Sex, t'internet and Government

Directgov has just published a survey of what we want from the internet. Below are the wish lists according to different categories.

Apparently motorists haven’t noticed that you can already renew your tax disc online, parents want to watch their children in class (yeurgh) and nobody mentioned sex! Equally the survey seemed to fail to spot people’s desire to watch someone getting hurt on youtube, submit photos of semi-literate cats, or talk to their gran in spain. Disabled users said they wanted to have a conversation with a “digital person” . oh yeh! I bet they would have preferred to be asked if they wanted to use the net to communicate with an old fashioned person person.

I sense very limited questioning based on what we understand the internet could do yesterday, rather than ambitions for what it can do for tomorrow. Hat Tip.

What parents want from the internet

1. Immediate online alert if child hasn’t turned up at registration
2. View my child’s school disciplinary record online
3. Have a say in the running of my child’s school e.g. online PTA meetings
4. Track my child’s journey to or form school
5. Have a webcam in my child’s classroom

What teenagers want from the internet – top 5 responses
1. Take a virtual tour of colleges or universities
2. Have virtual driving lessons
3. Earn money through using your skills online
4. Have job interviews
5. Have school lessons / tutorials

What over 50s want from the internet – top 5 responses
1 Find out about local services aimed at older people
2 Use webcams/video conferencing to stay in touch with friends, relatives
3 Tracking pensions
4 Planning for new life after retirement
5 Be able to use online services regardless of physical situation or impairment

What disabled people want from the internet – top 5 responses
1. Create a complete journey planner mapped by accessibility
2. Have face- to-face check ups
3. Meet people from local disability and other support groups
4. Have face- to-face meetings e.g. job interviews or benefit claim meetings
5. Ask questions and receive verbal information from a digital ‘person’

What motorists want from the internet – top 5 responses
1. Renew car tax
2. Calculate carbon emissions and receive personalised advice on reducing them
3. Check car history
4. Get insurance quotes following an accident
5. Report a bad driver

One comment

  1. This is the old idiot’s lamp used a little more intelligently, inviting people to shine a magic torch on a world before the internet when what is currently available on the net is only a taster for what is presaged, with increased bandwidth, the multiplication of servers and information providers. It realises, even more than with newspapers and radio, Eliot’s condition of being “too conscious and conscious of too much”. The internet is driven by lust and wickedness yet behind the bicycle sheds is a labyrinth as enchanting, in its own way, as the British Museum Library or the great Library at Trinity College, Dublin, with the dust-specked beams of sunlight missing the carefully protected Book of Kells in its glass case, or the bookshops of Charing Cross Road or Hay-on-Wye on a chilly rainy autumn afternoon. Layer upon layer of reference tempts me on, diving through texts and icons through servers to other servers and home by different routes. I retrace my trail and find side exits that become the main trail. I follow trails laid out by others. I hit dead-ends and retracing my steps discover exits into new branching tunnels. It’s intoxicating and yet recalls alarm I felt as a child watching the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Disney’s Fantasia. Back and forth I roam into the early hours down-loading buckets from the Pierian spring. I exhort myself to define my objectives, while another part of me pleads respect for the focus of ‘proper’ research. Every time I decide what I really want to know I read something that tempts me to type in another search word, another Boolean term to extend my enquiry back and forth via addresses at Stanford, Tokyo, Oslo, Towson State, Florence, Durban, Harvard, Ann Arbor, Tel-Aviv, Edinburgh, Princeton, New York, Göteborg, Melbourne, Mexico City, Cambridge, Colorado, Kobe, Geneva, Rio, London, Massachusetts, Marseilles – to and fro and on and on, half-hoping the magician will return, and after stern reproof, tidy everything up. This connectionist ramble will not submit to the two-dimensional mind-maps of this survey of people’s needs. The trees bifurcate and bifurcate and form new nodes from which further branches expand and divide. And alI the time I can stop for chats with anonymous avatars, leaving addresses or slipping back intom anonymity, enjoying infinite memory, though I recall that Borges’ Funes the Memorius, having perfect memory, took as long recalling as he did perceiving.

Leave a Reply to Simon Baddeley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *