Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Generational Digital Divide

I came across an interesting study done by the University of Vermont which aimed to "engage youth in teaching senior citizens computer and Internet skills to navigate and obtain needed information from the Medicare web site".

If you check out the study results, it proves that after training sessions the senior citizens proved to be very competent at using the Medicare website.

Nielsen Online released figures over 5 and half years ago, outlining the growth in senior citizens using the Internet. I have no doubt this has escaluated and the ratio between young and senior citizens online have narrowed. Just think about all the grandparents checking our their grandchildren on Facebook.

Check out these blog posts for more informative posts on senior citizens online:
Is Online Video Marketing Bigger Than Social Networking? (Included are some more recent stats on senior citizens watching online videos)
Online Social Networks Empower Older People (Some info on online community for aging baby boomers).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Australia’s digital divide: Some thoughts on the media

After seeing this tweet on Twitter, I started to think about the different levels of access Australian’s have in regards to published/broadcasted material:

Of course, most Internet users have access to illegal streaming and download sites, but Australians don’t have a third party website that allows to stream shows for free. Itunes Australia provides some free content, including video podcasts, and Youtube can be used for some programs, but most Australian programs are very hard to access legally online.

The ABC allows streaming of previous episodes, as do some of the commercial stations like Channel 9 and Channel 10, but not without a myriad of advertisements in place. Networks will be forced to create legal avenues for users to view programs, otherwise users will continue to access illegal sites.

It is obvious that Australia is behind the US in terms of access, both the access to the Internet and sites like Hulu, but nowhere near developing countries that are not even yet online. The NBN seems like a nice idea in theory, but it is evident the Federal Government have not invested enough research or thought into developing a well structured program for all Australians. Check out what the Liberals have to say.

I’ve come across some well written posts on these topics which both highlight the concern for the adoption of NBN and the ramifications for consumers.