- The New Digital Divide
The New Digital Divide
The Digerati The Left Behind Uses Firefox Uses Internet Explorer nbsp; Knows who Doc Searls
Already has a doctor, thanks
Uses RSS Reader RSS? Has a blog Reads blogs (sometimes) Reads BoingBoing
Watches the Tonight Show Bored with Flickr Flickr? Gets news from Google Gets news from Peter Jennings
Seth gives some interesting food for thought.
A few years ago, pundits were quite worried about the Digital divide.The short definition is that the haves would have reliable, fast access to the Net, which would give them employment and learning opportunities that others wouldn't be able to get. This would further divide those with a head start from everyone else. Wiring the schools in the US was one response to the threat of this divide.
I think a new divide has opened up, one that is based far more on choice than on circumstance. Several million people (and the number is growing, daily) have chosen to become the haves of the Internet, and at the same time that their number is growing, so are their skills.
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. (and no, this is by no means a complete list. I'm sure the blog community will find twenty others and post them in a day or two!)
So what? Why should you care if a bunch of nerds are learning a lot of cool new stuff?
Well, five years ago, geeks pretty much kept to themselves. They'd be sitting in IRC chat, or arguing about Unix vs. Linux, but it didn't spread very fast and it didn't influence the rest of the world outside the tech community.
Today, though, the Net is far more robust and far more ubiquitous than it used to be. And it's bloggers who are setting the agenda on everything from politics to culture. It's bloggers that journalists and politicians look to as the first and the loudest.
As a result, your most-connected, most influential customers are part of the digerati. They can make or break your product, your service or even your religion's new policies. Because the Net is now a broadcast (and a narrowcast) medium, the digerati can spread ideas.
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.
- 2:38:12 PM
- Why Corporate Blogging Works
Hugh sums it up nicely...
The other day somebody asked me to explain why corporate blogging works. Sure, we know it's the hot new thing and people are paying attention to it (including big media)... but why?
Why does it work? Seriously.
So I drew the diagram above.
1. In Cluetrain parlance, we say "markets are conversations". So the diagram above represents your market, or "The Conversation". That is demarkated by the outer circle "y".
2. There is a smaller, inner circle "x".
3. So the entire market, the "conversation" is seperated into two distinct parts, the inner area "A" and the outer area "B".
4. Area "A" represents your company, the people supplying the market. We call that "The Internal Conversation".
5. Area "B" represents the people in the market who are not making, but buying. Otherwise know as the customers. We call that "The External Conversation".
6. So each market from a corporate point of view has an internal and external conversation. What seperates the two is a membrane, otherwise known as "x".
7. Every company's membrane is different, and controlled by a host of different technical and cultural factors.
8. Ideally, you want A and B to be identical as possible. The things that A is passionate about, B should also be passionate about. This we call "alignment". A good example would be Apple. The people at Apple think the iPod is cool, and so do their customers. They are aligned.
9. When A and B are no longer aligned is when the company starts getting into trouble. When A starts saying their gizmo is great and B is telling everybody it sucks, then you have serious misalignment.
10. So how do you keep misalignment from happening?
11. The answer lies in "x", the membrane that seperates A from B. The more pourous the membrane, the easier it is for conversations between A and B, the internal and external, to happen. The easier for the conversations on both side of membrane "x" to adjust to the other, to become like the other.
12. And nothing, and I do mean nothing, pokes holes in the membrane better than blogs. You want pourous? You got pourous. Blogs punch holes in membranes like like it was Swiss cheese.
13. The more pourous your membrane ("x"), the easier it is for the internal conversation to inform the external conversation, and vice versa.
14. Not to mention it makes misalignment, if it happens, a lot easier to repair.
15. Of course this begs the question, why have a membrane "x" at all? Why bother with such a hierarchy? But that's another story.
- 2:32:22 PM
- 15 things you can do with RSS
Several cool ideas that you probably hadn't thought of.
If you have not really grasped what all this RSS fuss is all about, you really do need to invest a little time and get up to speed. RSS is many things but fundamentally, it changes the very way you use web to gather information. As with so many other technologies, thanks go out to Dave Weiner for bringing RSS to the web and the countless others who have incorporated it into their websites. It's still a relatively new things and as of this writing, the BBC is getting serious about it in a big way.
If you are just getting started, here are a couple of good resouces to help you out:
- 5:54:40 AM