Faster than a speeding cable modem, more powerful than a 300 MHz computer, it's . . . it's . . . well, it had better be you if you're planning to lure the next wave of online consumers to your Web site. That demographic, dubbed Generation Y, includes recent college graduates and young twentysomethings distinguished from previous generations of netizens by their unprecedented demand for speed.
Fresh out of college dorms and other abodes that have been wired to the hilt with high-speed Internet connections, they'll accept nothing less than lightning-fast access to online information and media. "They're very much into speed. They were raised on it, so they expect it much more than [older] adults," says Ekaterina Walsh, an analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Once students graduate and leave their heavily wired accommodations, don't expect their demands for high-speed access and the big downloads to subside. For netpreneurs hoping to attract this potentially lucrative market, be ready to provide information, services and media quickly and efficiently and to build or borrow the technology needed to do so.
Julie Vallone is a San Francisco Bay area writer striving to keep pace with the Web's young speed demons