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NOVEMBER 3, 2010

Gen Y politics

I've heard from( and about) a lot of disillusioned liberals and disappointed progressives who feel that President Obama has accomplished next to nothing. My initial reaction is "Come on, give the guy a break! He's got a Congress that's been paralyzed by Republican filibuster threats."

I have a different way of measuring progress: every morning when I get the Plain Dealer off my front porch I scan the headlines of the news sections.

When George Bush was president every day brought bad news large and small. From the invasion of Iraq to the abandonment of regulatory oversight of almost everything, the Bush administration depressed me on a daily basis.

Screenshot of WTFhasObamaDoneSoFar siteThat changed when Obama took over. Most days the news may not be cheery, but at least it reports on a government doing things that by and large I agree with. I've tried to make this point to some of those disillusioned friends but can't always name too many examples.

This website gets it right.

This morning when I saw the link someone had posted on Facebook, it had about 300,000 fans. By the next afternoon the number was 521,000 and climbing. Something definitely is working here.

Since my Web Publishing I class just finished a site design for a Gen Y audience I thought the site would be a great example of how to reach this young (20-30 year-old) audience. Much to my surprise quite a few students—including several in the Gen Y group itself—were highly offended by the language used. WTF?

I've been thinking about it for hours now and still haven't sorted out what's happening. The strongest reaction, shared by at least two younger students, was that not only didn't they like the crude language, but that there was nothing about the site that would appeal to them at all.

Close up of websiteIts Facebook popularity and many blog links to the site show that it is reaching an audience, mostly by word-of-mouth. I read several pages of comments on the music site AbsolutePunk.net that were generally positive. The commenters ranged from 18 to 29 years old, with most in their early 20s. So I'm pretty sure that the site is effective for a Gen Y audience. Why it drew such a strong negative reaction from many in my class is puzzling.

Are you offended? Click "Comments" below to share your thoughts.

More like this

Rude & crude, but funny & helpful?—Sept. 14, 2010


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