I just listened to Justin Kirby's podcast on the unimportance of Aunt Tille. I agree and disagree with his conclusion that Aunt Tillie is completely unimportant. Aunt Tillie is not important for the Jabber community, not directly at least. We can net her indirectly through other means, namely by enterprise adoption of Jabber and the real-time Internet.
Trends point towards email being decreasingly used. Peter Saint-André recently made a post giving some actual figures for the death of email, and another post that referred to how much kids use IM. The later was easily evidenced when I was going to the library to check my email when I didn't have Internet access this past month. There were usually kids in there chatting. Usually through MSN Messenger since it was available and the computers were locked down, but there was also one occasion when there were a couple of kids who probably just learned how to read that were using the Internet. I couldn't help but wonder what this five year old sitting next to me was doing on the Internet. So I would look over occasionally, and it looked like she was chatting on some website for kids.
Using kids as our indicators of the future, they point towards the use of messaging/chat over email.
That has implications on the business world. Enterprises will increasingly be faced with young employees demanding instant-messaging. An area that Justin mentioned that Jabber is doing quite strongly. They will also be faced with customers who demand to communicate through instant-messaging. Sure they may use email, but it won't be their preference. If Jabber is already the platform that a business is using for IM and customers prefer to communicate over IM, then it will most likely be the case that the business' customers will have to use Jabber.
That is the first way to net Aunt Tillie indirectly. By having businesses that have invested in Jabber publicizing some JIDs and the fact that they use Jabber, they will be able to leverage the big IM players into switching over to Jabber. This is something that Apple is at the fore-front, because they recognize that Jabber/XMPP is the future IM standard. Reality will catch up with the big IM players in the near future, just like it did with email, the web, and actual Internet access did in the early 1990s to the online services.
We can also net Aunt Tillie with the real-time Internet. In this case it won't be a typical IM application that she'll be using. It'll be something that hides the fact that she is even using Jabber. Something like a news reader, her 100% Internet enabled TiVo, her Wifi/Jabber enabled universal remote and appliances, or some other Aunt Tillie ready product that needs to send structured data, XML, from point A to point B.
In this case she won't even know she's using Jabber, akin to using HTTP. She'll be on the Jabber network, and may even be able to receive messages from other people, but Aunt Tillie will not know or care how it works. It'll just work, and she'll be happy. She'll be happy to know what song is playing from her remote and no longer has to deal with remote hell. She'll be happy that her refrigerator has ordered more milk and it just got delivered. She'll also be happy that she can bring up a map that'll get her to where Uncle Billy is enjoying a cup of coffee.
It'll surely be better than the good ole days when things were slower.
Those are the two ways we'll get Aunt Tillie. We won't get her by focusing all of our initial efforts at her. A few will and they may succeed, but for the majority of us it will be employing our time using Jabber in enterprises and building things with Jabber that have not been seen before. Both of which will fall under the moniker: the real-time Internet.