The two hottest online communities got major ink in the past couple of days. The New York Times profiled MySpace, a vibrant community for the 20-something set that recently surpassed Google in number of monthly hits (that's right -- they surpassed Google), while The San Jose Mercury News took a close look at thefacebook.com, the new rage on college campuses that already boasts several million members. The common theme: both sites have learned to serve well-defined communities with easy-to-use, easy-to-implement social tools. And they have also learned how to replicate, or complement, ideal social rules that may or may not exist in the non-digital world. As Merc authors Matt Marshall and Anna Tong observe, "Facebook has firmly rooted itself in the offline lives of its members."
So what's next? A vibrant online community for the senior set? Don't rule it out: it's the demographic that everyone is moving toward, and it is becoming more and more Web-savvy.