their investment strategies to reflect what the boy says, because
      • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Monday July 13, 2009 @11:17AM (#28676855)

        I'm trying to figure out why Morgan Stanley is the place for this kind of article.

        Morgan Stanley is an investment bank. They offer investment advice. In this case, they're providing a counter-opinion to the general media "OMG Twitter is the greatest thing since sliced bread" analysis. It's a very different kind of market analysis from what we conventionally see, and something potentially interesting to someone who might be looking at tech stocks. Twitter stock isn't sold publicly, but it's still relevant to the potential future of the sector.

        Honestly, it's just a 15 year old kid with some views of his life. I highly doubt he's actually got anything revolutionary to say.

        I'm normally as disparaging of teenagers as they come, having recently left that "I know everything there is to know" stage of my life (I'm 22). But whereas the average teenager is working retail or ogling bikinis at the local pool, this kid's interning at one of the most powerful companies in the world, and wrote something that sufficiently impressed them that they published it under their name. Sounds like a smart kid.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tuzo (928271)

          I'm normally as disparaging of teenagers as they come, having recently left that "I know everything there is to know" stage of my life (I'm 22).

          I think you may still have some more more moments in the future where you realize how little you knew as a teenager and how, at 22, you vastly underestimated the amount you didn't know as a teen. :)

          This isn't a flame at you, I just think it's what happens as we learn more and reflect.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I'm normally as disparaging of teenagers as they come, having recently left that "I know everything there is to know" stage of my life (I'm 22).

            I think you may still have some more more moments in the future where you realize how little you knew as a teenager and how, at 22, you vastly underestimated the amount you didn't know as a teen. :)

            And doubtless someday in the future I'll realize how little I knew and understood at 22. If you don't have that feeling every so often, it's a sign that you haven't learned a lot recently, so having that feeling is a very good thing, even if it makes you face-palm at your younger self. :)

      • by pla (258480) on Monday July 13, 2009 @12:30PM (#28678183) Journal
        Honestly, it's just a 15 year old kid with some views of his life. I highly doubt he's actually got anything revolutionary to say.

        Revolutionary, no. Marketable, yes.

        A lot of companies consider Twitter the "next big thing", when in reality, not only has Twitter always had major problems, it jumped the shark at least a year ago. Then some kid comes out and effectively points-and-laughs at all the foolish VCs trying to recapture the glory of the Dot Com bubble... Something they'd love to ignore, but unfortunately he perfectly represents their target audience. Not something easily ignored when you have billions on the table calling his bluff, basically betting that this particular 15YO differs enough from the norm that you won't lose your shirt.

        Now, the point about in-game chats, well, he has a point, but one limited in validity to his particular market segment (young males with a lot of free time and decent access to money). In that segment, he very much describes reality... Who would bother texting or even booting a PC to chat, when the standalone networked device you sit in front of for 8+ hours a day already has that functionality built in? That doesn't mean texting or IM will go away, but if you want to appeal to a 15YO male PS3 junkie, you'd damned well better know where to reach him.
  • Nice disclaimer (Score:5, Informative)

    by salesgeek (263995) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:24AM (#28675171) Homepage

    From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:10AM (#28675765) Journal

      From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

      The next regular report will, no doubt, assert with full statistical rigour that "Twitter is for twits". It's been manifestly evident to many of us since its very inception.
      People don't "tweet", they mostly be-twit themselves - sometimes quite impressively in only 140 characters. Others merely follow the twaddle produced by their twit-idols (a motley collection of vacuous celebrities, sports stars, self-serving shills, and the like). Still, pumping the hype on the way up was good for fleecing investors. Presumably Morgan Stanley can now fleece them again on the way down.

      • Re:Nice disclaimer (Score:5, Insightful)

        by demachina (71715) on Monday July 13, 2009 @11:58AM (#28677557)

        You left out Twitter and Facebook suckered large numbers of Iranian and Guatemalan young people in to posting anti government rants on them, thinking they were going to overthrow their government with Twitter. Now that's a laugh. It was a stellar part of the Twitter hype to make everyone think Twitter would lead to an instantaneous outbreak of Democracy across the globe. CNN was a leading purveyor of this myth. Since CNN has pretty much ceased to function as a news network all they have left to do is grasp at straws in the form of Twitter, Facebook and iReport. They kind of missed the fact its nearly impossible to verify anything you get from the anonymous public, or to have any confidence in the source. Howard Stern pranks proved this.

        Note to wanna be young Iranian rebels, Iran monitors all Internet traffic so using Twitter in the clear provides the Basij with an instantaneous mechanism to identify, arrest and track you and your rabble-rouser friends. Note to all future young wanna be rebels, all your internet activities are probably being watched. Your Twitter and Facebook pages aren't a good place to organize a revolution unless you really know what you are doing. Don't use them unless you are using anonymous WiFi stolen from your neighbor so they get busted instead, or a very good anonymizer like Tor. Try reading Cory Doctorow's Little Brother so you will at least be in the correct mind set for interacting with authoritarian governments who use computers to oppress their people, like Iran, Russia... and the U.S.

        "Little Brother" is a somewhat flawed work but at least it teaches paranoia. Note to Linux community, someone really needs to put together Paranoid Linux and XNet with Tor, gnupg, WiFi sniffers, security tools, etc. and make sure computer noobs who want to overthrow their out of control governments have it, and can use it out of the box even if they are noobs.

        There is a reason the NSA is building two giant new data centers in Utah and San Antonio and expanding the one in Maryland. They appear to be preparing to spy on a whole lot more communications traffic than they already are. Anyone who think America's bout with Big Brother ended when Obama replaced Bush are sadly mistaken. The Democrats are just as eager to spy on everyone and destroy all our civil liberties as the Cheneyists were.

        A burning question of the 21st century is if computers will liberate us or enslave us. The paradoxical answer is they will probably do both at the same time.

    • Re:Nice disclaimer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:17AM (#28675853)

      From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

      No kidding... It reads as if he's assuming that just because he and his five friends don't use Twitter, it follows that nobody his age uses Twitter. And then he just makes up some random reasons to support his claim. How does he know *why* teenagers don't use it; has he done any research? Or just picked the first thing that flew into his head?

      I could have written a report when I was that age saying that no teenager watches NASCAR or soccer because I didn't and most of my friends didn't.

      I don't blame the kid for writing this way (he's not old enough to know better), but I find it bizarre that Morgan Stanley would take this seriously.

      I always find it annoying when the media or a company takes the say-so of one individual and thinks that one person could possible speak for all teenagers / African-Americans / middle-aged white people / etc...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

      Translation:

      "We felt we could get some PR by putting this out."

      Of course, most "analysts" reports are useless anyway - many have no clue about the industry they cover, and merely spout whatever they hear from the analyst calls; so a 15 year old's anecdotal report is probably as good as most others.

    • I don't know which part of that is more interesting: That the manhole cover says, "N.Y.C. Sewer - Made in India" or that the parents will sue because there daughter is a dolt.
    • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:56AM (#28675557) Journal

      I love people that are so utterly self-absorbed and oblivious to their surroundings that they can do something this foolish. Wanna lay odds that when she gets her drivers license in a few years she'll be one of the asshats that flies down the road, cell phone in one hand, make-up in the other, paying absolutely no attention to the road? Then when she gets into an accident she'll say "I never saw it coming!".

      I'll get yelled at for saying this but it's a pity she didn't earn herself a Darwin award. Now she's going to breed and pass on her stupidity to the next generation.

      • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:55PM (#28679727) Journal
        >I love people that are so utterly self-absorbed and oblivious to their surroundings that they can do something this foolish.

        Ya know, I'm not sure it's being self-absorbed that's the problem. I know people who just can't multitask, like the old saw about people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. My grandfather and aunt are/were like this: they just couldn't do two things at once. It wasn't for lack of smarts, either: he was a self-taught organic chemist with a dozen patents, some quite successful, and she's a graphic designer in high demand. But they were/are what you'd call oblivious unless you know them, and then you realize that some people seem to be mentally incapable of rapid task switching even after (in granddad's case) 90 years of trying. My aunt stopped using her cellphone after months of running into doors while trying to talk and walk at the same time, and on the rare occasions where she drives, she says at the beginning of the drive "I cannot talk while I'm driving or I'm likely to have a crash, so please don't talk." She's learned this from experience (and a couple of wrecked cars) after 40 years of trying. Maybe the woman who fell into the manhole just hasn't figured this out about herself yet.
        For that matter, I've seen half a dozen guys walk straight into walls or trip over chairs because they were too busy checking out my gf's butt to watch where they were going. Smart people can realize when their priorities have shifted and they're about to do something stupid, but even smart people need some experience to develop the skill to notice when they're about to do something stupid.
  • Relativity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aurisor (932566) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:28AM (#28675207) Homepage

    If a 15-year-old "analyst" writes one of the most "clearest and most thought-provoking insights" for your publication, that says a lot more about your publication (and the state of American journalism) than the 15-year-old in question.

    Why don't we ask him to write about homework ("a near-epidemic in America") early bedtimes ("a gross violation of the constitution") and girls ("icky!") while we're at it?

    Fucking embarrassing.

    • Re:Relativity (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kokuyo (549451) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:42AM (#28675395) Journal

      Your being fifteen must have been a looooooooooong time ago if you truly think 'icky' would enter a boy's mind at this age when asked about girls.

      Dude, fifteen year old girls have BREASTS, remember that. ;)

      But I concur, if such an article has much more audience than your usual content you should really start thinking about changing your usual content.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Your being fifteen must have been a looooooooooong time ago if you truly think 'icky' would enter a boy's mind at this age when asked about girls.

        Either that or he has kids.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
        When I was 15, I was in the 8th grade and a lot of girls didn't have breasts yet. I barely had hair on my balls at that point, and having sex with a girl was something far, far away. I remember me and a friend of mine used to shoplift condoms from K-Mart (repressed sexuality expressing itself the only way we knew how) and he gave some to the coolest kid in school. I saw him later that day showing them off to his friends, as if he were some big guy who had sex so often that he needed a 12-pack of condoms.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by foniksonik (573572)

        Huh, when I was 15 I wasn't thinking about 15 year old girls... it was the 18 year old cheerleaders, 22 yearl old bikini models and 28 year actresses that always got my attention. I didn't think about 15 year old girls until I was 17 and realized that the only girls I had a chance with were 15/16 ;-p since all the girls my own age were dating some college kid or at least thought they should be.

    • Slurm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pushf popf (741049) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:45AM (#28675435)
      If a 15-year-old "analyst" writes one of the most "clearest and most thought-provoking insights" for your publication, that says a lot more about your publication (and the state of American journalism) than the 15-year-old in question.

      What it says is that most people working in "business" are disconnected from reality and produce nothing of value.

      The only real problem is that some moron let this kid inside to see the Slurm factory and now he knows.
  • Games consoles? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:31AM (#28675235) Journal

    He also claimed games consoles are replacing mobile phones as the way to chat with friends."

    Maybe for 10 year olds, but certainly not for the rest of us.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cmdrkynes (1582503)
      Yes but someone who is trying to reach the 10 year old demographic with advertising might be interested in this. From what I understand from my friends on Madison Avenue, it is quite lucrative to convince a 10 - 15 year old to nag his parents into buying something.
    • Re:Games consoles? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rho (6063) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:39AM (#28675359) Homepage Journal

      Maybe for 10 year olds, but certainly not for the rest of us.

      Thing about 10 year olds, they don't stay that way. These kinds of reports are what people and corporations use to plan for the future.

      I'm not suggesting that the report is the end-all be-all, but it does hint that maybe what people today are terribly excited about today may not be sustainable.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Thing about 10 year olds, they don't stay that way. These kinds of reports are what people and corporations use to plan for the future.

        Then they're pretty fucking stupid, because when that kid grows up, he'll have a cellphone.

        I'm not suggesting that the report is the end-all be-all, but it does hint that maybe what people today are terribly excited about today may not be sustainable.

        It really doesn't, because it's anecdotal. The plural of anecdote is not data.

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          Then they're pretty fucking stupid, because when that kid grows up, he'll have a cellphone.

          Obviously. However, the more that phone is like the Xbox, the better kids similar to him will adopt its features and pay for the add-on services.

          He clearly isn't advocating using the game console because it is more portable. So why are you so fast to assume that there is nothing to be learned from the observation?

    • Re:Games consoles? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by greenreaper (205818) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:39AM (#28675367) Homepage Journal
      The point being that 10-year-olds will be "the rest of us" soon enough.
    • Maybe for 10 year olds, but certainly not for the rest of us.

      Yeah, but ten year olds grow quickly into most industries' key demographic, and yesterday's toys becomes tomorrow's Engines of Commerce. Time was (and not too long ago) that MySpace/Social Networking was the stomping ground of teens and the pervs who pretended they were teens. People working in the "real" web space treated it with scorn (not saying it was not well deserved, but let's stay on message here...), regarding it as that generation's Ge

  • I don't see the report linked from TFA. I dont see it on the linked pcpro article either. what exactly is news here? that a 15 yr old wrote something?
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:32AM (#28675261) Homepage Journal
    teenagers "realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless".

    Wow. I'm totally floored. I would never have guessed that the vast majority of people, more specifically teenagers, don't care when you tweet you're on Main Street and saw a cute girl. Or, in the case of Gabe, taking a shit [penny-arcade.com].

    Guess this is another example where not having an MBA is an asset.
  • Wow... (Score:2, Funny)

    by XPeter (1429763) *

    And I thought me being 15 and reading /. was geeky.

  • Why is it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ynsats (922697) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:36AM (#28675327)

    ...there have been numerous articles written on the lameness of waste of bandwidth that twitter is and they get shot down as anti-pop babble. Yet a 15 year old kid writes a dismissive and somewhat rambling "analytical" report saying that twitter is lame and a waste of time and all of a sudden he's a genius with social insight in to media tools?

    Tools meaning things people use to communicate, like telephones (yes, they still have those). Not tools meaning the talking heads like the ones the reported on the 15 year old's report.

    • Re:Why is it... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:47AM (#28675463)
      ...Because the media by and large thinks that (or at least implies) that every kid age 13-20 has a MySpace, Twitter and Facebook accounts, that they own a PS3, 360 and Wii. Basically what this report is saying is that Twitter is simply a fad. That it doesn't capture the attention of the people who presumably would be the next big adopters. How is this useful to businesses? Well, if they are targeting 13-20 year olds, they might want to invest in different advertising than on Twitter especially for the long term.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        The other day I turned on CNN and Wolf Blitzer was just screaming "Twitter, Twitter, Twitter!" over-and-over again, in a desperate bid to show that CNN was, in fact, "down with the kids these days." Periodically, someone came in an interrupted him for the latest breaking report on what would become of Michael Jackson's pets. Between that kind of "reporting" and Nancy Grace, I just pray that Bernard Shaw isn't watching CNN anymore. It would break the poor guy's heart.
    • Re:Why is it... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:56AM (#28675559) Journal

      ...there have been numerous articles written on the lameness of waste of bandwidth that twitter is and they get shot down as anti-pop babble. Yet a 15 year old kid writes a dismissive and somewhat rambling "analytical" report saying that twitter is lame and a waste of time and all of a sudden he's a genius with social insight in to media tools?

      The issue you notice is simple. If anyone above the age of 20 wrote this report, he or she would be viewed as "old" or "not with it" and the report would be dismissed as sour grapes or get off my lawn or some such thing. Oh, but wait, we have a 15 year old telling us this? Shit, that's the demographic this is supposed to work on! Oh man, now we better listen. And suddenly, overnight, it's okay to doubt Twitter's power out loud. Amazing.

      The news here is that it took the voice of an innocent to wake up business men looking for the next marketing scam to pull on young people. "MySpace didn't work for marketing, maybe this Twitter thing will work? Never mind that I think it's stupid, I don't want to out myself as technologically inept and reveal I don't even use e-mail. No, we must avoid our inadequacies instead of addressing them." That's basically what's at work, very much like The Emperor's New Clothes (see my post above).

      • Re:Why is it... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by PainKilleR-CE (597083) on Monday July 13, 2009 @12:06PM (#28677671)

        Most people should have known that Twitter's days were numbered when CNN and The View started harping on people to follow them on Twitter. That's generally a sign that it's over, not that it's the next big thing.

      • Re:Why is it... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AK Marc (707885) on Monday July 13, 2009 @12:36PM (#28678287)
        If anyone above the age of 20 wrote this report, he or she would be viewed as "old" or "not with it" and the report would be dismissed as sour grapes or get off my lawn or some such thing. Oh, but wait, we have a 15 year old telling us this? Shit, that's the demographic this is supposed to work on! Oh man, now we better listen. And suddenly, overnight, it's okay to doubt Twitter's power out loud. Amazing.

        There is a massive and explicit difference between the reports. Others said "Twitter is stupid." This kid said "Twitter isn't bad, but the uses of it are driving away long-term users and leaving those that follow personalities." Twitter itself is a good idea. It's a convenient place for a mass-IM to subscribers. If people only sent tweets on important things, it would be permanent. However, when people get bathroom updates, it's all crap. I'm not on. I don't want to be that connected. But if I were on, I'd have sent out something like one per month or less (and they'd be big things, like one narcisist one about my vacation to California, one about my wife being pregnant, and one about getting New Zealand permanent residency, with the next one being the date that we are leaving the country, once known). But with multiple per day, I don't care when someone's going to the mall so I can run into them there. I may be old, but if I wanted to run into someone, I'd text them, not announce it to masses.

        And that's why twitter will fail. To promote themselves, they promoted the "tweet everything" attitude, and people do. And that drives off those that want medium connectivity, not webcam-in-the-bathroom connectivity. And that's the idea behind why this kid said it is going to fail. Not any problem with the technology or the general idea, but the current usage and its lack of sustainability.
    • You've convinced me - Twitter is actually good! The people who use it are absolutely NOT narcissists!

      Hint: he wasn't talking about the tool, he was talking about what people use the tool for. His opinions are credible because anyone who attacks the underage is considered despicable (well, for now anyway...just wait until the "it's irresponsible and environment-destroying to be a parent" attitude gathers even more steam than it has already) and he's saying something that nobody is allowed to say.

    • ...there have been numerous articles written on the lameness of waste of bandwidth that twitter is

      And they all get posted on Slashdot and get at least their average share of comments. So much goes energy goes into "not using Twitter" these days. Methinks people doth protest too much?

      My friends and I have a use case for Twitter and we're happy with it. Not everyone does. Perhaps they should just realize it's a tool like any other communication medium and let it be.

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        I kinda agree. Twitter has become a technology kinda like TV. The people who don't use it won't waste a hint of breath if it's mentioned even passingly in a conversation to scream at you that they don't use it, don't like it, and the (in their minds) deep philosophical reasons why.

        Personally, I certainly don't use it in the trendy teenager way. I have a twitter account to receive tweets, but I don't send them (I've literally never sent even one). I also don't follow any of my friends twitter accounts be

    • He's just poor (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chemisor (97276) on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:44AM (#28676219)

      If you actually read the report, you'll see that he and his friends are mainly concerned with cost. Twitter is not used because sending a text message to twitter costs money, and, since nobody reads their profiles anyway, it's better to send the message to friends directly. The rest of the report is on the same theme: teenagers don't want to spend any money. This is certainly not a new trend; when I was in high school, my allowance was certainly inadequate to subscribe to expensive services, buy computer games, or expensive gadgets. I don't see why anyone is surprized that this is all still true today.

  • by acehole (174372) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:37AM (#28675329) Homepage

    Once I read this report I tossed out my iphone and blackberry. I now walk around with the convenience of a xbox 360 and Playstation 3 strapped on each side of my hip. I also attach an atari 2600 to my chest for legacy situations.

    Me: 1 Technology: 0

     

  • by SlashBugs (1339813) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:41AM (#28675381)
    It's a facet of human nature that people tend to assume that others think and behave broadly the same way they do. Like the techs in the recent Gnome 3.0 posts arguing that everyone intuitively understands what icons, links, files and folders mean on a computer (tell that to my dad, who just barely knows how to click the "internet" icon and browse simple websites), or political activists who assume that their oppositions must see the world the same way they do, so they're just lying. Heck, there's the whole "internet community" who read a pile of overlapping sites (/., techcrunch, digg, boingboing, etc) and assume that the rest of the internet does too, so that a survey of those sites (legalise cannabis, allow torrents, etc) represents the views and priorities of everyone else. They forget e.g. the big rings of craft websites whose members have probably never heard of 4chan and digg, much less read them, not to mention the many more people who simply don't go on social websites beyond facebook.

    It's just the echo chamber effect. A teenager knows that this is how he and his friends use technology, so he assumes it's true for everyone else. So the report might be an interesting insight into how he thinks, but totally useless for anyone who wants an actual profile of his age group.
  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:41AM (#28675385)

    Sounds like Morgan Stanley feels that this point is so blatantly obvious that it even by delivering it via a virtual nobody from the demographic that twitter is supposed to be the most popular with wouldn't dilute the truth.

    However, while I think twitter is pretty boring myself you do have to admit -- if you're a 15 year old kid writing research reports for Morgan Stanley odds are you don't have the pulse of social networking trends.

  • ... is microblogging important events from places with limited bandwidth, like a pro-democracy demonstration in Tehran.

    Otherwise, the kid has it on the nose. Not that that's a surprise; it's just that he seems to be the only person with the courage to come out and say it.

  • by FreeUser (11483) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:44AM (#28675429)

    Has anyone actually found the damn report? As another pointed out, google search is so polluted with 2nd and 3rd hand accounts that googling the report is singulary unrevealing (or perhaps more accurately: multiplicatively unrevealing). Unlike other snarky comments here, I wouldn't be surprised if this kid's observations weren't dead on. I'm unsurprised twitter is considered passe, I'm unsurprised that teenagers are finding better ways to chat than SMS messages pecked out on a cell phone number pad, and I'm unsurprised that teenagers are abandoning television and print media as primary information sources, given how often those expensive and slow media forms have been shown to be inaccurate, overtly deceptive, and (worst of all for a young person) utterly out of touch with the zeitgeist of the moment.

    About the only surprise in the captions is that young people are using gaming consoles more than other media for chatting, but that may be down to me not being a gamer. In any event, I'd like to read the report before passing judgement, and particularly befor joining the jaded, knee-jerk reaction of "the kid's clueless, we shouldn't listen" mantra that seems to have become so common on slashdot (and makes us all sound like cranky old men, even more out of touch with the world's current trends than the Old Media).

  • I just had this discussion with my wife over the weekend, but in our case we were talking mainly about Facebook and not Twitter, but the same principal applies. My take is that I like the concept of being able to keep in touch with friends and family easily, but the implementation of facebook, myspace, twitter, and sms messaging leaves a lot to be desired. Facebook and myspace allow other people to post things which you may or may not want posted about you, and it keeps those postings for a certain amount

  • by gubers33 (1302099) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:55AM (#28675551)
    Seriously, this kid sounds like he must have no friends or social life. I mean I personally think that Twitter is one of the most ridiculous concepts imaginable and a site with horrible stability, but it has its place. I mean it is helping in places like Iran and Eastern Asia. Twitter is one thing, but a 15 year old who is trashing video game consoles saying they are replacing cell phones? How long has this kid had a cell phone to begin with that the game consoles are replacing them? None the less I don't think a game console is going to replace a cell phone, most people like the idea of the phone evolving from a backpack, I don't foresee that coming back. Of course this child only being 15 wouldn't remember that cell phones were that big at one point. This kid needs to go out and play with some kids his age and enjoy his childhood instead of hanging with Morgan Stanley analyst. If he doesn't by the time he is 40 it will be like the movie Falling Down.
  • And World of Warcraft is becoming one very big IRC chat room, with casual topics.
  • Oh, God, the Grammar (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quothz (683368) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:57AM (#28675573) Journal
    I can't believe an editor let that report pass. "Near impossible", ">4", "1/3 of teenagers have... 50% having ... 40% with", and "Some teenagers make purchases on the internet but this is only used by a small percentage", to name a few. There's punctuation errors, capitalization mistakes, poor abbreviation, and subject-verb agreement problems. One sentence, leading a paragraph, begins with a numeral. This report is an unreadable mess; the poor phraseology and numerous mistakes draw attention from whatever point the little moron is trying to make.
  • Business people reading a 15-year-old's commentary on what teenagers think about products aimed at teenagers? Is this really a new concept?

    Wait, if this catches on, maybe next they'll ask programmers what they think about technology projects in the workplace?!
  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:05AM (#28675679) Homepage
    This only has relevance because it agrees with existing opinions that have no way to be expressed. Think of "The Emperor's New Clothes", in which everyone has a thought, but anyone who expresses that thought will be ostracized (executed in the orignial story, but ostracism is the nonlethal modern alternative). Just think of a New York Times journalist who came out and said twitter was crap and people who use twitter are self-absorbed idiots who shouldn't be trusted with the fourth estate's reponsibility to safeguard democracy. His opinions would be attacked and discarded faster the Joe the Plumber.
  • In other news, the Pope tweets that he's thinking of becoming a catholic, and bear posts "took a sh*t in the woods" as facebook status.
  • My 21 year old brother chats with his friends through his game console... my 30+ year old neighbor does the same.

    What do they have in common? They like playing games and they're both guys. I wouldn't expect my neighbors wife or the 16 year old girl down the street to fire up the PS3 or XBOX to chat with her girlfriends though why that's any different than using MySpace or Facebook as a chat board I couldn't tell you.... only that the girls want to be able to chat ALL THE TIME - so that cellphone isn't going

  • by slim (1652) <`ten.puntrah' `ta' `nhoj'> on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:09AM (#28675741) Homepage

    Ooh, ooh!

    35 year old men don't play golf. I mean, I'm 35 and I know a few 35 year olds, and none of us play golf.

    Shower gratitude on me for my unique insight. Better sell all your shares in the golf industry.

  • my reports (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dragoon235 (1051296) on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:12AM (#28675793)
    dear /.

    I feel that it is important to report market information that I have assembled.
    Based on a survey of the people I'm living with, Ubuntu has a 25% market share of the laptop market.
    None of my friends own an iPhone, so I assure you that it is a dead market space, MMOs fall into the same category.
    On average, there is only one care for six people with driver's licenses.
    Wii has 100% of the market share.
    All teenage girls love anime and The Lion King.
    In terms of popularity, 4 out of 5 of my roommates wanted a joint memorial for Billy Mays and Michael Jackson.
    Everyone I know hates MySpace. I mean everyone. Its a really stupid facebook. The only people who use it are retarded. Surveys report that people are more willing to twitter than use MySpace, which is quite shocking considering previous reports.

    All of these reports are held to the highest standards of statistical accuracy and truthfulness. It has the statistical rigour usual to all of my reports.
  • I wonder if this is how Cringely got started.
  • by Tom (822)

    Looks like after a decade or so, the "analysts" and "consultants" have finally come around to doing the math on the famous "15 minutes of fame" for everybody.

  • Who cares anyway? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SeeSp0tRun (1270464)
    Perhaps I am one of the few people in the world without a FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, or any other social networking site in my pocket, with my fingers just itching to tell the world all about me.

    My question is: "Who cares?" Twitter especially... I don't care what you are doing at this very moment. If it were worth me hearing about, I have a perfectly good AIM/MSN/Email/Phone. Give me a call, tell me about it. Everyone is concerned about "big brother," and then willingly contribute their "tweet
  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:23AM (#28675931)

    1 nude MMS of the 15 year-old chick who sits next to you in class is more than worth 140 characters of anal-retentive self-promoting status alerts.

  • Oh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday July 13, 2009 @11:02AM (#28676541)
    I thought *all* market analysis was done by 15 year olds, except when they look at Apple products. Then they use the 12 year old.

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