h/t Oli Barrett and Twitter for this little gem

http://tiny.cc/oiOM8

In one simple step and a brilliantly written article, the digital divide widens. A shot across the bows for politicians and e-democracy engagers: ignore this at your peril, you cannot make it sound like you ‘get it’ – you really need to understand this stuff, it will take, ooh about half an hour.

4 responses

  1. I disagree. That article reeks of smug patronizing ageism. It also overlooks the fact that the majority of Americans may use the internet, but have similarly foggy understanding of how it works or which sites are considered important or influential by the political elite.

    For McCain, it’s more important to connect on a personal level with the average American, who may only use the internet to do ebay shopping and check movie times – or get their kids to do it, just like him.

    As for Obama’s vaunted obsession with his blackberry, I worry about having a President that wants to be intimately involved in every decision made by his/her administration – that can lead to personalities like Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon.

    The real worry with the McCain campaign is, for whatever his qualifications, he’s about 6 years away from the average mortality age for American males.

  2. I have pondered, a bit. And, yes, I agree that there is exclusion and ageism in the article; but for future generations, the 20/30 yr old voters regularly using t’internetz to influence their own thoughts – it is not about blackberries, or youtube… it is about understanding:

    – where these communities are forming and why,
    – how opinion is made and enforced
    – communication on this great new age

    No matter how much we debunk the value of sites such as facebook, twitter or even friendsreunited – these media are very real and influential, and people are exploring all the ways they can create or join communities on all kinds of subjects.

    This needs to be understood and, for democratic purposes, harnessed.

  3. I agree with you on those points – my difference was with the article.

    We actually have a case study in development in Canada, as our government has introduced new copyright legislation to great upset from the online community. There’s a facebook group with 40k or more members, and the university professor responsible for the FB group has just launched a competition to encourage 61-second youtube videos railing against the legislation. I’m afraid the government appears to be still deciding how to respond.

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/3188/125/

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