A few technologies I’ve been using a lot lately (rss/del.ico.us/google docs) are hard to explain to people. I almost want to invite everyone to a classroom somehow and demonstrating how I’m using these things. All of the things would benefit from more people using them, especially people I know.
Along that line, I was reminded of barCamp, where you get people together and show this stuff and how it works. I wish I was more on top of things before the last bar camp Manchester: I would have loved to do a brief session on 4 or 5 technologies that I was really enjoying.
I think the problem with barCamp though is that there’s no way my sisters, for example, would ever attend one. The level of “commitment to geekness” is too high. The very aspect that it’s free might also be turning them off.
I envisioned a business where you host conferences like this at least once a week – and it costs $20 to come every week, but if you do a presentation (and at least 8 people show up) you get paid $100. Possibly you only get a $100 credit so you don’t have to pay to come to sessions for another month.
The extra cash would be used to fund the company, pay the rent, buy projectors and cheap hardware etc.
There are local classes – community college level etc. where they show how to use word or excel. But I think something between that and barcamp would be useful.