‘Get Online Week’ Takes Aim At Web Novices
Internet virgins are being targeted in a new seven day drive aimed at getting people to try out the World Wide Web
Businesses and the government have teamed up in order to persuade Internet virgins to try out and use the World Wide Web.
The UK Get Online Week was launched on Monday and will run from 18th to 24th October 2010. The week-long national drive is being led by UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, who is trying to get the last remaining ten million Brits online. This is despite the fact that Lane Fox has no budget to complete the project.
Give The Web A Go
The simple idea behind the campaign is to encourage at least some of these estimated 10 million Britons who have never used the Internet, to give it a go.
Some 3,000 events are planned across the UK in an effort to convince them, and people can see what events and courses are happening in their area on the “Get Online” campaign website, providing of course that they have access to the Internet.
The campaign itself has roped in some celebrities in order to drive home the message. They will be shown getting online and using the Internet for the first time. Sir Terry Wogan is to act as a web ambassador and in an effort to reach the older generation, a character in Radio 4′s The Archers will be given their first computer lesson.
Computer novices are encouraged to try their hand at a splash & grab themed game, in order to improve their basic mouse-control skills. It is hoped that some will register for myguide online courses, which are aimed at helping people take their first steps with computers and the internet.
A number of businesses are involved in the campaign including Google, McDonalds, Sky, BT, Microsoft etc. Each company will be running events of their own throughout the month.
Four years ago, the first ‘Get Online Day’ apparently managed to get 10,000 people online, but the organisers are much more ambitious now, hoping to help 80,000 people go online.
Meanwhile Martha Lane Fox is taking the message to the Yorkshire coastal town of Bridlington, which has been identified as one of the most digitally excluded areas in the UK, with many elderly and unemployed residents.
They will offer free web training for the one in four people in that town who are not currently online.
“I’ve always believed in the power of information and technology as an incredibly useful tool, whether that was while building my online travel company lastminute.com or providing a lifeline to the outside world as I recovered from a serious accident in 2004,” wrote Martha Lane Fox in an article for the Daily Telegraph.
“The internet was essential in allowing me to research my treatment, keep in touch with friends and family, and even shop when I couldn’t leave the house. It allowed me to re-engage with the world,” she wrote. “This, together with my role as UK Digital Champion, has given me an insight into how the experience of patients could be transformed by using everyday technologies such as the Internet, email and mobile phones in a more innovative way.”
“There’s clearly an appetite for a new approach,” she added. “The Department of Health is launching a consultation this week into how information and technology can help people take more control of their health and make the best choices for themselves and their families. This will be looking at, among other things, patients being able to view and share their medical records more easily, email their doctors and access relevant, accurate, user-friendly information.”
Back in August Ofcom research found that 71 percent of Britons are now online, with 23 percent choosing to access the web via a mobile device. Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report showed that uptake of broadband across Britain as a whole stands at 71 percent, with England showing the highest level of adoption among the UK’s four nations.
Adoption is highest in the South East, at 80 percent, and lowest in the West Midlands (62 percent). However, take-up is reportedly higher in rural than urban areas.