Finding the teen gene

Ypulse Mashup 2007 concluded on Tuesday night after two days of intense discussions, panels, and presentations all about how marketers can better target... ME! Just kidding, sort of.Ypulse Mashup 2007

Anastasia Goodstein brought together media professionals, marketing folks, and non-profit do-gooders at San Francisco's Hotel Nikko to talk all about targeting the teenage demographic I'm a part of. Experts and industry leaders spoke on everything from using mixtapes to get brands in front of hip, urban communities (Tina Wells in conversation with journalist Adisa Banjoko) to Harry Potter fan culture on the Net (keynote conversation with MIT's Henry Jenkins and USC's danah boyd) to growing your brand virally by partnering with large social networks (RockYou! CEO Lance Tokuda).

The portion of the day I found particularly fascinating was the "Totally Wired Teen Superstar Panel," moderated by Smashface Productions' Zadi Diaz. It was so energizing to hear about the experiences of four young Web entrepreneurs. One speaker Aseem Badshah, president of Scriptovia.com and rising sophomore at the University of Washington, discussed the academic tools his company gives students and answered questions about dealing with plagiarism. Martina Butler, host of Emo Girl Talk, talked about getting sponsorships for her weekly podcast from big brands like Acuvue, GoDaddy.com, and soon, Covergirl. Whateverlife president, Ashley Qualls, explained how she got her start creating a site centered around MySpace page designs, and how she got her family and friends involved in the project too. And, MyYearbook.com's Catharine Cook, who will be attending Georgetown in the fall, spoke about school-work balance, or lack there of with the crazy 40-hour work week plus school schedule she said she maintained when they were just starting up the company.

It seemed all the Ypulse attendees echoed my excitement for these four talented fellow youth. It was a wonderful conference and I'm so glad Yahoo! sponsored. I'm sure the forward thinking and great conversations will continue — especially considering Ypulse's Tween Mashup is fast approaching.

Doreen Bloch
Yahoo! Intern

Photo from freshelectrons