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Ephebiphobia: The coolest word I heard this week at the Collaborative Digital Reference Symposium in Denver. It means “fear and loathing of teenagers”. It came up in an interesting context. The VR conversation centered around all the planning that went into launching VR services for adult users as the alpha target and lo and behold so much, sometimes even the majority, of the usage is coming from teens. Ewwww! They speak differently, they don’t know how to ask a question, they’re rude, they’re abrupt, some of them are boys!, etc., etc. They’re also our future. Most felt they’d learned and were really positive about their interactions with today’s millennial users. Many were acknowledging that some of their colleagues were still struggling. All n all it was an interesting example of the unintended consequences of new technologies. And it has real implications for us as we develop portals and e-learning tools for kids, millennials and students if we aren’t one of them. It sure underlined the importance of the reference interview and clarification in the VR experience and how it different and somewhat hard to learn without just diving in and experiencing it.

Posted on: July 14, 2005, 4:33 pm Category: Uncategorized

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