Why node.js? Blocking and non-blocking input/output is explained for novices by the Ryan Dahl, the original node.js author. There’s a clear analogy of taking a sheet of paper out of your desk, versus having to go to Los Angeles for it.
Ryan Dahl: Introduction to Node.js at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-sc73Y-zQA.
Ryan describes his talk this way:
Internet users shouldn’t have to put up with slow user interfaces when the design of the application is blocked in an event loop.
YUI Theater — Ryan Dahl: “Introduction to NodeJS” (58 min.) – YUI Blog at http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2010/05/20/video-dahl/.