Thursday, November 16, 2006

What Real People Use On The Web

At last year's Web 2.0 Conference, a much discussed panel was one featuring a group of teenagers telling everyone what Web products they use. This year the concept has been take an extra level, by inviting the parents of the teenagers as well. The panel was moderated by Safa Rashtchy.

Most of the panel has Google as their main search engine. One adult panelist uses, because she can put questions into the search box. One (adult) panelist says she uses Google out of habit. Another adult panelist uses Yahoo for the maps and other information. One of the teenagers says she uses Google because her school wants her to. Most of the panelists did not know MSN had a search engine.

In regards to online video, one adult panelist said she spends 3-4 hours per week on YouTube. A teenager spends 2-3 hours a day at the library with his friends watching YouTube. One teenager says he uses Google Video. Another says she uses some download software (Shakespeare something??). Safa asks would any of them pay $1 to watch video, e.g. Lost. The majority opinion is no. As for free but with videos, one teenager says she would and in fact it's better than download.

Website recognition

Safa rattles off some names of websites:

  • Skype - just two people know what it is and use it, both for international calls. One says "it rarely works" in terms of sound quality.
  • craigslist - yes
  • yelp - no
  • judyslist - no
  • blogs - yes, about half read them read them; a couple mentioned reading them on myspace, but also for their interests/hobbies

Re uploading, most have done this. One adult panelist says pictures.

Internet Companies

Safa now asks about companies:

  • Yahoo: most of the adult panelists use them - e.g. for horoscopes. a lot of them use Yahoo Mail (a few use Gmail); one teenager thinks Yahoo is "silly", as in entertaining. One adult panelist says she likes Yahoo for things like games and emails, and scans the news.
  • Google: one teenager "seems more like a friend" and he also uses Gmail because it's easy and user-friendly; another says he uses Google Video and he likes Google; all the teenagers would trust Google over Yahoo!
  • MSN: nobody has much to say about it; one teenager says he likes Xbox; one says they like the little (cartoon) characters. Word was mentioned.
  • eBay: some of them use it, e.g. for concert tickets, books etc.
  • Amazon: a few people, one says for "mostly media type things" like books, CDs.

Instant Messaging

One teenager uses AOL "all day" to talk to his friends. Same for another teenage boy. Three most mentioned by teenagers were AIM, MSN and Yahoo. One says 2-3 hours per day.


One teenager compares MySpace to xmas presents, because he sees something new or a new friend every day - he spends around 3 hours per day. Another says 2-3 hours per day - "making sure my profile's good". One mother signed up to monitor what her child was doing - she found out her 14 year old son was 17 on MySpace.

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