Friday, 8 June 2007

Reality Check

Recently I experienced a reality check as I was chatting to a friend I consider to be reasonably computer literate. She asked what I was studying and I said "Web2.0" and before I could go on she interrupted and asked what that was. I realised that most of my exploration and musings had been done with fellow Web2 users who are aware of the latest developments of the internet. However there are obviously a lot of people who have no idea of the amazing changes which are currently taking place on the internet. This friend spoke of an earlier desire for a means by which someone could assist her in searching the internet for the most relevant site when she had a query, and I suggested that social bookmarking might be of use to her.

It seems to me that those who are not in a position where their work or education enables them to become aware of these developments will remain ignorant of the changes, as traditional media do not promote web2 and in fact tend to be scaremongers, warning of the perils of interacting with unknown souls on the internet. Do you see the general public becoming web2 literate in the near future or will there be a gradual change as younger generations mature?


Mark said...

Good questions Karen

I think there will probably be a forced change. Pretty soon (this is opinion only) an inability to connect with other networks will mean loss of profit. Those that are connected stand to make great gains. (money, as well as knowledge and positive hopes)

So I guess it'll be something like "change, or get out!
(in a nice kinda way i hope)

Kazzm said...

HI Mark,
I was more thinking along the lines of individuals as opposed to businesses. I agree with you that businesses will have to come up to speed, but the incentives are not necessarily there for individuals if they just don't know these tools exist.

Mark said...

I see what you mean. People without knowledge of the tools wouldnt see themselves as missing anything. My parents didnt want the computer or broadband access we gave them. "What'll we do with that?" was the response. Yet now they are lost without it. Travel planning, contact with granchildren, chats with old friends, bargain hunting on ebay. How did they live without it? A big factor in their education has been the desire to keep up with the grandchildren.

Can poverty be redefined as lack of adequate water, food, shelter, and access to web2 tools and supporting infrastructure? :-)

Those without the infrastructure will fall by the wayside, perhaps without even realising it.

Kazzm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kazzm said...

I've been listening to a podcast today by a university lecturer in Bristol, Professor Angela McFarlane who discusses the digital divide and she further distinguishes the divide to those who are in an ICT supportive environment at home where several members of the family use ICT compared to a child who may be provided with the infrastructure however lives in a home where no-one else is ICT literate. She poses an interesting view of those ICT literate kids -Refer my new post.