Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Google forgives and forgets your youth sins

Are there any pictures or movies of you online that you would really like to hide? Things you've done who seemed really innocent back then, but that is now something you really don't want to get confronted with? Unfortunately, Google is everywhere and will always look over your shoulder. If you type in your name in the search engine those embarrassing party pictures will still be there. Also when your potential employer looks up your online behaviour. 

Delete button

Google CEO Eric Schmidt firstly always persevered steadfastly: 'If you already did something you don't want anyone to know about, then you shouldn't have done it', but it seems that he comes back to that. Google now seems to understand that it is indeed not pleasant to be faced with what you did in the past, for your entire life. 'The absence of a delete button on the internet is an important problem. There are certain situations where deleting is the right thing to do', said Eric Schmidt earlier in May, during an event at the New York University. Schmidt gives the example of a person who is under 18 and who has been convicted of a crime. If that person is an adult his conviction will be deleted, but online there will still be scraps of the fact that he was engaged in misconduct. This can seriously hamper a person, for example, that the person cannot get a job.

At least preserve until?

Google is already a step closer by saying that they will not save information from users for eternity. Eric Schmidt says,  during a congress of the British paper The Telegraph, nothing about the length of the period that Google saves information, but he does say: 'There is a point when Google 'forgets' the information we know about you, because this is the right thing to do.'

The government is watching Google

Pretty striking, because Google firstly was kind of casual about it all. How could this be? Google is exploring the edges of privacy for some time now, but this goes no longer unnoticed by the government and the consumer. Governments try to desperately adapt and develop laws to maintain our society 3.0 in this flow of public information. Maybe Google feels the increasing pressure of governments where online privacy is more and more a much debated topic. 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bitchy Resting Face

In this clip in a funny way is pointed out that some people have a bitchy looking face when they are not deliberately trying to express their feelings through their facial expression. In this youtube video it is called ''bitchy resting face'. It stands up for girls who have a bitchy resting face, but aren't necessarily a bitch.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Shocking student science experiment about Wi-Fi

Five ninth-grade students from Denmark recently created a science experiment that is causing a stir in the scientific community.
It started with an observation and a question. The girls often suffered from headaches, lack of sleep or lack of concentration when they had slept with their cellphones near their heads. They wanted to test the effect of a cellphone's radiation on humans, but their school, Hjallerup School in Denmark, did not have the equipment to do such an experiment. But the girls decided to design an experiment themselves to show the effects of cellphone radiation on a plants instead.
The students placed six trays filled with a type of garden cress, into a room without radiation, and six trays of the seeds into another room next to two routers that according to the girls' calculations, emitted about the same type of radiation as an ordinary cellphone.
Over the next 12 days, the girls observed, measured, weighed and photographed their results. When the experiment ended the results were obvious. The seeds that were placed near the routers had not grown at all and many of them were completely dead. Meanwhile, the cress seeds planted in the other room, away from the routers, thrived.
The experiment was such a breakthrough that the girls earned to honors in a regional science competition and their research will be repeated in a controlled professional scientific environment.

Source; click here

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 3 Manifestations & conclusion

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands

The most innovative companies, according to YOUTH, are the ones that dare to focus on the smaller group of innovators instead of the mass: the early majority and the late majority. If a product or service is successful (read: if the innovators and early adopters like and buy it), the early majority will follow and so on.

If you choose the most influential teenagers and young adults to represent your innovation, then you’re a clever brand. I must admit, I does take some guts to focus on the small group of ‘hip’ innovators in the city, instead of focussing directly on the mass.  But if your product appeals to the ‘leading’ youth, a company has a chance to win a bonus; a product or service that is slowly but surely spreading to become a mass trend, resulting from their new reputation as an innovative and trendy brand.

Examples of manifestations of the trend: Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands

 1 ‘Brands Meets Blog’
‘Brands Meets Blog’ is a company that helps businesses to connect with targeted bloggers to create genuine, authentic content to promote a product, a brand or a service. And Brand Meets Blog has certainly some big clients, for example: Garnier, L’oréal Paris and Kellogs.

2 Red Bull ambassadors

Red Bull has not only their famous Red Bull girls, who are most of the time typically sexy, spontaneous and energetic girls that  represent and dole out the cans that give you wings on campus or on hip spots in the city.

Red Bull has also started ‘Red Bull University’, a 300+ student network empowered with the task of building Red Bull as a global brand, on campus. It’s a part time job for social students who can influence the crowd. A part time job, during your school week.

Red Bull is a leading and progressive brand in the marketing world. They dare to focus on young ‘innovators’ and ‘early adopters’ and believe the rest will follow, and yes they do.

By involving young people completely in their way of representing the brand, - f.e. they’re looking for student brand managers, who can lobby for them on campus -, they reach a huge audience. It’s not for nothing that they are indeed a leading brand, thanks to their modern guinea-pigs
ConclusionBrands and youth are a great combination. Brands have to keep up with the fast changing interests and developments in society. Youth knows better than anyone what are the newest hypes and trends in their subcultures, because they live at the same pace as the velocity of society does.
Brands and youth are connected to each other and leading brands have well noted that young people appreciate the opinions within their own social circle more than some celebrity it’s opinion.

Quality time with friends is the best time they have. Because of their busy lifestyles, relaxing with friends is the best way to spend time and take a break from their 24/7 incentive life. At a friday night in the pub or a cup of coffee in their break, this is where the conversations happen. Also about the newest innovative products or other interesting novelties. These moments are crucial for huge leading companies. They want youth to talk about their brand and to ensure that more and more interesting people are going to talk and write about it and eventually buy it.

Youth are looking for flexible jobs and representing a brand is most of the time a social affair. And inspirational and influential bloggers? They will just get products for free to show them off in the fashionable streets of London.  One year later everyone will wear that particular pair of Ray Bann  sunglasses and everyone will use that solar powered laptop sleeve from Mac.


VPRO . (2011). De BV IK. Retrieved March 19th, 2013 from: http://programma.vpro.nl/themadebvik/
Wikipedia .(2013). diffusion of innovations theory. retrieved May 16th, 2013 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_innovations
Becki King . (2012).The motherhood. Retrieved May 20th 2013 from http://themotherhood.com/blog/bloggers-to-brands-best-practices-for-working-together/
Brand meets blog .(2013). Brand meets blog. Retrieved May 19th 2013 from http://www.brandmeetsblog.com/
Red Bull University. (2013). Red Bull University. Retrieved May 20th 2013 from http://www.redbullu.com/

Friday, 24 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 2 Research result 2/2

Trend agency YOUTH
The second part of my research in London was my visit at  trend agency YOUTH, a leading trend agency in London specialized in youth trends and a desirable company for youth expertise. To get an idea, YOUTH has worked for companies like Adidas, Nintendo and MTV.

I had a conversation with Tom Carrington Smith from trend agency YOUTH. He gave me some great insights in big youth trends in London, as well as in market trends like products and services, and it seems more and more likely that these trends go hand in hand.

Friends are InfluencersAs came out in the interviews, friends play very important roles in the lives of youth. YOUTH has also noted this and sees this as a shift. Celebrities aren’t as much of an influence on youth as they used to be. Friends are now the biggest examples for youth to emulate. If friends buy or do certain things they are more likely to copy their behaviour than the behaviour of some random famous person that they don’t have a personal connection with. Youth is more able to see celebrities in perspective and they realise celebrities aren’t always the right example for them. This perception increases with age.

Innovators and early adoptersAs I said in the introduction, youth are often ‘innovators’ or ‘early adopters’ when it comes to trends. Those terms are marketing terms from the ‘Diffusion of innovations theory’ devised by Everett Rogers. This is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. According to Rogers there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea:  the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. This process relies heavily on human capital. The idea must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain.

Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are characterized as ‘willing to take risks, youngest in age and having the highest social class. Early adopters are the second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. Early adopters are known for their great influence on their social environment. Early adopters are also typically young in age and are also provided with a higher social status. When early adopters are enthusiastic about a certain product or service, it’s up to them to share it with their social circle. So it really depends on them if the product or service will achieve the cherished break-through to the early majority.

In the cartoon below you can see how the theory is build up and how it works.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 2 Research result 1/2

Research results

As I said in my introduction I immediately found out that there was one trend that really stood out. The sources I used to provide solid trend insights stated and confirmed this change in relationship between brand and young consumers. In addition the outcomes of my research confirmed my previous research on youth trends as well, so there my substantiated youth trend was born.

In the interviews I had with several youth on the street, I involved questions about their quality of life, like: What are the most important things in life? What do they do on an average day? What do you enjoy most? All questions that can lead to their view on their quality of life.

Here are the insights that I got from the interviews I did with youth in London.  They are pretty coherent with the insight I got from the meeting with YOUTH. You will quickly notice the overlaps, because I will slowly work towards one trend that has emerged the most from out my research.

Pressure and incentives
According to the the teenagers and young adults I spoke, life is really busy in London. London is a busy city to grow up in and the pressure to achieve things is big. The economic crisis is showing the future in a bad light, while youth are willing to tackle the problems and use their creativity.

Things in life are moving faster than ever and youth is constantly getting incentives from the world around them. Youth are masters in handling all the input and are almost robotic multitaskers. They easily switch from online to offline and vice versa, these worlds blend together effortlessly in their lives.

Ideal jobs for young people will be jobs that are flexible and that can fit into their busy schedule. Favourite jobs are jobs in coffee shops, lunchrooms and bars that have late closing hours. When I ask them if they would like to have a job that they can carry out while they’re at school in their breaks or something, they react positively. It would save them a lot of time. Why I asked them this? More on that later in the report.

Well spent Quality time Because of the busy schedule of average teen in London they tell me they are much more aware of the fact that spending quality time is really important. Life rushes by, so a lot of the (mostly) girl I spoke are attending in some kind of mindfulness class, like yoga or pilates. This is not only for sporting reason, but it’s also seen as fun getaway with friends, out of the hurry of the city.

They’ll leave their smartphones for a second to play cards with friends or to drink coffee with mum or dad. Family is important for them, although they do admit that they don’t spend as much time with family as they would like. There is simply too little time. Fun has to be planned, but if there’s fun in their agenda it will be super fun and real appreciated, well spent quality time. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands, part 1: Introduction

 This trend report is based on qualitative research carried out in the city of London. 


As a student trend watching I’m always curious and interested in subcultures. I want to know why people do the things they do and what their motives are. These insights can help me discover entrenched trends in society and, at the same time, help me find out the reason behind it. This gives me broad knowledge of society so I can perform my job well, namely: advising companies and help them to conquer markets and target groups.

Ever since I work at youth communication agency ‘Jong & Je Wil Wat’ in the Netherlands I got intrigued by the fast and innovative generation called generation Y. Youngsters are the innovators and early adopters (These terms are being explained later on i this report) of the world and therefore the first ones to pick up on a trend, which makes them a very interesting target group for companies. At the same time there is a lot expected of them which puts a lot of pressure on them. I am curious how youth thinks about their life, what their values are and how companies adapt to this.  My research question is therefore: What is a striking youth trend in London and how do companies react to this?

In my research I focused specifically on generation Y. This generation is specified by a lot of youth experts in many different ways, but in this report the indication of generation Y is youth from around  15 to 25 years old. My research consists of interviews where I asked generation Y about their lifestyle and about what matters to them and what makes them happy. In addition, and no less important, I visited a youth trend agency in London and talked about youth trends in London and how companies adapt to this.

After finishing carrying out my research methods, I saw a trend recur. First I want to show you the outcomes of the interviews and the meeting with trend agency YOUTH. Then I want to give you examples that support the outcomes and the trend I describe. Enjoy reading my report: Youth, modern guinea-pigs of the leading brands. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

18-year-old girl invents battery that can recharge in 30 seconds

One thing I really find annoying is the fact that the battery of my smartphone is already low after a hour or two surfing on the internet, tweeting or whatsapping. Instant panic, because how can I get through the day? You have to send an e-mail, you're whatsapping with 5 friends at the same time, you have to travel by train for two hours and tonight you still have to be able to look up the right directions to get from the station to a party. A smartphone consumes a lot of power, which can cause panic if you still need to get through a whole day with a 15% battery. But luckily there has been a clever girl who has come up with the solution.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Every year 7 million high school students from over the world participate in research projects in the field of science and technology and present their outcomes at local science competitions, hoping that they will be selected to go to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The Intel ISEF is an initiative of computer company Intel and is only accessible for the real nerds and whizkids among us. It is a one week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. During this event the young innovators can show their ideas and their groundbreaking research to the public. They are competing for more than 4 million dollars in awards and scolarships.

Intel Foundation Young Scientist award

The lucky winner of the 50,000 euro scholarship is the 18 year-old American Eesha Khare. Just like any teenager she experienced the low battery problem with her smartphone. With this as an inspiration she began to work on the energy storage technology and developed a device that is able to charge in 20 seconds. The device is really small and flexible and can save a lot of energy in a small space. The device is about a centimeter long and a few millimeters thick. It fully charges in 20 to 30 seconds, holds its power for a long time and it can be recharged for about 10,000 times. Ideal for a mobile phone!

Knowledge, curiousity and experience

This is another great example of a youngster who combinated her knowledge and curiousity with her daily experiences in life as a teenager. A winning combination if you ask me! Google has also noted Eesha's invention and has already shown interest to buy it. For Eesha there is a bright future waiting for her.

See below the video of Eesha's victory and get an impression of the Intel ISEF.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Path, from intimate social network to mass hype among youngsters

Yesterday it suddenly occured to me, a lot of tweets of youngsters were about the social network Path. After a little bit of research I figured it out. This week a huge hype emerged regarding the application Path. There is an immense growth going on as to acceptances among young people, as it would be 'the new Twitter or Facebook'. Last monday they transcribed the 10 million users.

What is Path?

Path is a social app which is actually a kind of combination of many features that you find on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This allows you to post status updates, share photos provided with a filter, share what music you listen to, chat and much more. Where Path distinguishes itself by is that you only can have 150 friends and therefore primarily involves sharing your life with your closest friends.

Schermafbeelding 2013-05-16 om 15.09.37 Schermafbeelding 2013-05-16 om 15.09.29

Path has been popular in the U.S. for months now, especially in high schools, and now the Dutch youth seem to like the app aswell. What's remarkable is that the app already exists from November 2010 and was mainly used by fanatic Path fans who value the small and intimitate aspect of the social network. The sudden hype therefore leads to annoyance with the early adopters among the Path-users. But how did the hype exactly arise so suddenly?

The cause of the hype

The cause of the sudden popularity of the app is caused by Path itself, but not in a fair way. What Path does after you sign up, is sending an SMS to all the contacts in your address book with an invitation to download the app and with the message that you really need to look at those great pictures that you apparently just have uploaded. The app also automatically sends an invitation to all your friends via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Because of the hype this was so disturbing for Facebook users, that Facebook deleted the app from its site. This shouldn't be possible and it's even illegal to save and contact someones contacts without permission.

In February 2012 Path had already been fined with $ 800,000 for this. For this reason they then added the option to give or refuse permission to save and use your contacts. The annoying thing is that the option of giving permission to spread messages in your name is automatically checked by Path. If you don't want Path to  use any of your contacts you should still uncheck the option to make sure it doesn't spam your friends.

From intimate network to mass hype 

Due to the unsolicited text messages and invitations via social media Path has made itself immensively popular and the intimate social network has become a huge hype among the youth mass. This is not appreciated by the youth who were using the network for much longer. Where Path first stood for privacy and intimacy and was to place to share your experiences with an intimitate group of friends, it now seems to become another one of those 'next facebooks'.

How long the hype will last is unclear, but what is clear is that this social network doesn't owe it's popularity by guaranteeing it's values: privacy and intimacy. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Two men who will tell you the truth about your groceries

I think I’d love to go grocery shopping with Michael Pollan and Michael Moss (writer of the book: Salt, Sugar Fat), although I probably would feel guilty buying any type of processed food. But they're very inspiring and they know so much about the food industry. I imagine I'd be buying chocolate and cookies and they'd be telling me why I shouldn't be. Honestly, though, I found this vid so interesting, I wished it was a full-length documentary.