We tend to talk a lot about new technologies here on the Scholarly Kitchen — new devices, new services, thoughts about often complex tools to create new ways to present information. And then, something like this comes along, a stark (if hilarious) reminder that for many, things are already too complex, and the tools we take for granted have not yet been mastered.
Yesterday, ReadWriteWeb posted an article discussing Facebook’s new partnership with AOL and how it connected various popular services. The problem is that, at least briefly, the article became the top result if you typed “Facebook login” into a Google search. Why is that a problem? Well, believe it or not, there are still lots and lots of people out there who haven’t quite figured out how a web browser works. They don’t understand bookmarking, or even how to type a URL like “facebook.com” into the address bar. Instead, they go to Google, type in what they are looking for, and click on the first result. And so, the comments on this innocent ReadWriteWeb article are filled with angry complaints mistaking the blog for Facebook, wanting to know why the design has changed so much, and why it won’t let them login to their accounts.
It’s a good reminder of the insularity of online communities, and how we tend to take things for granted because everyone we interact with in our small online world thinks about things on the same level. While we spent days arguing over the shortcomings of the iPad (No multitasking! No Flash support!), John Gruber notes that we may be barking up the wrong tree:
All this argument over whether the iPad is too simple — if anything it’s probably still too complex.