Monday, January 25, 2010

De-incentivizing socialization among children

"One of the things I've seen over the last decade is that we've become so successful at creating incentives for online socialization that I think we have unintentionally de-incentivized face-to-face socialization for kids."

Wow. Did he just say that? Yes. In today's Seattle Times. Meet Jordan Weisman, CEO and founder of Smith & Tinker, creator of the interactive Nanovor game primarily targeted to young boys which includes the accompanying offline Nanoscope(tm).

Weisman goes onto say "kids are still human so they still desperately want to be in the room with the other 10 year-old. They just don't know what to do when they get there."

Excuse me? Are you trying to tell us that 10 year old children don't know how to interact with each other? And that your products are part of that solution? Apparently so. This is what the Smith & Tinker homepage has to say:

Reinventing play for the connected generation

We see a future in which unconnected products like toys, games, books and movies will not be able to compete with the dynamic and exciting world of the internet.

Maybe I'm the only one raising her eyebrows at this. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that an offline children's brand is still a thing to behold and that online brands depend upon offline marketing and distribution channels just as much as offline brands need online marketing.

It also begs the question: whether you have an offline brand or an online brand or something that falls somewhere in between, what are you doing to promote face-to-face socialization among children?

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