Tag Archives: Internet

OxIS 2011 Report

In the history of communication technology the Internet is a relatively new communication tool which has enabled the wide-spread adoption and use of Web 2.0 technologies over the last decade. The changing behaviour of users during this period has been the subject of many academic discussions and much qualitative and quantitative data has been produced in support of this. One such organisation is the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS) which has been producing data about the web bi-yearly since 2003. Yesterday OxIS released its 2011 report at the salubrious setting of the Strangers Dining Room in the House of Commons. I was lucky enough to be at the launch and heard many speeches about its findings. The report can be downloaded here.

The main focus of the report is the rise of what they call the ‘Next Generation Users’ in Britain defined as firstly, the increasing proportion of users who use portable devices to access the Internet and secondly, users who have and use multiple digital devices. Internet access via mobile devices has doubled from 24% in 2009 to 49% in 2011. The report states that “next generation users are not evenly distributed, but have higher incomes, indicating a new digital divide in Britain and most certainly in other nations”. It also indicates that “more than a quarter of the British population [is] without access to the Internet” (p.5).

On the subject of content production the report shows that “next generation users are more likely to be producers than are first generation users who focus more on consumption rather than production” (p.5) This is illustrated with an accompanying graph.

There is certainly useful data in this report relating to my research. Information gathered for the report shows the next generation of users are not solely made up of the youth of the digital age but are from all age groups although people of retirement age are less like to fit into this type of user. The age demographic of next generation of users is, therefore, “not simply a function of youth or age cohorts” (p.7) the report suggest.

Teaching WordPress at Ravensbourne

I’ve been using WordPress since my MA in 2007. It had nothing to do with my studies apart from the fact that it was open-source software and a subject I was covering in one of the modules. I was intrigued to know more about it. I’ve since built and worked on about 10 sites and used it as part of the case study for the Social Media book chapter I’ve just completed. Indeed this diary uses WordPress. It’s so customisable and can be used, amongst other things, to collaborate online and as a content management system. It’s a good example of a data mashup in that it takes data from many different sources and integrates it one site.

It is now being used widely at Ravensbourne College as a way of getting content creation students quickly up and running and using a website to collaborate and create content as a team. This gives them the opportunity to get going, creating content without the need to spend weeks designing and coding a website. Over the last three days I’ve been teaching first year students how to use it. But first I gave them two lectures. The first was an introduction to the Internet and Web and the definitions and practices of Web 2.0. It’s surprising how many don’t know the difference between the Internet and the Web. The second (below) is intended as a bit of background before using WordPress. It describes open-source software and gives examples and definitions.

I spent three days with them and generally there was a very positive response to the use of it.