The excellent Ezter Hargittai has blogged about her research into what college students do online. The interesting numbers are on pages 17-25 of her slide deck, but the relevant numbers in a nutshell: less than 2% use flickr, less than 1% use delicious, 50% use myspace, and nearly 80% use facebook. Enabling people to talk to each other is the real killer app- a big part of why we’re using writely a ton at work right now.
The interesting question is not ‘who is the next microsoft’ but ‘who is the next Windows-like developer platform’. Netscape wanted to be it; Second Life wants to be, and MySpace is headed in that direction. I realize everyone else knew this already, it just finally became clear to me today and I wanted to write it down. :) [update: see the excellent How To Make Platform War for some better thoughts on this.]
Apparently Prashanth (GNOME Summer Of Code hacker) has succeeded in integrating jhbuild, ldtp, and dogtail. I’ll not have a chance to use this myself, but I hope others start testing it ASAP and reporting issues to Prashanth- once he has ironed out the (inevitable) bugs, this will be a huge step forward for the free software desktop’s reliability and testing.