Thursday, October 18, 2007

Redux of my Web 3.0 redux

I found another interesting blog post, related to social networking sites (and related technologies). This time, the author is showing that teens tend view things much differently than adults do; adults are much more likely to want one account, that they can use to log in everywhere, while teens are content to create dozens of throwaway accounts, that they use temporarily.

In fact—according to the blog post—teens are much more likely to forget their passwords for their accounts (on Facebook, or MSN Messenger, or Yahoo Mail, or whatever), in which case they simply abandon the accounts, and create new ones. They’re not concerned with bringing all of the data or “friends” or whatever, they just start over.

I know that I myself am firmly in the “adult” camp; I would much prefer to be able to create one account, and use it everywhere—the thought of forgetting a password, and not being able to get it back, gives me butterflies in my stomach. (Of course, most places allow you to get a password back, either by emailing it to you, or by entering an answer to a secret question, at which point they’ll reset the password.)

But this leads me to wonder: Is this an age thing, or a generational thing? That is, when teenagers grow up into adults, will they start to want one account that they use everywhere, or will they maintain their “use it for a while and then create another one” mentality even into their adult years? My assumption is that they’ll do the latter; they will have grown up doing things that way, and they’ll probably see it as the norm.

So my question is this: How much time is being wasted on technologies for “world-wide-web-wide” accounts, which people will stop using when the current generation of net users die out? I may be completely off on my assumptions about “Web 3.0”…