I was intrigued by the discussions of Microsoft’s new 3° project,
and in particular by Michael Gartenberg’s observation that this software targets "a behavioral demographic not just an age demographic."
I never thought of it that way. I used to think that if we create compelling
experiences for people on the internet — virtual places that give back more
than people put into them, then this real-time online stuff would finally prove
useful to the general population. Over time I’ve recognized that a lot of change
needs to happen before any sufficiently new technology catches on. Email was
around for decades, but it was the web which drove most people to
hook up their PCs to the Internet.
Instant Messaging has emerged as the killer
app in this category of connected applications. The buddy list and its expression
fundamentally changed the nature
of chat. I find it interesting to think in terms of a behavioral demographic.
If you don’t spend much of your time sitting in front of a connected
PC, then Instant Messaging certainly loses its appeal.
[Update: the end of this post seems to have been lost in the mists of time, along with my observation that the icons looked like little ducks, which provides a little context for Sam’s comment]