I have simple needs. I like cold drinks, hot pizza and difficult things explained to me like I'm a drooling half-wit. Just because I'm familiar with a technology doesn't mean I get it—a distinction addressed by CommonCraft.com, whose In Plain English series of videos takes complicated, tech-forward topics, such as wikis, CFL bulbs and phishing, and explains how they work using disarmingly crummy paper-cutout animations. The short clips might sound like something you'd e-mail to your digitally dim elders—and I have—but they can be just as hypnotic for young folks. (Yes, sometimes technology stumps us, too.) The site, run by a married couple in Seattle, plans to tackle financial matters next, such as insurance and retirement saving. Tech blogger Jacob Bijani recently noted that when you Google the word "what," one of the top results is the Wikipedia entry for RSS (really simple syndication) because so few people understand what it is. If you're one of them, there's a video waiting for you at Common Craft.
Join the Discussion