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Read this: Worldwide ebb edition

(Tony Avelar/Bloomberg)

Good afternoon, everyone. While we've got your attention -- you know, before you go back over to Facebook and see if anyone's commented on your last status update -- Monica Hesse wonders what Web site we'll all be wasting productive work hours by obsessively checking next.

First, it was Friendster (helloooo, 2003). Then it was MySpace (and, for a lot of people, it still is). And now, it's Facebook -- but users seem to have reached a saturation point. There are only so many people to "friend" and so many quizzes about "Which Harry Potter Character Are You?" to take. Writes Hesse:

Assuming there is a next big thing after Facebook, it probably won't be the social networking companies, or the scholars, or the journalists, or the movie industry who accurately predict what it is. It will probably be the 16-year-old kids, same as always, finding their own parent-free space -- followed by their parents, same as always, wanting to make sure that parent-free space doesn't contain anything dangerous. Then grandparents, celebrities, nonprofits, marketers.
By the time there really is a new big thing, we won't realize it until we've all joined up, too.

Elsewhere in today's Style section: Howard Kurtz on the future of journalism. A venture capitalist who's a rock star in his spare time. And Hank Stuever previews HBO's "Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags."

By The Reliable Source  |  October 19, 2009; 1:33 PM ET
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