May 08, 2005

The REAL Digital Divide

Marketing guru Seth Godin yesterday put forward an amusing post on the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. He compares those eager to embrace new web based technologies to those content to use not exploiting new opportunities.

Some snippets –

Does it surprise you that more than half of the hundreds of thousands of Boing Boing readers use Firefox? That's about five times the number you'd expect. It turns out that a lot of these tech-friendly behaviors come in bunches. Someone who has a few of these behaviors is likely to have most of them.

Don’t know what BoingBoing is? Never heard of Firefox? You’re on the wrong side of the fence according to Seth Godin.

The second thing to keep in mind is that the digerati are using the learning tools built into the Net to get smarter, faster. A new Net tool can propogate to millions in just a week or two. Unlike the old digital divide, this means that the divide between the digerati and the rest of the world is accelerating.
Try to imagine doing your work today without email. It's inconceivable. I think the tools of the digerati are going to be just as essential in just a moment or two. You can wait until Microsoft issues them all as a dumbed down package, but if you do, you'll not only miss the texture and understanding that comes from learning as you go, but you'll always be trying to catch up.

It seems a reasonable pont of view, albeit slightly elitist. That said, in the past, users of email/mobile phone (both now ubiquitous technologies) would have levelled the same criticisms at those wary of embracing them. I know which side I would have preferred to be on. Read the full post here.


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