I’ve been around online communities since the late ’80s. I don’t stay with the same community – they die, get reborn elsewhere or I change my tastes and needs. But once the power of the community becomes obvious, you don’t go back. It’s like saying talking pictures are just a fad. Here’s an article about the agelessness of online communities – Talkin ‘Bout My Generation. If you are a media exec, not a teenager and prefer to spend your leisure hours watching telly or playing sport or playing with the kids, find someone who isn’t a teen yet has a passion for online communities to advise you. ‘cos seriously, it rooly trooly is not just the domain of the kids. And only those who really live in this space can tell you about it… I’m not being elitist, online communities aren’t an esoteric cult, but its a fact. No survey or research can reveal what is apparent to those of us who are members of various communities, times change in the blink of an eye. Yesterday’s Chuck Norris joke is today’s … who knows? I moved away from my PC for 5 minutes and the world moved on.

Much is made of the fact that MySpace has evolved from a niche emo-goth teen hip site to a open slather mass media market. MySpace has lost the youth! the papers cry. Well guess what, they would’ve anyway. I went into the nightclub closing and reopening allegory re: Dr. Jeff Cole here but suffice to say, the yoof move on. I wonder where these stats came from tho?:

What is Generation Creation? It’s young, but not as young as advertised: 48 percent of MySpace.com visitors are over 34, and 26 percent of them are over 45. As for gender, it’s a fairly even split: 49 percent female, 51 percent male. Is this a demographic or a psychographic?

If true, it just goes to show that market research can no longer keep up with the fast-changing fads. In fact market trends are now history before you’ve even had time to evaluate them, let alone respond.

I guess if you are reading this and have been advertising in a MySpace type site, you are now re-thinking your market $ spend. Wrong demographic? Hence the problem with massive mass new media communities. Start to scale down and think grassroots. You’ll save a shed-load of money and target exactly the audience you want to target. Better yet, get your customer to spend your advertising dollar for you. Honestly, they know where they hang out better than you do, and you have better things to do with your time than stalk ’em around the ‘net, right?

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