It’s just before 4pm here in Dhaka, and we’ve wrapped up our panel session on content and the digital divide. Before coming to Dhaka, I bought a pack of AAA batteries in Dubai so that I would have plenty of power to record the session and post it as a podcast. Or, at least that’s what I intended.
Unfortunately, the battery I put in my digital recorder was a runt. At some point during the panel session the battery died, and the recorder lost the entire presentation because of it. So alas, I have no podcast to share with you. At least I wrote some notes for my presentation, which I’ll post below. -andy
Internet has fundamentally changed how content is produced
Previously required money, broadcast license, skills, POWER
Now any person with Internet access can blog, podcast, create online videos
20-30 million bloggers; more than half of them under age 20
Participatory media: Web 2.0, “We” Media
Digital Divide: Access, Basic Skills, Content.
You can’t bridge the divide without bridging all three
Children’s Partnership Four Content Obstacles to Bridging the Divide
- Literacy. Much of the content is produced for the educated. Literate. Producers rarely take into account the skill levels of the public.
- Language. As much as 2/3rds of Internet content in English. Producers must address local language needs.
- Localization. Lots of content created for national/intl audiences. The more local you get, the harder it is to have a critical mass of content producers. More content for New York or New Delhi than a village. The public must get involved.
- Culture. Content generally produced for educated, affluent audience, doesn’t always address cultural diversity.
- Fifth: Accessibility. People with disabilities at a severe disadvantage accessing websites that are over-designed.
Professional, commercial content producers rarely address all of these challenges well. It makes it even more important for the general public to have the skills and access to become content producers in their own right.
USA and WSA
Global Schoolhouse Community Cyber Fair: student content
OurMedia.org: website that anyone can use for uploading infinite amounts of content
Enlace Quiche: Guatemalan Mayan project to produce local content by community members