Today marks the start of our seventh national Get online week, and at Tinder Foundation we’ve been getting into the Let’s get digital theme, and indeed, the Let’s get digital groove! I can only apologise for my part in this film…
Whilst this tinyslice of Get online week might make me (and unsuspecting viewers) cringe, looking back over the last seven years I’m pretty proud of the campaign.
When it all started back in 2007, no-one had ever tried a mass-marketing approach in promoting digital to the digitally excluded before. We knew that to make it work, there needed to be local events which were marketed locally to the third of the British population who weren’t online. Together with the UK online centres network, we stepped up to the plate, and Get online day was born.
The day soon became a week – and seven years on it’s still going strong – and is a key part of the digital inclusion calendar. in 2013, we’re now talking about the final sixth of the population left offline, and the campaign now caters for the more deeply excluded as well those who still aren’t making the most of digital technology. And this year we’ve got the support of the Skills Minister Matthew Hancock, who said: “The modern world and workforce is becoming increasingly dependent on the internet, yet there are still 11 million people in the UK without basic digital skills. If we are to compete in the global race then we must have an IT and digitally literate population. This is why we are supporting Get online week to help people work more effectively, communicate better and make sure that Britain stays ahead in a digital world.”
This year, another 700 centres have taken up the Get online week challenge, and over the next week will deliver thousands of events helping tens of thousands of people. They’ll be taking our ‘Let’s get digital’ message out into local communities, and using our new ‘Let’s get digital’ taster course (available on www.getonlineweek.com) to engage people.
We’re always learning more about the digital divide (as I blogged about here) but we don’t always think about is how it feels to be left out, so in preparation for Get online week this year we decided to ask that very question. New learners in UK online centres reported feeling ‘isolated’, ‘embarrassed’ and ‘frustrated’ before finding their way into a centre. Interestingly, the two biggest impacts of being offline were reported as “missing out on family news” and “not being able to access online bargains”.
This kind of insight is key in bringing digital exclusion back down to a personal level, and it’s at the core of how we’ll be starting all of our ‘Let’s get digital’ conversations. UK online centres are experts in identifying the often very personal trigger points that can switch each individual from non-use to use. And I strongly believe everyone everywhere has a trigger. It might be wanting to see pictures on Facebook, or wanting to compare car insurance prices at a glance. For Colin, one of our previous Get online week visitors, it all started with wanting to get his shopping ordered online and delivered to his door.
This week, I’m looking forward to seeing the Get online week campaign hit the digital trigger for even more people up and down the country. You can keep up with latest Get online week news with hashtag #GOLW13, or by visiting www.facebook.com/ukonlinecentres.
Happy Get online week No. 7 everyone, and the best of luck to all the centres taking part.