How to connect to Generation Y

A recent Economist story (18 May 2010) tells that Anna Wintour, the 61-year-old editor-in-chief of Vogue (widely believed to be the subject of the film The Devil Wears Prada), was not very pleased when Tavi Gevinson was given a better seat than her at a recent fashion show.

Who is Tavi Gevinson? Gevinson is the 14-year-old author (born in 1996) of the StyleRookie blog. Gevinson started her blog at the age of 11 and has built a huge following in the blogosphere:

Guess who is going to be all fancy n stuff and talk at L2’s Generation Y conference this Friday? Me, that’s who! And I’m going to be talking about the Unpredictability of Gen Y …

And not surprisingly, as reported by the Economist, she stole the show that had been put together to focus on “tomorrow’s affluent consumer”. Representatives of luxury-goods businesses, hung on Gevinson’s every word.

The lesson for today’s businesses is that those of Generation Y (people born between 1980 and 2000) know most about how to make the social-networking work.

Some of us are Baby Boomers (born after 1945 until about 1960) who didn’t own a computer until we were well into adulthood. We possibly had to program our computers to perform our calculations and may even remember having to feed paper cards into a mainframe. Computers were calculating machines.

Most of us are X Generation (born between 1961 and 1981) we experienced the growth of personal computers and witnessed the birth of the Internet. Internet 1.0 was about sharing information and we played space invaders by putting lots of coins in arcade machines.

But those of Generation Y have grown up with computers and treat them as an essential part of their everyday lives – technology is social and about entertainment. They have participated in the growth of Web 2.0 as a means of participating in online communities, for sharing gossip and for on-line collaboration. They are also known as the Net Generation!