Saturday, October 14, 2006

Have nots - have to be considered

Esther Dyson

Made a useful contribution to the "Office 2.0" conference which is reported in IWR blog.

She offered words of warning:

For a start, ubiquitous access to Office 2.0 applications is restricted to those with continuous and reliable access to power and internet access. How many global companies can even claim that?

Some of the later demonstrations proved her point when access was so slow, the presenters mumbled about "the Regis St Francis Hotel wifi network" and quickly changed the demonstration focus. I've never seen so many rotating "waiting" icons.

She predicts "a long long time" before mass adoption. She also pointed out that the focus of the successful applications would be different to today's: they will focus on tasks and collaboration, not just documents. She said, "I want an activity manager not a data manager."

It came up this week for me when a student was trying to follow my netpr Internet lecture. With a slow connection, the benefits are lost.

Practitioners (yet I put my hands up) have to be aware that there is a big audience out there that still does not have broadband or access to a reliable on-line service. We have to accept that in spreading the word to our publics we have to consider what platforms and channels are available.