Sunday, October 01, 2006

Digital natives - kick over the traces.

Most PR practitioners had had to learn about the Internet as part of their job. It is becoming part of every day life (11 million bananas were bought online in the uk last year - now that is pretty much every day). But we were not brought up with 'everything' online.

But as Richard Baily points out, there is a generation that knows nothing else. For them the world has always been online. That is not to say that they have explored its opportunities to the full, or moved very far away from their own comfort zone.

He points to see John Naughton's column in The Observer to get a sense of being a digital native but now, freed from the constraints of mom 'n dad and school warnings about the dangers, students will be quick to try new things out. Time to kick over the traces.

Social media for this generation will be a steep, but necessary learning curve - not necessarily to use blogs but to be able to use other tools like RSS.

Why? Because, as a student, you can use advanced search engines to find both established and recent works (this is Google Scholar's view of PR in 2006) or to keep up to date with your subject tutor or an RSS news feed on an important topic.

These are simple tools that any PR practitioner can use and apply to keep up todate with their client's interests.