Time to get NBN active, GenY

Fraudband vs NBN: Live Streaming over copper.

Fraudband vs NBN: Live streaming over copper.

By Steve Jenkin

Source: http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/

May 6,  2013

Josh Taylor of ZDnet conducted a 45-minute “Communications Debate” between Conroy and Turnbull today. He did a splendid job with a couple of unruly protagonists not out of place in a kindergarden.
My praise and plaudits to Josh: well done, for conceiving and carrying out this head-to-head.

The most reported part of the “Debate” was when Conroy got under Turnbull’s skin and was called “a grub”.

There are a few things about this “Debate” I think are imporant:

  • Turnbull had a very informed and tech-savvy audience, yet maintained his argumentative, “content-free” style, reiterated vague generalities and platitudes and trotted out the same old electioneering phrases.
  • The people who are very interested in the NBN are Gen-Y, but seem strangely silent in my world:
    • They are the “digital natives”, born since the release of the IBM PC and Apple Mac.
    • They know and care about computing and its most recent game-changer, the Internet.
    • Their lives, values and views are defined and shaped by the Internet, increasingly by Social Media.
    • They can expect to live with this decision for the next 50 years.
    • They are, or should be, highly motivated to get the best Value for Money NBN, not in the immediate term, but for the rest of their lives.
  • People came along to the debate wanting more than a slanging match and a repetition of the same hackneyed phrases.
  • Turnbull repeated the same “talk over what you don’t like” tactic that got his microphone turned off on Triple-J Hack.
    • He has still not learned to be considerate & respectful of the moderator.
    • Why would a politician whose electoral success depends on the media, deliberately “burn” media contacts, especially Gen-Ys for whom the NBN really matters? It’s bizarre in the extreme. Either he can’t help himself or means to do it.
    • The media places Turnbull is no longer welcome will soon become a story in itself.

I think Turnbull misjudged his audience, treating them like the usual Mainstream Media, and either underestimated Conroy or came unprepared (shown by retreating to personal abuse) and didn’t say anything new, nor clearly & succinctly answer the questions asked.
Yes, he talked, a lot, and in the moment always sounds plausible.
But as one tweeter opined: What did he say? I can’t remember now he’s stopped talking.
Turnbull threw away a massive opportunity: he could’ve sold himself and his plan to the technical influencers in the electorate. And done so easily & simply by clearly annunciating his intentions.
The bigger question, the headline of this piece, is the comparative silence of Gen-Y in this NBN debate. If Turnbull was bombarded with 5-10,000 emails and tweets after each of his obnoxious media performances, like today’s, would he moderate his behaviour? You bet!

Gen-Y can take onto itself using the tools that it understands and uses everyday to make its point. We’ve yet to see a spate of mashups or clips ridiculing Turnbull as he pompously stabs his finger making one asinine, misleading point after another. The way the “Kony 2012” meme spread displays what is possible, when driven by someone who cares about a topic.

While those might get engagement with Gen-Y, they wouldn’t get through to the politicians and their parties.

If Gen-Y wants a better future for itself, it has to work for it. That means talking to Politicians and Parties in the language they understand and in the forums they, not Gen-Y, look to.

ZDNet journalist Josh Taylor

ZDNet journalist Josh Taylor

First, Gen-Y needs to recognise that Politicians only appear deaf; they are, in fact, vitally attuned to polls and market sentiment. Their #1 priority is getting re-elected: No votes, no job. Polls are what Pollies live and die by. Affect them and affect the policies.

But only talking to your mates and having a bit of fun on social media isn’t enough. Gen-Y has to reach out to others, in their heartland, to make their message heard:

  • The politicians and their parties are “old-school”, they will sit up and take notice of calls, letters and emails, more than SMS and social media.
  • Their parents, as much as anyone, need to be “sold” on the idea that The Internet is here to stay and will be the economic, cultural and political enabler and field of discourse in the future.
    • Gen-Y will depend on The Net for their livelihood, entertainment and information/news.
    • They want the best Bang for Buck over 25 years, not just 5 years.
  • Gen-Y has to sell its concerns and messages to older generations and get them on-side, not bitch and moan amongst themselves and descend into “Learned Helplessness”.
    • The “shock-jocks”, especially on AM radio spin a message to older Australians.
    • It’s up to Gen-Y to counter those arguments to individual listeners, if they don’t agree and don’t want the future presented there.

The Vietnam Moratorium marches and demonstrations were the Baby Boomers collectively putting their views about their future to older generations and affecting the political process. The nature of war in the West changed fundamentally: conscripts and lots of casualties became politically non-viable. Warfare became very expensive and “messages” tightly scripted and controlled.

Gen-Y has to understand that it gets ONE chance to create the Internet it will have to live with daily for the next 50 years. This is that one chance, now.
They have a voice, they have to learn to use it, they have to fight for what they believe in and want or ‘forever hold your peace’.

Read more:

Coalition’s 10% NBN cost save locks us out of massive upside

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  1. LindaDom says

    Another chance for students to show their displeasure at Turnbulls plan. He is visiting Warnambool (Tones was in the area last week also with pollie pedal and up promoting their plan) he’s talking to students at Deakin Uni DAYD. Wonder how he’ll handle that one. They have no idea.
    Telstra was totally wiped out last year with a serious fire in the main exchange. Warnambool and environs, as far as Hamilton, Portland were without any Telstra for ages. Some for weeks. Shut down Business, Banks , Drs, Hospitals , schools, everything basically.
    So he may have some talking to sell his “copper cans and string” plan.
    So any Warnambool students, go get him.

  2. The great lie is that Turnbull actually knows what he is talking about. He was a share trader, he has never built a network and his generalities and shout over those who dare question his script is just plain insulting.

  3. I believe the real problem is that the population is turning off. I entirely agree with you, Steve, but listening to the Breakfast Show on ABC this morning, 70% of the population is apparently ‘totally disconnected’ with politics. Since I assume survey participants are evenly distributed across age and socio-economic spectrum, I’d really like to see the results against just age. I suspect they would be terrifying – to the politicians, that is!

    Personally, the more I see of Turnbull, the more I believe he is an arrogant, bombastic prig……

  4. sulphurcrested says

    Great message, I hope it gets to saturation levels amongst Gen-Y and further.

    “Gen-Y has to understand that it gets ONE chance to create the Internet it will have to live with daily for the next 50 years. This is that one chance, now.”
    So true! Get your running shoes on!

  5. J.Fraser says

    I would never underestimate Gen Y or late Gen X for that matter.

    Murdoch doesn’t have as much influence there.

    And their votes will be crucial.

    M.Turnbull and “Slick” Abbott have a real disconnect with them.

  6. I’m a baby boomer and I care passionately about the NBN. In fact the only ones that seem seriously concerned about this and other Abbott policies appear to old farts like me.

    I’m getting pretty fed up with the self-absorbed Gen X and Y who don’t seem to care about anything, in particular political decisions that will impact on their future lives.

    I’d love some of them to passionately stand up to flame me about this statement, but I seriously doubt it.

  7. Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  8. The author makes the mistake that Gen-Y share the Limited-News and 2GB delusion. This is not the case with Gen-Y`s l know or their friends, fb-friends or followers. Gen-Y know they do not have to `rally` or `protest` but just not vote for Mr-Talkbull or Mr-Rabbit.

  9. Anyone who wants good broadband has to vote Labor . Turnbull wont change.He can’t admit that he’s wrong. Labor have the best well solution and it’s well under way.No point in punishing ourselves with the half-baked alternative.

  10. I don’t see GenY getting worked up over this. While they may be digital natives, for the most part they are “users” of technology without any requirement to understand it. Yes, I’m using broad generalisations here, but the truly tech-savvy are very much the minority here.

    In the same way many people now drive cars without ever knowing about changing oil, checking air pressures and water levels, and probably don’t know how to change a tyre. The most they do is put fuel in it, turn the ignition, and book it in for a service every now and then. It just works, you use it. No need to understand *how* or *why* it works.

    The NBN is just a bit of that background technology. They know it exists and is part of their lives but the specifics of it are meaningless to them.

    Next time you see a GenY on their iPhone, ask them to explain how the touch screen works, how the computer inside works, how the wireless network to the internet works, how the info gets through the internet… These are all things that are invisible, and in a proper consumerisation of technology there is no reason to know how they work, as long as they do. Consumerisation of technology requires that its use is simplified to the point of not needing to understand how it works (e.g. Microwave Oven, press a button, food cooks).

    So how do you get people to engage on something they don’t really understand, and for the most part either option will likely “just work” as far as they are concerned.

  11. Scott ignores that Gen-Y rapidly update their iproducts to the faster more powerful igadget that will do more quicker and bigger. They do understand the difference between a four cylinder and a v-eight, even if they are only a driver.