The Pitfalls Of Using Technology For Technology's Sake

Written by Diane Hughes

Continued from page 1

3. Doesrepparttar technology require that my site visitor "do" anything? Will your visitors have to download any special software or plug-ins to see your site with this new technology? If so, skip it! It isn't worthrepparttar 133556 chance of visitors clicking away.

4. Isrepparttar 133557 technology "stable?" Isrepparttar 133558 chat program you've installed reliable? Does that new java script workrepparttar 133559 way it should? Does that streaming video feed skip and crash? If your new technology doesn't perform up to speed 99% ofrepparttar 133560 time, it isn't worth causing aggravation to your visitors.

Before making any technological "enhancements" to your site, think about your visitors. Yes,repparttar 133561 new technology may be "cool," but if it doesn't offer some true value to your customers, you would most likely be better off – and more professional looking – without it.

Diane Hughes is an accomplished internet entrepreneur and editor of the popular ProBizTips Newsletter. Subscribe to her newsletter for more tips, tricks, and secrets of the trade -- plus get HUNDREDS of eBooks, software and tools just for subscribing!

How To Bridge The Digital Divide

Written by J. Nayer Hardin

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I provide that background to say that intervention is necessary to eliminaterepparttar digital divide. The divide,repparttar 133555 space between people with computers and people without, is real and we must take steps to close it, and close it now, both nationally and internationally.

Here are a few recommendations on how to achieve that goal.

1. Encourage banks to set up “Cyber Clubs”, much likerepparttar 133556 “Christmas Clubs” where people can make deposits into an account for future technology purchases. As an alternative to giving a child a doll or game for a gift, take that money and deposit it intorepparttar 133557 account. These clubs can make group purchases during July 4th and Dr. King’s Birthday weekends offering additional buying incentives based on volume discount buying. They can also keep people informed ofrepparttar 133558 newest, latest and most effective equipment and programs to purchase. Financial management, i.e. “computer banking” computer user groups can be formed to userepparttar 133559 technology to enrichrepparttar 133560 community.

2. Provide incentives for community organizations to offer free computer training to their membership. Teachrepparttar 133561 basics necessary to write letters, get on and userepparttar 133562 web, balance a budget or record one’s family tree. Encourage business growth. With a computer, whatever one does best, they can do as a business. For example, if someone braids hair, show them how their computer can keep their books, appointments, send out customer mailings, encourage word of mouth, file taxes, etc. Sales development clubs, onrepparttar 133563 web and off, can also encourage economic growth. These clubs can reach beyond national borders.

3. Hold more and targeted local, state and national and international “town meetings” onrepparttar 133564 web with elected and appointed officials answering questions and listening to solutions from constituents. Network ideas with resources and people to accomplishrepparttar 133565 mission.

4. Provide additional tax and financing incentives to open computer stores, training centers, wherever. It’s not just low-income people who need access and training. We all do. I still can’t believerepparttar 133566 many times I heard “I never thought I would ever be able to use a computer,” or “I’ve never even touched a mouse”

5. Encourage intelligent, cross cultural-religious-economic-racial-gender, etc. computer use. With computers we seerepparttar 133567 quality of one’s ideas before we seerepparttar 133568 body they are in orrepparttar 133569 lifestyle they live. The opportunity to build bridges is to great to ignore.

6. Encourage non-violent conflict resolution through a computer. It’s tough to use a computer and a gun atrepparttar 133570 same time. Also arguments over modems cause less violence.

7. Promoterepparttar 133571 joy of computing.

8. Unconditionally computerize all. The only way that national testing of school children can work is if all children have access torepparttar 133572 same information atrepparttar 133573 same time. All 14 years of school should be available onrepparttar 133574 web. Any child who goes through a web-based education should be able to passrepparttar 133575 national standards test. This is not difficult if we allowrepparttar 133576 needs ofrepparttar 133577 students to hold greater weight thanrepparttar 133578 needs ofrepparttar 133579 unions and school officials.

The systems for success are already in place. Community organizations, one-on-one at home sharing information, economic encouragement and technology already exist to expediterepparttar 133580 process. With sponsorship opportunities for computer hardware, software and humanwear,repparttar 133581 process can pay for itself via an empowered tax base.

Dr. Martin Luther King was right. In my experience, which began on computers in 1977 at ABC Radio’s WPLJ-FM,repparttar 133582 table of brotherhood that Dr. King spoke of in his I HAVE A DREAM speech is a table with a computer on it, and good people around it, using it to solve problems and have a good time. Just like he was a champion of civil rights, we must all become champions of cyber rights. Government, business, non-profits and individual intervention will not only closerepparttar 133583 digital divide, but where there was a hole inrepparttar 133584 ground, new opportunities will be found.

The real lesson fromrepparttar 133585 original American Underground Railroad is that those who have freedom, have a responsibility to share that freedom with those who do not. Until that’s accomplished, we’re just a slave system in another form. When that is accomplished, everyone is free withrepparttar 133586 help of ‘a friend of a friend.’ Free to understand, grow, pray and prosper.

How does one champion cyber rights? If you know how to use a computer, find someone in your life that does not know and teach him or her. If you don’t know how to use a computer, find someone who does and ask them to teach you. Help your organizations and institutions become computerized too. Everyone has something to contribute. I personally recommend beginning with each individual saying their own prayers for divinely guided computerization.

Regardingrepparttar 133587 question can anybody learn computers, bring to mindrepparttar 133588 image of an illiterate person who has already learned how to readrepparttar 133589 screens and pushrepparttar 133590 buttons on their ATM. We are limited only by our imaginations.

Finally, a message from Miss. Roxanna Dawson. I had issued a challenge to Harlem that I was actively looking forrepparttar 133591 first person I could not train how to use a PC. Sincerepparttar 133592 cost ofrepparttar 133593 training is that it be passed onto at least two other people, I could not back uprepparttar 133594 challenge with money, but thousands ofrepparttar 133595 people came anyway over a four-year period. Roxanna, at 92 years old, came and said she was that person I could not train. I asked her why and she said because she was blind. I asked her if she was totally blind or legally blind. I had read Huxley’s THE ART OF SEEING so I knowrepparttar 133596 difference. I put Roxanna’s fingers onrepparttar 133597 home row keys and had her type her name. I maderepparttar 133598 type big and she jumped back fromrepparttar 133599 screen and yelled, “I can see.” The people inrepparttar 133600 training room at Minisink Townhouse went electric. She turned around and said with a smile of deep pride, “If I can do it,repparttar 133601 rest of your have no excuse.” For her second lesson, I sat her at a computer with a 26-year-old woman and they learned how to use a mouse together. In between practice and laughter, they talked about community issues at a level that’s helped me grow ever since. Healing can be found in networking.

In summary, sincerepparttar 133602 cause ofrepparttar 133603 problem is a lack of adequate computerization,repparttar 133604 solution is simple – computerize. It’s easier than it seems, and when done right, its rewards are tremendous.

Happy Computing

J. Nayer Hardin is the founder of Computer Underground Railroad Ent. Nayer created a style of free computer training, How To Compute, that’s helped over 3,000 people between the ages of 4 and 92 learn how to use a personal computer.

The training was covered on New York’s WOR-TV in 1997 and her classes were featured on local cable shows including Harlem’s Winston Gilchrist Show.

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