Tag: digital inclusion

Day 1 (for John) of Nominet Trust’s “Our Digital Planet” Exhibition in Bristol

John Popham is working for us and Nominet Trust in Bristol for the next couple of weeks. He popped this up on his blog last night.


Internet Station - a portbale room with signs on the ourside say9ng our digital planet and images of people using digital equipment

Today was my first day as Internet Station Manager on Nominet Trust’s Our Digital Planet Exhibition. Our Digital Planet is a touring exhibition highlighting the benefits of the internet, and the Internet Station is an portacabin where people whose interest in the internet is stimulated can come to learn more about any aspect they are unsure of. The estimable Lloyd Davis has already done a stint in the role when the Exhibition was on Brighton seafront, and he will also be guiding it in Cardiff, while I will be back in Liverpool and Glasgow. In all this, we are working with the amazing Nick Booth, and his team at Podnosh Ltd.

In truth, it was a fairly slow day, a useful gentle introduction for me to the initiative, and I was fortunate to be working alongside Kieron Kirkland and Vicki Hearn from the Trust who were able to show me the ropes. A Monday in the middle of a shopping centre, was probably always going to be a quiet day. But, already some interesting issues are starting to emerge. This is true Digital Inclusion activity. Some of the people who approached us had very little knowledge of the internet at all.  Nearly all were frightened, about giving away too much information about themselves, about losing money to scams, and about breaking something. They faced multiple barriers to getting online, but a common factor was fear engendered by media scare stories.

Inside the Internet Station

It was evident as well, that quite a few of the people who came along had literacy problems. It amazes me that many people who promote the digital inclusion agenda fail to take into account that a fairly high degree of literacy is needed to use the internet, and that, many who don’t go online avoid it for precisely that reason. But, there were a variety of reasons for being there, and not all were total beginners; including the young woman living in a hostel who came in to look at photos of her son on Facebook because there is only one, very slow, computer in her hostel. There was the man who wanted to know how to “unfriend” someone who had been sending him threatening messages on Facebook. And there was the man who wanted to know how to search for cheap coach fares to Blackpool, before going to challenge the ticket sellers at the Bus Station to beat the online price.

One of the interesting queries was from the young woman who came in under the mistaken impression that we were selling broadband packages. She explained that she had no internet connection at home because her previous supplier had been too expensive. “I’m not paying that for broadband,” she said; “that’s a holiday”. I helped her search for a cheaper supplier. Which shows up the great irony. How do you search for the best broadband package when you don’t have access to the internet to do so?


Stuff I've seen February 7th through to February 12th

These are my links for February 7th through February 12th:

  • What do people talk about at social media surgeries? | Gavin Wray – So, what really happens? What do we talk about? Here’s a summary of a chat from a surgery in Fazeley Studios on 19th August 2009.
  • Welcome to TweetyHall – “TweetyHall is an easy way to find out what the people who represent us in our local communities are up to; for councillors and candidates it’s a simple way to tell people why they should vote for them.”
  • Digital Inclusion Unconference – defining digital inclusion | We Share Stuff – “I was surprised that we were all pretty much agreed on what we meant by “digital inclusion” — that it was (and this is my wording, worked out now):  the confidence to use technology when appropriate, and to know where to get help if neede”
  • Richard Taylor | Should We Buy Our Councillors iPads? – “I think councillors ought be free to choose the technology which suits them best; be it pen and paper, a laptop, or even a tablet. I would expect councillors to equip themselves with the tools they need for the job out of their allowances, or independently.”
  • mutuo » Commission on Ownership – “Modelled on the highly influential ‘Commission on Social Justice’ (1992-1994) the objective is for the Commission on Ownership to produce an authoritative report that establishes a new and clear understanding of the influence that ownership has on the governance of our country.The key questions for the Commission are:

    • Does ownership matter?

    • Does ownership affect fairness in Britain?

    • What, if anything should Government do about ownership?”

Stuff I've seen November 7th through to November 9th

These are my links for November 7th through November 9th: