Scoble is wondering about the knowledge divide in the computer/software sector:
I'm finding this too. When I talk with audiences I either find people who are very familiar with the blog world (if you know what Technorati is, for instance, you are probably one of those people), while most people just don't know much about our little world at all.
I've talked about this divide before, and I think it's a simple one. The people who don't follow things that closely are mostly put off by the fact that the PC (and the Mac, for that matter - never mind Linux) are not consumer grade devices. Consider a TV, or a stereo, or an iPod or a TiVO. For the most part, you plug them in, hook them up, and go. There are steps to get at the more advanced features, but consider what you never have to worry about:
- Applying software updates (if they happen at all, they happen without user intervention)
- Viruses, spam, malware of any kind
- General twiddling of settings that seem irrelevant to you, the end consumer
Computers just aren't like that yet. If you want to be safe, you always need to be on the lookout for the latest updates from your OS vendor and from the vendors of the various tools you use (Firefox, etc.). It's way more babysitting than most people want to do for something they purchased - especially since they don't need to for the rest of the stuff they buy.
Where is this going? A plethora of single purpose devices, I think - like the iPod, the TiVo, et. al. General purpose computers will likely go back to being hobbyist tools, with simpler, easier to deal with, consumer grade devices taking over the common chores.