I recommend you read this study if you want to know anything about teen behavior online – or spend a few hours in the evening at my house with my teenagers!

    Here was the part that really stuck out to me, as someone in the business of creating and marketing local information:

  1. 94% visit Google or Yahoo! weekly
  2. About half visit cnn.com or msnbc.com
  3. Just 27% visit a local TV site

    Local newspaper sites don’t rank that higher, either.  Where am I going with this?

     I think part of the Neighborhood News Bureau plan needs to focus on what I would call a viral marketing strategy.   Here are a few of my specific ideas:

  1. The crowd we have attracted to our Facebook page is my age, not my teenage daughters’ ages!  We need to produce some content they find interesting (the study showed teens are ‘interestable’.)
  2. We should find a couple teens who know Facebook and ask them how to target those influencers the teens use for content.
  3. Several TV stations in town are affiliates of CNN.  Its site often pulls interesting local content onto either its main site or here on the national page.  I pulled tonight’s Midwest list:

CNN Logo


   Imagine one of the NNB stories on this page.  The traffic – and exposure – would be huge.  That’s one of the benefits working with the commercial TV stations can bring.


There’s been a lot written recently about how teens and young people use media, specifically the web.   The research got me thinking about how we could use this information to help frame the Neighborhood News Bureaus to reach them.

What Millions of Teens Are Doing Daily

What Millions of Teens Are Doing Daily

Tim Windsor (gotta like guys named Tim) wrote a long blog entry about Dan Tapscott’s ‘Grown Up Digital’.  One of the key points has to do with how teens, all of them digital natives, want a tailored message to them or, better yet, one they can customize and personalize.   As we have discussed, we need to tailor some content widgets for their Facebook and MySpace pages.  Frankly, let’s invite teens into the conversation now so we can include them on the front side.

I see this with my own teenage daughters, but Tapscott’s book also talks about how teens like to mix entertainment with work.  Who hasn’t seen a 16-year old doing homework while watching You Tube and listening to their iPod.  And ace the test!  They trust others to help guide them to information.  For these NNB’s to work with a teen crowd, we should try to find those teen influencers in the city’s high schools and community centers.

Tomorrow, where teens go – and don’t go – to get their news and what ;essons we in the media should learn from that.