Tuesday, October 13, 2009

digital soap

The BBC has an interview with Martha Lane Fox who was annointed appointed as Digital Champion in the summer.
Storylines about the internet in soap operas can play a part in getting 'unconnected' British adults to go online, Martha Lane Fox says. Ms Lane Fox, the UK's Digital Champion, is considering ways to get the four million poorest Britons to sign up to the internet. "The jury is still out" on whether broadcasters will adopt such a storyline, she told the BBC's HARDtalk.
News broadcasters love internet related stories, like this, or this, or this. Do you think the relentless obsession with crimes of this nature are having an effect? Will the Digital Champion's strategy include pressurising news networks into reducing the number of negative internet related stories so that more people 'get connected'?
The co-founder of lastminute.com was describing her new role and how she intends to tackle the issue of digital exclusion. She has commissioned a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers to make the economic case for getting online.
In the same way that a report into the benefits of cigarette smoking paid for by a tobacco company would be suspect so are the findings of this report.
It found that digitally excluded households could save between £270 and £560 a year, depending on their economic circumstances, by going online.
Save money how? Any savings that we make are offset by the cost of hardware and paying for our connection. Overall having the internet in our house is at best cost neutral.
Being online can help the unemployed increase their lifetime earnings by £12,000
I wonder how those figures are arrived at? An unemployed person can increase their lifetime earnings by £12,000. If they are earning money then that would indicate you are employed or was that a mis-speak and it should have been "lifetime income"?
while internet-savvy workers can increase their earnings by £8,000.
This is a complete fallacy. As I mentioned before - Having net access isn't a stimulator of better income, of being more employable, having financial control, it's a result of it.
The study also found that the government could save at least £900m a year if all digitally excluded adults got online and made just one electronic contact per month.
Here we go! Is this the real reason? By raising £6 tax per year on every landline in the country to pay for the spread of broadband the government hopes to save nearly a billion pounds per year.
Ms Lane Fox has put the lobbying of politicians high on her agenda.
Yet another person paid by the government to lobby the government to pursue the action the government has stated it wishes to pursue .. ..
Ms Lane Fox is also keen to build a "peer-to-peer network" of people who have received online training and are prepared to pass that training on. "We will have to build this up person by person. It is worth having a big ambition and if I can get a thousand people to volunteer and have an impact on another thousand, then that's a start"
If you are so keen Martha then you are volunteering for the whole project, giving your time for free?

1 comment:

TDK said...

I think they are thinking of the effect that infrastructure has. Building the railways reduced the cost of transport so encourage more people to expand or set up in business, which in turn made it viable to build more railways. THey assume the internet will have the same effect.

That's a valid argument but where it falls down is that not every bit of infrastructure brings a return nor will every person given access to better infrastrure benefit to the same extent. Like the railways there are diminishing returns as more lines are built. So too the internet has limits.

The question here is whether in terms of the internet we are in the 1860s with plenty of profitable lines yet to be built or in 1900 building light railways to rural areas in a vain hope to stimulate them. I suspect the latter.