Thursday, December 06, 2007

Link to: Rob Garner's Post on Webkinz

No time for a long post today, but thought this story would be of interest to Gamine Expedition readers. As Rob Garner writes in today's MediaPost blog, Google Zeitgeist 2007 (by Marissa Mayer) has ranked Webkinz as the 2nd most popular search item, and the most searched social networking site...above Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. Here's an excerpt from Garner's post:
Marissa Mayer’s Google Zeitgeist 2007 / Trends announcement yesterday makes a strong case that kids have already inherited the Web. Five social media portals and networks made the list of the top ten fastest-rising search terms. But the fastest-rising social media network isn’t Facebook, YouTube, or MySpace. It’s a social networking site for beanie-baby-like plush toys, and their respective preschool-to-preteen owners, called Webkinz (it’s at no. 2, just behind “iPhone”). If you’re not familiar with Webkinz, it’s a sort of technically primitive (and safe) Second Life for kids, and the price for entry is buying one of the plushes, then logging in and socializing with other online animals in their own virtual world that also includes their own little rooms and a variety of games.

Not sure what it all means, if anything, but there you have it. And I disagree with Garner's conclusion that this particular finding is evidence that "kids have already inherited the web"... I mean, every kid interested in Webkinz likely comes with a parent who then has to find out more about it. Anyway, you can read the rest of the post here.

1 comment:

RG said...

Sara - thanks for posting your thoughts. There's really nothing "academic" to the opening sentence, other than the fact that the term "social media" and "social networks" get a lot of lip service in the marketing media, but most writers and bloggers offer no meaningful discussion of kids "social" sites (though I admit I'm a bit old school, and still just like to think of the 'Web' in general, minus the 'social' moniker). And I must also partially attribute the comment to having worked very late the night before) : )

In a nutshell, the Google Trend data gives everyone a big heads up that Facebook and Myspace aren't the only "social" game in town, especially when the top rising searches for the year skew heavily toward social media networks.

Your site is very interesting, and I plan to spend some time reading your posts.