Saturday, March 18, 2006

Where the rubber hits the road

Following on from my posting about how much of an impact blogs are likely to have on PR, it occurred to me that whilst people talk about the technological aspect of services and how they change the media landscape; but not how this impacts from a sociological point-of-view.

There is the generational gap of digital natives versus digital immigrants where digital immigrants have only known the world with the Internet as a source of information and and communications. Secondly there is the sociological generation gap between baby-boomers, generation x and generation y.

They have different aspirations and ways of working. Generation y would be digital natives, but it is also factors like they didn't live through the cold war, or that women's rights is accepted as norm which changes the way they look at the world, interact with each other and use information.

Generation y are seen as being more group centric than baby-boomers and generation x as more pragmatic than the existential boomers.

If one overlays this on web services you can see how the 'ego-centric' nature of blogging would fit quite nicely for boomers and its comments section allows rigorous debates that generation x love, whereas services like MySpace would fit better with the consensus, high touch and collective nature of generation y.

MySpace the service, will probably wane rather like Friendster before it, mainly because social software still has a lot of learnings to do and services to refine.

For instance, I have not been able accept a friend invite from Drew B, and an example of bad user experience design is the way I have to go and pick up mail from MySpace rather than have it drop into my email account.