Positioning the semantic desktop is not easy. it's a big topic with all kinds of potential but it takes a while to explain all the benefits. And, to be honest with ourselves, we still don't know what all the benefits will end up being, either.
I see a lot of scepticism being voiced in various web boards every time the semantic desktop comes up due to this. Unless the average joe/jane gains some moderate visionary capability, i don't see this changing.
The strategy is twofold:
0. identify a set of "poster boy" features for the semantic desktop.
1. start a "you won't even know you're using it" meme
Post Boy Features
These should be easy and fun or useful things that people can start doing in 4.4. we should keep repeating them in every interview / article we do where the semantic desktop comes up. we can pick some new ones for 4.5 to keep it fresh, but we will need to repeat it a lot.
Sebas has got us off to a good start with the 'If you tag an image in your image viewer, the tag becomes visible in your desktop search. That's how it should be, right?' line.
we should have 1-2 more such examples, perhaps one including krunner and one that doesn't include a file manager, a desktop search tool or a run command window. any ideas?
You Won't Even Know Your Using It
one of the common counterpoints made is "i don't want to tag all my stuff manually"; another is "i don't care for this new fancy stuff, i am happy with my current sets of functionality".
something that would be good to spread is the message that nepomuk is not just "another set of exposed features" but is also an integrated framework that will be sitting just under the surface of things we use all the time already, right now.
for instance, our groupware system (akonadi) is using it now to power its search and information retrieval. which means that if you use kontact, you'll end up using the semantic desktop without even knowing it. you'll just find your email/contacts/calendaring system to work better, thanks in part to the semantic desktop framework.
there are similar stories for things like plasma activities, and i'm sure we can find other good, approachable examples.
if there's consensus on the above strategy, then we just need to form up the few talking points we need and then repeat them in enough places often enough until other people start repeating them for us. (that's how this works :)