While many of us get excited about all the new technologies out there and their potential to change the way we do many things – work, archive, collaborate, innovate, market, sell, etc.- we need to realize that there are very few people that remotely understand what we are talking about. Business Week’s Blogspotting blog today lists a few reader responses to their issue on blogging (here) that illustrates that point. They conclude that “the knowledge gap between the blog world’s insiders and outsiders is wide enough for six lanes of Hummer traffic”.
But even when a broader set of people will understand what this is all about, widespread adoption will not happen until the new tools become more “approachable” and more tightly integrated with one another. Have you ever tried editing a page at Wikipedia? Or tried to show someone how to add a bullet list in a movable type posting?
I know, there are great efforts out there to make a lot of these applications more user friendly. But its not just that, they also need to be seamlessly integrated with one another. With the same piece of information I may want to “social tag” it one day (i.e., save and share with others), “blog” about it another (i.e., provide commentary and share with others), or “wikitize” it (i.e., share and collaborate with others). Unless this all happens from within the tools through which we access that information only innovators and early adopters will tinker with it, and broad adoption will not happen.