It's 2014. Are we there yet?

Sam Gleske sam.mxracer at
Wed Apr 9 19:29:05 CEST 2014

On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM, Kapil Aggarwal <kappu at> wrote:

> -       I don’t even know what I need. – Well, assuming they are starting
> to recognize the need, I suspect they will find out relatively easily as to
> what they need. With a few caveats of course. There’s way more FUD/noise/BS
> out there than the average person can decipher, so it’ll probably end as
> being word-of-mouth recommendations or such.
> -       Even if I know what I need, getting it/installing it is hard. – It
> is. The setup/install needs to be simpler, i.e. as simple as installing an
> “app”. That is what the average Joe user is capable of.
> -       WTF is a key pair/public key/private key/<insert more arcane
> terminology>… -  This IS a big problem. I may get it, you may get it, how
> does the average Joe user gain that understanding? The nomenclature needs
> to be, well, something that the average Joe user can understand as well.
> They understood SSL (well, for the most part).
> -        … several more similar arguments.
> Now, what will help drive this adoption more?
> -       A better install experience?
> -       A “dumbed down” (if you will) taxonomy that they can understand?
> -       Simpler UIs? (without sacrificing secure functionality)
> -       Better integration with existing systems?
> -       Education? i.e. ongoing information dissemination that educates
> people on these things. Newsletters? How tos? Youtube videos (shudder)? And
> others.
> -       Start hitting them on the head with a baseball bat? 

I've actually started talking to my family a lot about using it and getting
my parents to use GNUPG.  I think the biggest problem is "too many paths"
to accomplish what is needed.  There's so much software and so many
recommendations that you, as an expert explaining to your friends, need to
show them a single path and say, "This is how it is done."

I've written a document for my family and regularly link it on facebook
encouraging friends and family to use it.  Warning to PGP experts, the
terminology is dumbed down and the concepts are filtered so not everything
is technically correct but explained in a way that the user can
understand.  Also, it's a few pages of text and mostly screen shots.  I
tried making it fun somewhat so bear with the imagery.

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