Monday, September 11, 2006

Blog post: They didn't get the memo

Seth Godin, who is known for his ideas on marketing, has written a blog post about the adoption of technology. The post gives several statistics including:
  • 31.4% of Americans don't have internet access.
  • 59% of American households have zero iPods in them.
  • 30% of internet users in the US use a modem.
His point is that "all the growth and the opportunity and the fun is at the leading edge, at the place where change happens." mmm...if you look at his post, you -- like me -- might come up with a different conclusion. What I see is that there is a lot of technology is use, but the adoption rate is not as high as we are being led to believe.

For example, 31.4% don't have Internet access (I'll assume that they mean "at home"). What does that mean to the work we're doing to digitize materials and make them available online? Does this mean that we should ensure that people have access to the materials at PCs and kiosks in various locations and not rely on them being able to use them at home?

How should we think about images size and web page design if 30% of Internet users are still connecting by modem? And if we have some users surfing the Internet on their cell phones and PDAs, how do we built our sites to ensure that all of our constituents are served well? What happens if we ignore those on the fringes (those will slow access as well as those on the bleeding edge who are accessing from small screens)?

I think his post suggests many interesting questions. I hope people will not ignore the fact that they need to be answered.

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