While I may spend sometime fretting about whole-hog RIA platforms subsuming the web, I’ve recently been thinking that could be a red herring:
Despite all of this, we realized that it is not easy to convert the average twentysomething to the wonderful world of the blogosphere. Even my friends and acquaintances that appreciate what I’m doing and compliment my site, do not frequent my blog or any other blog on a regular basis. And when they do visit the site they almost never leave a comment. –Brazen Careerist, via Anne
While I’m always cautious making conclusions about “The Kids,” I’ve been worrying that MySpace and Facebook are just about done colonizing the next generation of web people. To be honest, I have no idea what The Seniors are up to: maybe they’re in their own web cruise ship somewhere. In my own age bracket (early 30′s) people seem to use MySpace more than I’d guess, but they know about and use the web I know.
What is this “web I know”? Primarily, it’s about blogs instead of profiles. More importantly, you don’t have to log in to a site like MySpace or Facebook to view content. At worse, you have that horky LinkedIn thing where you get a half-ass view of content unless you login. More importantly, there’s lots of RSS, which seems lacking in web colonies. It’s annoying that MySpace blogs have partial RSS feeds, but there’s be a lot less blogs I’d read if I cared (too much) about that (you know who you are! ;>).
All this said, I vacillate between “being OK” and “having a problem” with giant, roach motel sites. I mean, I don’t want to put my content, attention, and meta-data into those sites, but why should I begrudge others? And that whole Facebook activities view sure is handy: sure we could have such a thing in the public web, but we don’t and they do. Running code tends to win.
In the end, I favor a more component, SOA-ish approach to the web where each site, including my desktop is an end-point and participant. To me, MySpace and Facebook seem like final destinations that encourage less end-points and less links. As you can imagine, SecondLife makes me feel the same way: like an old curmudgeon telling kids to get off my lawn.
But hey! The Kids love ‘em!
Some open questions are:
One way start answering these questions is to see how many of you will add either my MySpace account or my Facebook account. (I’m sure the face that I call them “account” is, sort of, like, lame.) I got a crap-load of LinkedIn ads in a little Twitter experiment the other day, so the old fogies social networking site seems to be strong. How so with The Cool Cul-de-Sacs?