Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

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Should children be marketed to?

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AuzzieJay
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Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by AuzzieJay »

Hmm? What's the Clickerati you ask? Well if you are a Millenial- especially an American Millenial then YOU are!

What am I talking about?

This week's discussion will be about marketing to children, marketing in general, and its place on the web.

Specifically this article

You should first read this exceedingly candid write up from October 1999 about Digital Kids Con- a convention on how to market and sell products to kids online.

What blows my mind is how open they are about selling directly to children.

I was one of these children. I did a simple search looking for an old Kids site I used to go on all of the time- MaMaMedia.com and just stumbled upon this article. The woman that created that site has no qualms about selling to children and even seems to cackle with glee at the idea of turning kids into consumers.

I had no idea that before I could even imagine it I was being marketed to. I knew kids nowadays were and I knew there were markets for it, but to have an open-air discussion about the profits of turning kids into consumers boggles the mind.

Many of you know the Yesterweb's stance on commercialism- we hate it. We detest commercialism online and offline. Many adjacent communities have sprouted up in the indieweb space that encourage commercialism, or the grindset mindset, but articles like this, and tactics like this are precisely why we have never allowed commercialism in the Yesterweb. Everywhere else in our lives we are constantly being sold to- we don't need it here.

So this week let's discuss children online, marketing and commercialism online.
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mrwillhorlen
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by mrwillhorlen »

Children are pure and innocent. They are born with an empty slate anyone around them can write on, which is taken advantage of by the commercial war machine. These are beings with love and compassion, not living breathing markets they see despite claiming otherwise.
Last edited by mrwillhorlen on Sun Feb 12, 2023 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by tsvety »

That's an excellent article and one sentence that *really* jumped out at me was "Today's children are 'getting older younger,' he says. Toymakers used to be able to target kids 'all the way up to 12, 13, 14 years old. They were buying Barbies and G.I. Joes. Today, there's no self-respecting 12-13-14-year-old buying traditional toy product.'" (bottom of page 5).

I think "getting older younger" would exactly apply to me, and I had a complex relationship with toys due to reasons that really had me not use them much. I'd rather have a real professional's tools, thank-you-very-much. Screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, being allowed to use the big orange crowbar, etc, were my toys and it really shows now I suppose. I never contextualized that as "getting older younger", I thought of it more as an advanced form of LARPing, but that makes more sense in a way.

Page 8 really hits home, and I think is the crux of the issue. Advertising aggressively to adults is seen as OK, so why not start early? (is how the thought would go)

I remember not too long ago in the discord I had posted a link to something that was mushy about marketing to kids -- a very long running Toyota educational site about how cars are made that shut down very recently: https://web.archive.org/web/20210807030 ... p/en/kids/ . Is it an honest-to-goodness excellent resource about cars and modern production? Yes, even for adults. Is it back-handed advertisement for Toyota? Almost certainly. It seems rather benign to me, what are your (anyone) thoughts on it?

Another thing that I'd like to mention as being relevant was how (and is now?) the concepts of women and children first off of sinking ships, children wearing night gowns and general idea of "children's clothing" as being as simple as that. Contrast this to now, where children are seen as more mature, young men and women, etc.
I can't remember where I saw someone bring this up, but it's interesting I think.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by lolodybug »

I was one of those kids that had a computer in my hand from the age of 2 years old, and honestly, it is not the same thing as today. When I was young, having a computer in the living was regular, but having one in my room like me was exceptional. I became very easily tuned to programming and computery-stuff, and it was in 2002-2003. For me, to have that chance was wonderful. I met so many people that taught me great things, learn so many things that my classmates didn't, just because of the internet of the era.
We wouldn't be able to do the same today, since Internet has became an utility rather than a hobby or, i don't know what it was.. Everyone knows how to use a computer, or at least a mobile phone, and that's all they need to know to access their main utilities (facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc).
Before, if you entered the internet, you'd have to ask around and do your own research to get started; You would learn things pretty roughly (like getting called out in a forum discussion) and by asking people. For children, it is honestly a great source of learning, even if it's not perfect. That's what it needs to be; a place where there is no censorship and where you literally surf on.
Today, we have the chance of being parents that can understand Internet and give guidelines to our kids on how to navigate the WebSphere, being secure and totally autonomous. We should give them that knowledge instead of trying to 'protect them' and censor Internet. Sure, as a kid too I went on websites that made my parents scream looking at their internet bill; it's part of the learning. When they'll grow up, they will be surrounded by big companies trying to buy them off, they have to learn how to deduct what is worth it.
I honestly don't see the trouble with companies trying to appeal to children, because I mean, we already have the freaking pink tax and now the lgbt bait. It's just another thing that a parent should be able to do.

To be clear, I am utterly against capitalism, just not marketing for children.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by Cobra! »

I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said by other people, but I will say it feels like you’ve been betrayed when you find out a TV show you watched and loved literally only existed to sell you toys or trading cards. (Such as Transformers, Beyblade, Yugioh)

It’s like very subtle marketing. I’m sure many of those shows had passionate writers and animators, and some of them are actually really good, but the point still stands that if the toys never existed, neither would the shows, and I can’t look at them the same way after that.
lolodybug wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:26 amWe wouldn't be able to do the same today, since Internet has became an utility rather than a hobby or, i don't know what it was.. Everyone knows how to use a computer, or at least a mobile phone, and that's all they need to know to access their main utilities (facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc).
Actually, I’ve heard some technicians say that younger people they’ve seen to are just as clueless as middle aged people when it comes to physical mouse and keyboard computers. I’m guessing this is because phones are probably seen as the main way to spend time and go on the internet now. (Of course, by the internet, I mean Social Media.)

Gen Xers and Millenials are like two of a kind in terms of understanding how to use them from the get go.

Guess things have gone full circle.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by lolodybug »

Cobra! wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:58 am I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said by other people, but I will say it feels like you’ve been betrayed when you find out a TV show you watched and loved literally only existed to sell you toys or trading cards. (Such as Transformers, Beyblade, Yugioh)
Is that such a bad thing though? Plenty of artistic work has been made solely for the purpose of money or fame, but it doesn't deply the happiness when looking at it. Something that has no meaning, is pure garbage (for example, youtube videos where people unbox toys), that is something that we should eradicate from Internet.
Cobra! wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:58 am Actually, I’ve heard some technicians say that younger people they’ve seen to are just as clueless as middle aged people when it comes to physical mouse and keyboard computers. I’m guessing this is because phones are probably seen as the main way to spend time and go on the internet now. (Of course, by the internet, I mean Social Media.)
Yeah, because it's not computer stuff, it's mobile stuff. They don't have to do any programming or anything that is remotely intellectual, since a touchpad is very intuitive. My own daughter is sometimes bewildered when she touches my computer screens and it doesn't do anything.

The thing is that, when Gen X took over Internet with the facebook wave, they transfered everything in that new area. Now everything they do, their work, their friends, their interests, are all at the same place and it would be a real pain to 'undo' all the work they made. I know, Internet has been around a while, but things didn't pick up on it until about 2005. I remember when MY own parents stopped berating me for being an internet user and started praising Facebook! They still do, and they don't see a single wrong thing about centralized internet. Until our generation (Millenials) comes to power, we won't be able to change much, I think, but we can still build foundations and a community.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by Cobra! »

lolodybug wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 1:08 amIs that such a bad thing though? Plenty of artistic work has been made solely for the purpose of money or fame, but it doesn't deply the happiness when looking at it. Something that has no meaning, is pure garbage (for example, youtube videos where people unbox toys), that is something that we should eradicate from Internet.
Good Question. Not sure what the answer would be. I guess if the art is still made with a passion, maybe it isn’t a bad thing?
lolodybug wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 1:08 am Yeah, because it's not computer stuff, it's mobile stuff. They don't have to do any programming or anything that is remotely intellectual, since a touchpad is very intuitive. My own daughter is sometimes bewildered when she touches my computer screens and it doesn't do anything.
Reminds me of one time at this retro gaming cafe I frequent, there was a kid looking at a CRT, and asked what it was. The staff said it was a TV, and the kid was like “Yeah but what’s all of that behind it?”
lolodybug wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 1:08 amI remember when MY own parents stopped berating me for being an internet user and started praising Facebook! They still do, and they don't see a single wrong thing about centralized internet.
I remember that was a thing. You were considered “sad” and had no life if you were terminally online. Now it’s seen as normal.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by Blog47177 »

AuzzieJay wrote: Sun Feb 12, 2023 2:51 am Hmm? What's the Clickerati you ask? Well if you are a Millenial- especially an American Millenial then YOU are!

What am I talking about?

This week's discussion will be about marketing to children, marketing in general, and its place on the web.

Specifically this article

You should first read this exceedingly candid write up from October 1999 about Digital Kids Con- a convention on how to market and sell products to kids online.

What blows my mind is how open they are about selling directly to children.

I was one of these children. I did a simple search looking for an old Kids site I used to go on all of the time- MaMaMedia.com and just stumbled upon this article. The woman that created that site has no qualms about selling to children and even seems to cackle with glee at the idea of turning kids into consumers.

I had no idea that before I could even imagine it I was being marketed to. I knew kids nowadays were and I knew there were markets for it, but to have an open-air discussion about the profits of turning kids into consumers boggles the mind.

Many of you know the Yesterweb's stance on commercialism- we hate it. We detest commercialism online and offline. Many adjacent communities have sprouted up in the indieweb space that encourage commercialism, or the grindset mindset, but articles like this, and tactics like this are precisely why we have never allowed commercialism in the Yesterweb. Everywhere else in our lives we are constantly being sold to- we don't need it here.

So this week let's discuss children online, marketing and commercialism online.

Damn the article states commercialism target a group like Young end GenX and Old end Millennials. Circa 1976-1985/6 timeframe. This was when we were the teens and 20's in 1999. Today we are at or approaching middle age

Funny how Clickerati was a parody of Illuminati before it became a huge trigger word for certain people of a political propaganda.
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Re: Weekly Discussion - The Clickerati

Post by wolves »

Interesting article, thanks for linking it!

Page 5 was like a hidden prophecy or something, reading this:
"Banner ads versus TV? TV wins every time." But it's also true, he said, that the hottest topic in the ad business right now is: Who's going to invent the online version of the 30-second spot?


then:

"Connexity Kids require connexity brands which take the brand-consumer relation beyond product function," the study's executive summary exhorts. Brands can do this "by facilitating connections, providing memorable experiences and acting as community builders."
You can see the results in the constructionist language of the Connexity Kids report. "Don't build a brand for them," it suggests, "build a brand with them."
and basically everything on page 5, it's just. Wow, they were right and they made it happen. 90s-born content creators being used as aspirational-yet-relatable figures by brands to sell products to communities around them. Giving away products to publicly review, direct advertising delivered like a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend straight to a relevant demographic, taking all the free feedback given to develop it, etc. And now we've hit short-form video as the goal for social media.

Kinda hurts that 20+ years ago people were already preparing our paths into their wallets, and millennial kids fell into place so hard that we unquestioningly created/accepted marketing as a huge part of online life -- the end-goal of online life, even.

I thought 80s/90s kids had the internet in hand, but I feel very naïve now :stare: I wonder what they cooked up for later gens and if the internet is playing out as they hoped there too. Oof.
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