Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Microsoft is shipping a new IM product called Threedegrees (link via Ditherati). The name alone, not to mention some of its functionality, reminds me of the six degrees of separation web site based on the sociological theory of the same name outlined for one in the movie of the same name and related to the game of the same name (and there's even six degrees of "blogeration"). Does anybody else remember the six degrees site? A bunch of my friends entered their info into that site about five years ago, it linked us all together and to some people we didn't know, it didn't do anything useful for us, and it seems to have died.

Anyway, MS threedegrees uses peer-to-peer and IM to get people together online together more. It comes from a team developing products "aimed at the "Net generation," or young people between the ages of about 13 and 24". I'm hurt. I'd like to think I'm the Net generation but I'm not in that range (one guess which end). I was BBSing in 1988, wasn't I? I had my own personal Web page in 1992. I mudded extensively in 1991. I know the Net, damnit! Ok, end rant. Fine, so there's a generation with statistically noticable comfort levels using the Net for more communication. Apparently "the computing habits of the age group [...] is radically different from people who did not grow up with the Internet". Pretty interesting.

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