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Subject: Re: UKNM: Awareness
From: Mark Walker
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 20:00:37 +0100

an old-ish thread
>This concludes that: the typical UK Internet user <snip> drinks like a
>fish... <hic>
>Couple this with approx. 10-11 million users (early 99 quote) in the UK
>(and growing) and I feel that the *opposition* is right - there are still
>many out there that need to know wassup...even if it is in a fluffy
>editorial style...more women are getting online as are wider demographic
>segments such as older people etc...thus...dont assume anything...provide
>everything :)

over the past four years we've run about 3000 hours of free internet
training sessions for people of all ages, genders, occupations, abilities
and drinking habits

no one has ever said they felt patronised by someone telling them how
things work in a way that's easy to understand, doesn't assume any prior
knowledge and offers to hold their hand at every possible stage.

I recently met someone who complained that the internet was good 'but a bit
slow', often taking up to 28 minutes to download a page. I asked him to
show me how he used it. He put a URL in the address: box and sat and stared
at the screen. Presumably no-one had told him to press 'return', although
he was still enthusistic about 'being on the net'.

In my experience the majority of people don't use a computer every
day/week/month. Most are scared of breaking something they don't understand
and/or want to know what's in it for them before they can be bothered
learning all the gobbledygook.

They expect computers to be expensive and difficult to use and the people
who sell them usually do their best to confirm their suspicions.

I suggest that most internet enterprises are in the business of market
development (ie not market penetration) and anyway shouldn't need to ask
whether their tactics should match the needs of their prospective punters.

Mark Walker
Project Manager

Sussex Community Internet Project http://www.scip.org.uk
Harnessing the power of new technology for the benefit of the whole community

SCIP, Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG
Tel 01273 234049 Fax 020 7681 2022 (JFax)

SCIP was founded in 1995 and is now registered as an incorporated not for
profit private limited company, reg. no. 3819836.

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