What the Kids Are Saying


Now that everyone has made their predictions for online trends in 2014...

...We decided to look just a little further out. We asked two budding developers some questions about how they use the Internet. Paris, a high school senior, and Talon, a college sophomore, share their social media, programming and device preferences below. One likes Java, while the other like JavaScript. Both are drawn almost exclusively to user-generated content. Neither likes Facebook. Only time will tell whether their current opinions will hold, or their prognostications come to pass.

One thing is certain: if you really want to be on the cutting edge, be sure to visit Meatspace, Clientbro.

What are your top three websites/apps to visit/use?

Paris: Reddit, YouTube, and Last.fm. Reddit, because it allows you to interface with industry -- or just be entertained -- in a more meaningful and personalized way. YouTube, because I can think of no better content consumption website. Last.fm is a great music discovery service. I listen to music obsessively, whether it's while coding, gaming, or doing homework. Last.fm interfaces with music you play from your phone or laptop. I've discovered probably 40-50% of my current music library with it; what a saving grace in a world where computers have allowed more people than ever to produce music.

Talon: I quite enjoy visiting and using GitHub.com because it is an excellent community and an invaluable resource. Its success and the reason I enjoy it ever so much is primarily due to the nature of open-source code. Because thousands of developers post their code on an open medium, learning-types, such as myself, can analyze it and learn from it.

I also enjoy visiting Meatspace. It is an ephemeral community that tickles my fancy. Most of the souls that wander into the gif chatting webpage share interests similar to my own. Some are regulars, and they have become Internet mentors. Since I stumbled upon this nook of the net I have learned multitudes more about development. One member even went so far as to set up a GitHub repository to teach me how to use GitHub to its fullest extent.

I find myself often browsing Tumblr, though I think it's more of a guilty pleasure. The content is primarily shallow. I suppose I enjoy keeping up with the various real life friends I have on that medium.

What is your favorite social media site/app?

Paris: Google+. Although I don't particularly like any existing social media platform, Google+ does its job best. It integrates with the rest of the Google platform in a non-invasive way (except for YouTube...eugh). The design is much cleaner and more commonsense than Facebook, and doesn't suffer the same third-party problems that clutter up Facebook. It allows people to share and talk in a casual and effective way. And to call Instagram and Snapchat social media is a bit forgiving I think.

Talon: My favorite social media app is Twitter. It is an excellent source for bite-sized chunks of consumable information throughout the day. Recently I have connected with my friends from Meatspace on Twitter and the network has become significantly more entertaining.

I think when it comes to media I enjoy using I have a primary interest in ephemerality, modularity and niche communities. When the content is consumable in small independent chunks, temporary and focused, I stick around to listen and enjoy.

What is your favorite programming language?

Paris: Java. The language may not be the fastest, or the most specialized, but it does an all-around job better than any other individual language. It can be interfaced into anything -- web design, database use, apps (Android), desktop applications. Besides its use, the construction of the language is so commonsense. C++ is a Frankenstein's monster at best. Web development languages are good, but obviously can't handle heavyweight backend work. Java's design keeps everything fairly straightforward and, most importantly, consistent.

Talon: My favorite programming language is JavaScript. When it comes to programming languages a lot of people will throw around terms of inferiority or limitations. Necessity is the mother of invention and limitations lead to innovation. I think the Javascript community is a beautiful example of both of those clich├ęs.

In the past few years Javascript has grown from being a language used primarily to animate webpages to now being capable of being a complete server with NodeJS, a mobile application with Phonegap and even gaming consoles such as the WiiU are utilizing Javascript in their programs. It is a language that has rapidly expanded its own limitations.

What is your favorite device on which to receive media?

Paris: My laptop, but I'm old fashioned like that. I see the appeal of mobile media, especially phones. If I'm reading a book, watching a YouTube video, or just checking feeds (news, social media) phones are fantastic. It is obvious to me that the Internet -- and especially my generation -- has adapted to phones extremely quickly. But if I have a choice and no time constraint, I like full desktops better. You have more screen real estate, a more involved interface, and an easier way to really invest yourself into whatever media you're consuming.

Talon: I like to receive media on my phone and I see that as a result of my "ephemeral, modular and niche" theory. The information I most enjoy receiving on my phone is that of SMS messages from peers, especially my boo. ;)

What will the Internet look like in five years?

Paris: Tough question! I'm sure things will continue to go mobile. When I was a freshman in high school, people used their iPhones to check email and browse Facebook. Today there is a whole suite of games, image sharing, and content consumption apps out there. I would say 1/4 of people's social interaction in the high school setting is through apps and I don't see that trend stopping. The big question is what the next big thing will be. Facebook, then Instagram, went mainstream and forced out the teenage users that usually set these trends. However, Snapchat has seen much less adoption from the general public. So the question arises -- what will come next? I have a hunch that it's going to provide the user-produced content and social indexing -- some sort of strange Facebook-Instagram hybrid. I'd also bet we're going to see a continuation of the trend of user-produced content and crowd-sourcing. Development tools have never been more accessible, but more importantly creating your own content is easy and fun. Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are founded upon users creating content for other users. Reddit is indexing by other users. It's clear that harnessing the power of people to create content is incredibly powerful. Overall, though, I think it's safe to say that in such a fast-moving platform like the Internet, what comes next is always hard to predict!

Talon: In 5 years the Internet will look better. It will be faster, it will be even more ubiquitous and it will demand to grow even more. The steam engine revolutionized industry, the Internet is the steam engine of knowledge!

Lisa Hillmer-Poole

Lisa Hillmer-Poole is the VP of Accounts at Carbon8 with more than 18 years of combined agency and in-house marketing experience. Lisa partners with Senior Agency Management, Account Managers and clients to strategize, develop and execute long-range communications and digital marketing plans. Serving as liaison between her team and Development, Design, Search, and Senior Agency Management, Lisa plays a key role in developing the next generation of account management talent at Carbon8.

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