Technology, it’s easier than you think.
That’s the tagline for an online show at Butterscotch.com called The Noob. (Noob is short for newbie. A newbie is someone new to a game, technology, website or gadget.)
It’s that kind of simple explanation of tech jargon that The Noob tries to bring to the internet as a means of tearing down the digital divide between people who understand technology and those that want to understand it, but can’t speak the language.
Andy Walker is the Executive Producer of Butterscotch.com, a website that is home to a variety of weekly online shows and hundreds of archived tutorials to help break down the wall. Andy describes the site as “a cross between HGTV and Techtv.”
Andy and many of the Butterscotch team will be famillar to tech enthusiasts as they first got together working on shows like Call For Help and The Lab with Leo on G4TechTV. While they worked on those shows Andy realized “there’s an enormous amount of content designed for the tech enthusiast who considers himself proud to be a geek.”
But the content they produced was always just a little too far ahead of the general public. When it came to launch Butterscotch as a network of online video, Andy realized the best shot at success was to reach the mass market.
“There’s a massive opportunity to step it down and educate people without making any assumptions,” he says. “So we set out to create Butterscotch for the audience that likes tech but finds it too complicated.”
Lee LeFever makes similar videos at Common Craft, a site known for taking tech topics and explaining them “In Plain English.”
“The one problem we’d like to help solve is the problem of understanding – in order for someone to decide if a tool deserves a place in their life, it must be related in a way that maximizes understanding and value,” says Lee.
“Many of the technologies we’ve tackled so far are completely free to use – the biggest barrier (aside from Internet access) is an understanding of why these tools matter and how they could impact someone in a positive way,“ says Lee.
Twitter, Wikis and RSS are popular on Common Craft while Butterscotch’s Facebook for Grownups and Flickr tutorials have been popular.
Both sites keep their videos brief and easily consumable for a generation without a long attention span. Butterscotch goes a step further by breaking down tutorials into 2 min segments covering specific features, so if you understand a little bit of a technology but just want to learn how to maximize it’s usage, you can leap ahead to the best part.