After yesterday’s post about how the increasing complexity of technology may dwarf even the best attempts at bridging the digital divide, Alex Howard of O’Reilly Radar, who often acts as a very helpful watchdog for my posts, pointed me to the excellent District of Columbia Citywide Digital Divide Strategy that the Office of the CTO in Washington DC published a few days ago.
I will comment on it in the coming days, as I believe it is a very worthwhile document. However trying to get a copy online was a sort of proof of what I was saying in my earlier post.
Following Alex’ link I ended up on the OCTO web site (http://octo.dc.gov/octostrategy). From there, clicking on the Citywide Digital Divide Strategy link took me to a page providing a Scribd version, and – at a bottom – a line saying “Having problems viewing the document? Download it here[PDF]”. I clicked on the Download and – with some disappointment – I was taken to a page with a “Page Not Found” message.
Then I clicked on the Download link in the Scribd section, where I was asked to login, first of all with my Facebook account – which I never do to avoid lots of suggestions and advertisement when I use it – and then with my Scribd account, which I had but , as usual, I had forgotten my credentials. I finally managed to connect, although Scribd kept telling me it could not send a verification email to my Gartner address and asked for another one (I suspect as a way to get another access point to e, after I denied my Facebook credentials).
I do appreciate that a digital divide strategy is not meant to target people on the disadvantage side of that divide, as they will just be the beneficiary of its implementation, but is aimed at policy makers, think-tanks, consultants, vendors and “haves”: all these constituencies will have no problem in getting the document.
However I found the whole thing a bit ironic. For a moment, I felt like the car dealer in front of a new model fully of gizmos that the client returns to the dealership, or like my wife about to give up her upgraded iPhone with battery lasting about an hour (see yesterday’s post for details)