I conducted a little experiment among the more than 100 folks gathered for the wedding, all of whom were quite intelligent, armed with all kinds of the latest devices (many, many people had iPhones, for example) and not sluggish about technology.
They were also made up of a wide range of ages and genders, from kids to seniors.
And so I asked a large group of people–about 30–and here is the grand total who knew what Twitter was: 0
Widget: 1 (but she thought it was one of the units used in a business class study).
Facebook: Everyone I asked knew about it and about half had an account, although different people used it differently.
Making a householdword is the great challenge. Not only does the word need to be universally known, but it has to be universally known for something that people need. eBay, Amazon, Google, and Craigslist are universally known, and people need what those words mean: People need to buy & sell & search in their everyday lives… As for Facebook, people need to stay in touch with people they know, so they’re on-track, but I suspect their word is too muddied with pokes & kid stuff.
About 30% of our pilot city subscribe to Front Porch Forum and many more than that have heard of and/or plan to sign up for our service. Many people appreciate help in connecting with their neighbors and plugging into their neighborhood.