The Digital Native and the Digital Divide.

September 19th, 2009

So in class this week we where discussing privacy on the net. Stuff like giving your email out and Facebook’s recent headlines as far as their privacy policy is concerned. And we happened to stumble across the concept of the Digital Native. What is a digital native? Well as Mitch Joel points out in his “Six Pixels of Separation” Blog Wikipedia puts it very well:

“A digital native is a person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born, and hence has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3s.”

So what does this mean for today’s breed of marketers? It means that we are going to need to adapt our way of thinking to match theirs. Marc Prensky points out in his article titled “Digital Native” that the digital native now thinks in random access and in parallel with other thoughts rather than in a more logical sequential order. For marketers this means that we will have to market along those same guidelines. two or even three “twitch speed” ad campaigns that run parallel with each other rather than a series of ads that run in a sequential order (i.e. the Kokane ranger commercials that ran as sort of a story board). What the digital natives need as far as a marketing direction is high volume exposure in short fast paced bursts. The old scream and shout methodology that marketers used to use needs to be translated into the digital era, trimmed down from 30 seconds to about 4 , and then delivered through multiple forms of media. E-mail, pod cast, you-tube videos, etc. This means the trick for marketers is going to be how to pack 30 seconds worth of marketing materials inside of 4 or 5 seconds.

This kind of thing for a marketer is going to be a radical shift from the “normal” way of thinking but is going to be necessary if marketers want to be able to capture the attention of the emerging consumer market and not just have it bypass all marketing efforts because they know how to use the current wave and emerging waves of technology better than the marketer. This kind of radical shift in thinking is the same as the radical shifts that helped first create the computer, which in turn lead to the very age in which we now live. I am going o leave you with this video which is George Dyson giving us a brief history on the birth of the computer which , through the work that Dyson speaks of helped to usher  in the Digital divide and give birth to the Digital Native. Enjoy!!


  1. Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you. 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks, much appreciated

  2. Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Super awesome article! Truely..

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s