Although this mentions Religion, it is really a Tech / soc networking post.
The other day I had a "conversion class" at Church with a group of people who are looking to either be received into the Church or for Adult Confirmation. As we were leaving I mentioned to a couple of folks that someone reached my blog by goggleing "tom synan conversion" (Tom Synan was the Priest running the class), and I was curious if it was one of them. Their answer baffled me, "I've never really understood, what's a blog"? I resisted the urge to say "google it" and I did my best to explain blogging and the basics of social media.
But this makes me wonder, are we failing in our mission to educate folks in what we're doing? As early adopters we often say we are here to shake out these technologies so when the late adopters come along, the tech is usable for them. Isn't it also our responsibility to shepherd these folks into social media, and are we failing in our task?
There has been talk about the widening gap between early adopters and everyday users as of late. Where there are services that aren't ready for the average user, it surprised me that more mature services such as flickr aren't more universally being used. Up until now I assumed that was people not understanding it. I now believe we're just not doing a good job of selling it. A lot of folks in this community call themselves "social media evangelists" but looking around, most of them are only preaching to the converted. Talking about how great these services are on twitter and friendfeed doesn't help adoption.
I'm curious to hear how folks feel we should go about educating everyday users.