Kajsa Hartig

A blog about Cultural Heritage and Digital Communication

Mind the gap #Blogg100

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Blog post 018/100 #Blogg100 challenge

MInd the gap. Photo: Riccardo Bandiera. CC-BY-NC. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewhitestdogalive/540622678/

MInd the gap. Photo: Riccardo Bandiera. CC-BY-NC.

This blog post will add some reflections on the digital literacy gap. As I wrote two years ago, I believe digital inclusion is an important task for cultural heritage organisations. However, in my experience the gap between early adopters and so called laggards or digitally excluded, looks somewhat different today than only two years ago.

I must admit that I was much more concerned then about the gap between those who fear or avoid digital, and early adopters, than I am now.

So what has happened? I believe the evolution of digital in cultural heritage institutions, at least in Sweden, is moving ahead though not as fast as I had perhaps anticipated. It’s an slow and efficient evolution, not only driven by organisations but by the entire society.

With a whole new generation of young digitally savvy kids, and an emerging digitally connected school, we are all affected. Facebook has been around long enough for most people to see the benefits of it, from one perspective or the other. It’s an infrastructure here to stay, as Brit Stakston recently stated in a blog post. Media and public service are keeping up with changes in society. Public service TV and radio are all digital and streaming online. Newspapers are gaining more subscriptions online.

Digital is everywhere. It is very hard to avoid. This brings the large masses onto the digital arena, in one way or the other, whether they do so willingly or not. This makes me less worried about the gap. There will always be people excluded from the digital arenas. But this is not primarily a digital problem, it’s a matter of exclusion in many other ways (poverty, language barriers, age etc). For these categories we need to be much more aware of what other issues are causing digital exclusion.

So in some ways the gap is not as wide anymore, and it looks different than only two years ago. What will it look like two years ahead?

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