Some interesting statistics on new students were recently released out of Amherst College in the States, as reported by Clive Thompson and Mitch Joel. The conclusions? Young people today (those rapscallions – and as a side note, isn’t it fascinating when it suddenly dawns on you that you’re not one of them anymore?) are ditching desktop computers and landlines in favour of cellphones, smartphones and iPod touches (and, presumably, laptops – couldn’t find that in the stats, but surely “kids these days” aren’t writing papers on iPhones). Oh, and they prefer Macs.
Obviously Amherst students aren’t representative of the entire North American under-20 crowd. And if your target audience is over 40 or even older, then you’ve got a bit of time to absorb the findings. But it’s worth thinking about the future of your audience, and who your readership will be in five to 10 years, both in print and online.