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Rackspace report Generation C to be nicer than Generation X


Tomorrow’s Generation C will be nicer then today’s Generation X, according to a report by the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), conducted on behalf of Rackspace Managed Hosting, the UK’s most recommended managed hosting provider

The study, which was commissioned by hosting provider, Rackspace as part of its ongoing commitment to understanding the way the web is shaping our lives, predicts that Generation C (C standing for content/ connectivity/ creativity/ collaboration/ communication) will be ‘nicer’, more able to communicate with a wider cross section of people and find common ground across previously divisive differences as a result of proliferation of the Internet, versus the previous generations.

The term Generation X comes from a fiction book written in 1991 by Douglas Coupland in which three strangers distance themselves from society. He describes the characters as, "underemployed, overeducated, intensely private and unpredictable.”

In contrast, Dr. Peter Marsh of SIRC says: “…’Generation C’ …will be middle aged by 2020. This generation has grown up under the Web ideologies of open access, co-operation, exchange and sharing of information, as will all further generations. This will have profound implications for our society.”

“Although the tendency is to focus on the Internet’s negative implications - unsociable generations only able to connect via the web, predators stalking social networking sites, piracy, spam, phishing and identity theft- we suggest that although these will remain as problems, they will not predominate and a more positive future lies ahead. ”

The study also predicts a future with a greater blurring of ‘real’ and virtual worlds, where the Internet, computing and technology will blend into our daily lives to become taken-for-granted norms, an ‘always on’ society defined by WiFi Web / Internet connectivity. These developments are dependent on the rate and depth of technology ‘take-up’. For example we might all be carrying around PDAs with 2GB of memory but only using the basic features.

Infrastructure behind the Internet needs to be able to cope with the ‘always on’ generation. The report predicts hosting solutions providers and data centres will form hubs through which the World Wide Web functions. They may be invisible to the surfer at his or her desktop computer, but they are certainly there and the reliability of this service will be even more critical in the ‘always on’ environment.

Jacques Greyling, Managing Director of Rackspace Managed Hosting UK, added,”The number of social networking sites that Rackspace is hosting is increasing rapidly this year and includes those that cater to special interest groups such as Climate Change Now, as well as those that are uniting people who are divided by geography such as Armynet and Make Friends Online. Other sites that we host such as Mail Big File allow people to share content and form virtual relationships“.

Martin Bysh from online dating and networking site Make Friends Online explains: “This is not a trend. It is a way of life. People are accessing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The relationships that they form play a highly significant a role in the lives of our users. These relationships are often with people that they would not come into contact with during their day-to-day lives and so clearly this can broaden horizons and hopefully increase understanding and tolerance between people. For these members, such relationships are so important that it is vital that they can trust our site to be online at all times. If it were to go off line it would be like depriving our users from seeing their family in some cases.

The future will see greater emphasis on online relationships for social, romantic or professional reasons. I feel optimistic that this will lead to a positive change in the degree of understanding and co-operation that Generation C will feel towards other people as this study suggests.”

The study, which is available to download via, looks at the way in which the web will shape the lives of individuals and businesses taking into account legal, political, social and environmental factors and examining the way we will socialise, shop and do business online.


Notes to editors:

About Rackspace Managed Hosting:
A recognised leader in the global managed hosting market, Rackspace Managed Hosting is a world-class service organisation delivering enterprise-level Web infrastructure and managed services to businesses of all sizes. Serving more than 10,000 customers across seven data centers worldwide, Rackspace integrates the industry’s best technologies for each customer’s need backed by a 100 per cent network uptime guarantee. Founded in 1998, the company has received numerous awards for its brand of customer service known as Fanatical Support including the Unisys/Management Today 2005 Service Excellence Award.


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