Bridging The Digital Divide – Blog Update. #digitalbritain

Met with BT and Citizens Online yesterday as part of our project to get 100% of our communities online – and doing business with us online –  by 2016. ( Blogs are brilliant – I just completely made that target up , but its my blog so who says it can’t  be true?)

What we want to enable for customers is a journey that takes the digitally excluded from entry point right the way through to being a confident – and responsible –  user.

My problem with the rush to get people online is how they are going to be supported once they are there. Anyone can bung people a bit of technology but getting them to use it properly is another thing.

Someone's Grandmother

It reminds me of when Sonic the Hedgehog came out on the Sega Megadrive. Me and my brother had great fun by giving the controller to my grandmother and convincing her she was playing the game – when actually it was just the demo screen running on automatic. How we laughed as she frantically wrenched the joypad this way and that –  totally convinced she was in contol of the onscreen action.

She probably died thinking she was pretty good at Sonic – when in fact she hadn’t collected a single power ring.

So the project is not just about “getting Bromford customers online” , but getting customers doing something useful online that will make a difference to their lives. It will be about  training on sourcing your shopping quickly and cheaply, getting low cost insurance ,gaining affordable credit, finding jobs and skills opportunities, and developing a social network.

Only by being able to do those things confidently on their own will lead customers to do more business with Bromford online.

Author: Paul Taylor

I’m a facilitator, innovator and designer. I work with organisations to identify problems and solve them in ways that combine creativity with practical implementation. I established Bromford Lab as a new way for the organisation to embrace challenge and adopt a ‘fast fail’ approach to open innovation. Nearly everything the Lab works on is openly accessible at I'm a regular contributor to forums , think-tanks , and research reports and a speaker or advisor at conferences and events.

4 thoughts on “Bridging The Digital Divide – Blog Update. #digitalbritain”

  1. You won’t get folk using the internet properly until it works properly. The ones with good connections are already reaping the benefits. The ones on rubbish ones sack it off and go back to analogue, and the ones who can’t get a connection haven’t a clue what they are missing and manage without. If you want to live your dream we need to get the infrastructure right, fibre to rurals and market forces will deal with the urban areas. We won’t get a digitalbritain until they stop milking the copper. Just sayin.

    1. cyberdoyle you are bang on here. i recently had to swap provider as my adsl link became unusable- even for basic stuff- as we are so far away from the exchange. We have swapped now to fiber which first depends upon availability and secondly your ability to pay.

    1. Its with some shame I admit I’ve never looked at before. I can’t tell you how impressed and inspired I am. It’s also made me think totally differently about the project I’m working in. Will be following this with interest – in fact might be something I talk to you about in more detail if you don’t mind

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