Sep 21 2008

Migrants, Not Geeks, Are the Early Adopters of Mobile Phones

by at 12:12 pm

According to Swisscom anthropologist Stefana Broadbent, migrants, not geeks, are the early adopters of mobile phones (The Economist1 via Putting People First2) —

It is migrants, rather than geeks, who have emerged as the “most aggressive” adopters of new communications tools, says Broadbent. Dispersed families with strong ties and limited resources have taken to voice-over-internet services, IM and webcams, all of which are cheap or free. They also go online to get news or to download music from home.

Various studies (by Pew Internet & American Life Project3 and Forrester Research4 amongst others) have shown that Hispanics are more active users of mobile phones, and especially mobile data services, than other ethnic groups in the USA (via San Fransisco Chronicle5 and Mobile Marketing Association6). This can be attributed to several reasons — economic (lower mean household income means that the mobile phone is often used as the main computer), demographic (family and friends are spread out across the United States and across the border), and cultural (a higher value is placed on staying in touch with family and friends). Continue Reading »

No responses yet | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Access,Gaurav Mishra,Mobile,Social Change | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 14 2008

Google DC Event on Cloud Computing

by at 4:18 pm

On Friday, September 12th, Google DC held a talk on cloud computing in its New York Avenue location in downtown Washington, DC.  Specifically, the event discussed a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project on “Use of Cloud Computing Applications and Services”.

Moderated by John B. Horrigan, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the talk included

  • Dan Burton, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy,
  • Mike Nelson, Visiting Professor, The Center for Communication, Culture, and Technology, Georgetown University
  • Ari Schwartz, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Center for Democracy and Technology

Here is a brief write-up of the event.

Cloud computing is basically the offloading of data from individual computers loosely linked to the internet, to a network of computers specifically maintained and interfaced so that people can access that data from any electronic device anywhere in the world. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Ben Turner,Privacy | Tags: , , , , ,

Sep 10 2008

Americans’ Attitudes on Digital Footprints (Pew Internet & American Life Project)

by at 2:07 pm

I wanted to get more information about “online culture” within the US, since it is still, at least for now, the standard for what an online society looks like in terms of debating privacy versus openness, online presence, and reputation.

In December 2007, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released the findings from its surveys on “digital footprints” and “online identity management and search in the age of transparency”.  You can read the full report (PDF) online, and the questionnaire they used, as well.

It is interesting to study the attitudes versus the actions of social networking users when it comes to privacy versus openness.  The study found that “[m]ost internet users are not concerned about the amount of information available about them online, and most do not take steps to limit that information.” Continue Reading »

No responses yet | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Ben Turner,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , ,