Insight into the teenage mind?

by DaniGirl on August 31, 2007 · 19 comments

in Life, the Universe and Everything

Hey bloggy peeps, I need your help. (Again.)

Next week, I’ll be doing a presentation about social media, and more specifically, blogs, at the CEGEP were Beloved teaches. (CEGEP is creation of the Quebec school system, sort of like a middle school between high school and university or college. The kids will be in the 16 to 18 year old age range.)

I’ve done a few presentations on social media to groups of public servants, but I have to tell you I’m a lot more intimidated by this group of teenagers! With public servants, I am usually pretty confident that I know more about social media and blogs than at least the majority of the people in the room; maybe not so much with the teenagers! The prof insists that I should start with Blogs 101, and that in her new media classes, only one of two of the kids actually have a blog.

So what I’m asking you, bloggy peeps, is this: what blogs would be interesting to the average teenager? I’m planning on walking them through a basic what and how, and talk about technorati and links and RSS, and go through some of the free blogging platforms. But can you think of any blogs they will find cool? I mean, I started out in life pretty far from cool, and now I’m a mom and a civil servant – my coolness factor drops by the day!!

I was thinking maybe the Grey’s Anatomy writers’ blog, and I was going to do Wil Wheaton’s blog – but Star Trek TNG might be too old skool to be appealing to them. There’s Barney’s Blog, from How I Met Your Mother, but that’s not even a real blog. Lame list, eh?

Help me! What’s cool in the blogosphere, from the perspective of your average 17 year old?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kerry August 31, 2007 at 7:13 am

Hey Dani – What about the blog done for the TV show Heroes?
And, there’s the Alyssa Milano (rather insightful, accordign to SPorts Illustrated) Major League Baseball blog:
Stephen King’s blog:
And, you might just want to read this article:,,20041669_20041686_20045660,00.html
Good luck!

2 Cait August 31, 2007 at 8:13 am

Star Trek TNG was “old” when I was a teenager. Forget about it.

For girls, you might try The pictures won’t load for me, but that could just be the office computer.

There’s also Perez Hilton and Mollygood for celeb gossip. Not sure if they’re “real” blogs, but the format suggests so.

This link might help you in your search:

I’ll keep thinking about it!

3 Madeleine August 31, 2007 at 8:13 am Or is that too news site, not blog?

4 yvonne August 31, 2007 at 8:14 am

Personnally, I would go with some of the big musicians. Doesn’t greenday have a blog? I know Britney Spears does but I am not sure I would lead with that. It is in Quebec, right? Celine Dion? 🙂

5 JoJo August 31, 2007 at 8:40 am

John Mayer’s blog. He’s hip and if there was no Jaimie I would so stalk him. He has become quite popular with the young ones too.

As a former Quebecoise, I beg of you…….no Celine Dion. Not all Quebecois love her.

6 hw August 31, 2007 at 8:43 am

I think you can do anything. A sports blog, a fashion blog, a music blog – let them know whatever their interest is, they can search or find it on a blog.

BTW, many of these kids are already going to be familiar w/ blogs and other social media (aka, facebook & youtube). While the prof is insisting on a 101, be prepared to ramp up your discussions and focus more on the social implications of it or something more than a how to.

I mean, what about last school year when many kids were getting suspended from school for things administrators found posted on their blogs? Or, a media hot topic these days, how the police also use you tube to solve crimes or catch speeders who post stuff of themselves online? There’s just so much good stuff out there of relevance.

My $.25.

7 Barbara August 31, 2007 at 8:57 am

For boys, I’m going to go with sports, especially skateboarding, and music. For girls, think TigerBeat on the Web (shows you how old I am, eh.) I would bet that many of them won’t think of blogs as separate from what we consider Web1.0 sites. There’s just the ‘net. Remember that most won’t consider “googling for information” to be a neologism.

Think about privacy issues on Facebook and MySpace. Ask about whether their parents are their “friends” and why or why not. They are already probably filtering their audience to exclude people that the know they don’t want to share themselves with. What about the people that they don’t know yet that they’ll regret sharing themselves with?

8 andrea from the fishbowl August 31, 2007 at 8:59 am

Egads. Any prof who insists on a Blog 101 for teens is totally out of touch. Of course they know what they are… I bet half of them visit blogs like on a daily basis. And I agree with hw above re: social implications. You could also mention how they fit into the political world and throw in some cautionary info i.e. privacy. Check for great resources for parents and teachers in the area of media literacy.

9 Sara August 31, 2007 at 9:35 am

ITs not necessarily kewl, but you might include, given that she lent her name to a whole concept (getting “dooced”) which would illustrate to them how your behavior in the New Media can affect your real life, sometimes negatively.

10 revdrmom August 31, 2007 at 10:39 am

My own Kid and his friends (all age 15-16) are more interested in Facebook and Youtube and Digg than in blogs per se, but they do read blogs. I agree with Andrea when she says that if the prof wants Blog 101 she is totally out of touch–even if the students don’t have blogs I bet they are on Facebook or MySpace.

Let us know what you come up with.

11 Karen August 31, 2007 at 10:51 am

I’m not really up to date on what teens are reading, but I think you should discuss the implications of their online profiles. HR executives are now googling potential employees, so they need to be careful about what they are posting and saying on their blogs and facebook and myspace pages.

12 Sharon August 31, 2007 at 4:01 pm

OH DEAR! LOL! You have you hands full. Actaully they are pretty good and are there because they want to learn. What class is it and at waht time? And speaking as a mom who’s daughter goes to that PARTICULAR CEGEP! (Say Hi to Miranda if you can find her) MUSIC Blogs are good. Even tell them some of the Rock Stars have there own Blogs, Jan Arden, Madonna, Barenaked Ladies, and some have blogs about them Guns’n’roses…the list goes on.

Blogs on Films
Blogs on teen angst
Blogs by teens for teens
Blogs for Animee
Stuff like Greatest Journal is a blog for them, My space…not what we think as a traditional blog but it is an electroinic Jornal that alot of them use.

I’ll ask Mirand when she gets home and email you.
Good luck

13 Sally August 31, 2007 at 9:11 pm

I just mentioned my blog to the 12 year old who helps me once a week and she looked at me funny. Her dad and my husband work for the same place and she asked me if blogging was something people from that company did for fun. So I guess my point is that many of the teenages might actually be just as clueless about it as my helper was.

Oh, and the best blog I can think of that some teens would be interested in is Neil Gaiman’s ( He’s a famous comic and graphic novel writer who blogs every day. He wrote the book Stardust, and did the screenplay for the current movie of the same name as well as the screenplay for the upcoming Beowulf movie. Most teens, like most adults, won’t have heard of him, but the ones who are geeky enough to know who he is might be interested.

14 liz September 1, 2007 at 8:57 am

You might want them to raise their hands if they blog or know someone who blogs.

Certainly talk about Dooce and Phantom Professor but also talk about the folks who blogged Katrina and Annika’s casserole fund.

15 Sharon September 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm

I emailed you what miranda said. BUT I forgot to say with the privacy issues alot of the kids aren’t blogging for that reason. It’s as bad a gossip. Well with her friends anyways.

16 Alley Cat September 1, 2007 at 9:09 pm
17 Rebecca September 2, 2007 at 10:39 am


18 robyn September 2, 2007 at 11:59 pm

What about local blogs that are culturally interesting – some photoblogs?

OttawaStart’s list is a good place to start to make that point that people *here* in addition to elsewhere have a lot to say about a huge variety of topics.

19 Brendan September 7, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Hey Dani, check out… it’s written by Danah Boyd who’s done some amazing research into youth and social media – you can find the links from her blog – it’s less about where they go, and more about why and how they use it… it may be helpful. Hope all is good, and looking forward to catching up with you soon.


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