I was browsing Slashdot, and found a reference to a free service called Qunu. It seems to be a search engine that links people with problems with people who are passionate about sharing their knowledge. You search for a topic, and Qunu gives you a list of people who can help and who are online at the time. It then lets you chat to them using standard IM protocols. Obviously it's based on the premise that hardcore nerds are very altruistic and generous with their time.
I hope this works. It's a great idea, and the friendliness aspect leads to all the warm and fuzzys you'd expect. I'm (of course) a little skeptical having browsed through a number of public forums in my time. The expression "n00b" and the reaction to them springs to mind... I suppose, realistically, that the people who make the RTFM comments aren't going to sign up for this, so I'm almost certainly being too harsh. By the way, if you don't know what I was just talking about, then good. I was nerding it up a bit.
Wow, this has all been a ramble. Let me summarise. I like the idea. I think it could work. It'll definitely be good for the average semi-computer-literate Joe who needs help with something computer related. It's only new (still in alpha), but have a look and put friends onto it. I'd love to see this take off.