trend sites youth workers should follow

a few weeks back, anastasia at ypulse posted 10 sites she thinks everyone in media or marketing to youth should follow regularly. a handful of them would be really helpful for christian youth workers to follow also. i’ve bookmarked several of them, and list them here, with anastasia’s comments:

1. MTV News. Whatever your thoughts are on the relevance of MTV, the channel invests heavily in researching their demographic and knowing what teens (collective) want. Reading MTV News online is basically reading headlines handpicked by editors who are deciding what entertainment news is most relevant to their audience. It’s worth checking on a daily basis. You can also sign up for MTV Sticky, a free trend email from MTV’s research department.

4. My High School Journalism. Obviously this site is dead during the summer months when school’s out, but this fall you should definitely check in on a weekly basis. This is the gateway to loads of high school newspaper websites and a way to see what teens think are important issues both at their school and in the world.

5. Next Great Thing Youth. Mobile. Trends. Fleishman’s blog description says it all. They do nice roundups of youth oriented mobile links along with more in-depth posts on what’s happening in this space.

6. Trends & Tudes – Harris Interactive (a sponsor of Ypulse Research) has a monthly e-newsletter that highlights research they’ve done for their clients. They don’t just offer numbers but always offer insights you can pull from the research, whether it’s on bullying at school or college students today.

7. The Pew Internet & American Life Project – Pew produces free reports on how teens are using the internet. Every one is a free goldmine of information.

9. danah boyd’s research. danah is one of the few academics who consciously strives to make as much of her research free and available online. Not only that, it’s required reading if you’re focused on youth and social media.

10. Youth Media Exchange. If you are interested in social change and want to know what young people all over the world are concerned about, YME is a great resource and a truly international youth activism site. Worth checking to get a global pulse of what youth activists are thinking (and doing) around the world. Also a great resource for corporations looking to partner or create global pro-social campaigns.

8 thoughts on “trend sites youth workers should follow”

  1. Thanks for these . . . will come in handy as our daughter is about to become part of the Riptide gang at church and I hope to volunteer a bit there. And then of course, there’s Shane . . . LOL

  2. brandon — i think all forms of connecting with teenagers need to have boundaries. and all forms of connecting with teenagers will be a trip-up for some people (especially those without boundaries). facebook and myspace (and email and IM) are wonderful tools for youth workers. but they don’t come without risks, just as having a coke with a student can be a helpful tool for ministry, but doesn’t come without risks, and needs boundaries.

  3. Marko- You’re quick! Great thoughts on boundaries…
    I would hate for a church to read this article and then advise their youth workers not to have any online contact with students…

    Hope you are having a great vacation!

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